For the Dancers
2005 Press release
COMPANY PERFORMS BALANCHINE BALLET
includes the company premiere of George Balanchine’s Valse Fantasie
SAN FRANCISCO, May, 2005 – San Francisco-based youth company, Chamberdance, returns to the Cowell Theater this June to present its ninth annual performance with the Academy of Ballet. The highlight of the program will be George Balanchine's acclaimed Valse Fantasie, performed with special permission of the Balanchine Trust. The program will also feature the premiere of More Songs and the revival of Stravinsky's Concerto in D, both by Artistic Director Richard Gibson, as well as August Bournonville's Flower Festival at Genzano.
George Balanchine’s energetic and lively Valse Fantasie -- with music by Mikhail Glinka -- marks a new direction for the company at this year's spring performances. Balanchine (1904-1983), a Russian trained dancer, is widely regarded as the foremost contemporary choreographer of ballet and is said to have choreographed over 400 works, many for his own company, the New York City Ballet. In 1967, Balanchine created Valse Fantasie -- inspired by an earlier 1953 version -- as a purely neo-classical ballet that features an ensemble of four women dancing with a lead couple. Chamberdance has been granted special permission of Balanchine Trust (formed in 1987 to preserve the artistic integrity of Balanchine's master works) to perform this work. Filled with quickfooted Balanchinean twists, turns and jumps Valse Fantasie is not only a challenge for the dancers, but a delight for the audience as well.
The spring performance also includes two exceptional works by Artistic Director Richard Gibson. The first is an entirely new work entitled, More Songs, to selections from Felix Mendelssohn “Lieder ohne Worte”. A serious of nostalgic duets, trios and group dances, More Songs takes it cues from the romantic overtones of five songs, performed live by pianist Donald White. Gibson last choreographed to the work of Mendelssohn for his popular 1996 ballet Song Without Words, set to the music of the same name. Gibson, a former member of the Joffrey Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet, has created works for the Nederlands Dans Theatre, the San Francisco Ballet, and the North Carolina Dance Theater, among others.
In addition, Chamberdance is pleased to be able to present Gibson's dramatic and moving Concerto in D to the music of 20th century modernist composer Igor Stravinsky. Gibson's choreography captures the patterned discontinuities of Stravinsky's intense symphonic music. The portrait of a struggle for dominance between a single male dancer and three women, the ballet echoes the strict structural integrity of Stravinsky’s music while projecting an athletic and loosely jazzy style.
The performance will also feature the romantic pas de deux, Flower Festival at Genzano, choreographed by August Bournonville in 1858 to the music of Holger Simon Paulli. Bournonville (1805-1879), a world renowned dancer and choreographer who served as ballet master of the Royal Danish Ballet for 50 years, is responsible for the establishment of the Danish style of classical ballet with its bravura dancing and expressive mime. Flower Festival is one of Bournonville's best known and charming works, full of jumps and beats for the male danseur and turns and balances for the ballerina. The dance celebrates a festival which still takes place every June in Genzano, Italy. Chamberdance brings back this piece, last performed by the company three years ago, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Bournonville's birth and as a tribute to this 19th century choreographer, whose work influenced the entire Romantic era of ballet.
For sixteen years, Chamberdance has offered young pre-professional and professional dancers the opportunity to perform a wide range of classical and contemporary works as part of a dynamic ensemble. The May, 2005 engagements mark Chamberdance's ninth year of presenting joint performances with the Academy of Ballet, both under the co-directorship of Gibson and Zory Karah. The Academy of Ballet offers training for both the student preparing for a professional career and those who are studying ballet for its many other benefits. All of the Chamberdance company members have studied at the Academy of Ballet during their training and former company members have gone on to perform with national and international dance companies such as Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, Ballet San Jose, Korea National Ballet, Eugene Ballet, Smuin Ballet, and Oakland Ballet.
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|Academy of Ballet||Artistic
Richard Gibson & Zory Karah
Street, San Francisco, CA 94114 415-552-1166
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