This year's Brigham Young University Ballet Showcase performance offers a colorful palette of varying themes, styles and movement fully representing the diverse media of ballet Friday and Satruday, Dec. 2-3 at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee in the Dance Production Theatre, 166 Richards Building.
Admission is $6. Tickets are available at the Harris Fine Arts Ticket Office, 801-422-4322, online at byuarts.com/ticketsor at the door.
Kalise Child, Ballet Showcase artistic director, presents “The Letter,” a classical ballet inspired by her grandparents’ love letters written during World War II. Set to Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings in E Major, this three part ballet follows a young woman (Sara Coray) and the love she has for her soldier (Tomas Farnsworth). Child’s second piece, “Shadows of Oppression,” is an abstract, contemporary ballet built upon the natural human response to oppression.
BYU ballet faculty members Marsha Russell and Suzi Wood choreographed works presenting interesting contrasts. Russell’s piece, “Maiko,” set to music from "Memoirs of a Geisha" by John Williams featuring Itzak Pearlman and and Yo-yo Ma, is based on the Japanese concept of the Geisha, who are highly trained dancers and entertainers. Wood’s “Fascinatin’ Rhythm” set to Gershwin’s syncopated sounds is a treat for the eyes and ears.
BYU dance graduate Stephanie Haymore has created a work, “Divine Nature,” to a favorite hymn, "If You Could Hie to Kolob." This piece focuses on the core of our being — body and spirit — clarifying the connection with God.
This year, dancers from BYU Theatre Ballet are guests in the Ballet Showcase performances, presenting three new works:
• “Interrupted Impulse,” choreographed by Shani Robison to music by Karl Jenkins, explores the impulses of individuals to rise above the conformity of society and their struggle to maintain individuality.
• BYU student and Theatre Ballet dancer Leah Beckwith choreographed the beautiful “Strengthened by Grace,” which uses partnerships to illuminate the theme of gaining strength from others, and ultimately from the Savior.
• Michael Bearden, principal dancer with Ballet West and Theatre Ballet guest choreographer, created “Velvet Revolution.” It represents a girl's journey to transcend the past and get back on track. “I chose this concept because the composer, Rachmaninov, wrote this music, the Piano Concerto No. 2, after three years of depression,” Bearden said. This sense of overcoming trials can be felt through his inspirational music.
Writer: Lynne Thompson