November’s golden trees are lighting up the East Side in their vivid dying dance and studio life counters, shifting its fiery red to a cool, autumnal black and white. At last the final flames of summer have simmered to smoldering coals, reminding us that soon they will be just the ashes of their former selves, prepared to wrap up in a blanket of winter white. Our fall series of Up Close On Hope is coming right up, and MAN, it’s going to be a good one.
As I’ve mentioned before, the first half of this month’s program features George Balanchine’s Apollo. It’s a simple ballet with a powerful score, a nod to Greek mythology, and an impressive history. I feel so honored to be dancing Calliope, the muse of poetry. She’s a dramatic, wounded artiste with far more weighty words than her little heart can hold. Funny when ballet life parallels the real world, isn’t it? (Just kidding….kind of.)
The second half of UPOH comprises the Bach Suites: 3 world premieres and 2 pas de deuxs set to the timeless music of Mr. Johann Sebastian Bach. To create the movement, FBP has called upon two new (to us) choreographers, husband-and-wife pair Andrea Shelley and Spencer Hering, as well company member Ty Parmenter, resident choreographer Viktor Plotnikov, and artistic director Misha Djuric. Perhaps the most exciting element of this program points to the talented local musicians who will play Bach’s brilliant Suites live(!) in our black box theatre. There’s something so special about live dance and music together- visible comments being made by the choreography and its dancers, reciprocated by the score in such a distinctive way. This intimate conversation between artists both visual and auditory is at its most pure when remarks are made in real time, responses emerging spontaneously. The product is altered ever so slightly from the last run, the dress rehearsal, the walk through the night before. Such reliance on impulse, acute awareness, physical innervation. Here I go with my excessive words again…better cut myself off here…
Apollo Choreography by George Balanchine
© The George Balanchine Trust, Apollo photos by Eric Hovermale