Arts

Smuin Ballet season finale highlights both established and new choreographers

Smuin artists Cassidy Isaacson and Brandon Alexander (center) with the company in the world premiere of Brennan Wall's "Untwine." Courtesy Chris Hardy/Smuin Contemporary Ballet.

Smuin Contemporary Ballet always makes equal room on its stage for classical and contemporary works and the company's season finale, "Dance Series 2: P.S. Forever Smuin," is no exception. The program highlights both established and up-and-coming artists in pieces that draw on both classical and contemporary influences.

The company performs "Dance Series 2" May 19 through 22 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.

The program revisits "Confessions" by acclaimed choreographer Val Caniparoli, a playful nine-part piece commissioned by Smuin Artistic Director Celia Fushille that premiered in 2018. The work is set to music by American contemporary classical composer Nico Muhly and Faroese singer/songwriter Teitur.

Smuin artists Maggie Carey and Brandon Alexander in Van Caniparoli's "Confessions." Courtesy Chris Hardy/Smuin Contemporary Ballet.

A second revival on the program is "Renaissance" by Amy Seiwert, a former Smuin dancer who also served for about a decade as the company's first choreographer-in-residence. The piece, set to a cappella music by Bay Area-based Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble, was inspired by a women’s protest in India that took place in January 2019, in which "millions of women joined hands to form a 385-mile 'wall' in Kerala to create awareness of gender equality, and to protest a religious ban that prevented women of childbearing age from entering one of the country's sacred Hindu temples," according to a press release about the performance.

"Dance Series 2" also features the premieres of two new works that were expanded from pieces presented last season by two company members. Dancer Tessa Barbour reworked a classical duet set to Tchaikovsky into a piece for three couples while dancer Brennan Wall expanded her contemporary pas de deux, "Untwine," into a piece for four couples.

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"Dance Series 2: P.S. Forever Smuin" takes place May 19-22 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View. Tickets are $25-$79. For more information, visit smuinballet.org.

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Heather Zimmerman
Heather Zimmerman has been with Embarcadero Media since 2019. She writes and edits arts stories, compiles the Weekend Express newsletter, curates the community calendar, helps edit stories for the Voice and The Almanac and assists with assembling the Express newsletters for those publications. Read more >>

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Smuin Ballet season finale highlights both established and new choreographers

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, May 19, 2022, 3:04 pm

Smuin Contemporary Ballet always makes equal room on its stage for classical and contemporary works and the company's season finale, "Dance Series 2: P.S. Forever Smuin," is no exception. The program highlights both established and up-and-coming artists in pieces that draw on both classical and contemporary influences.

The company performs "Dance Series 2" May 19 through 22 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.

The program revisits "Confessions" by acclaimed choreographer Val Caniparoli, a playful nine-part piece commissioned by Smuin Artistic Director Celia Fushille that premiered in 2018. The work is set to music by American contemporary classical composer Nico Muhly and Faroese singer/songwriter Teitur.

A second revival on the program is "Renaissance" by Amy Seiwert, a former Smuin dancer who also served for about a decade as the company's first choreographer-in-residence. The piece, set to a cappella music by Bay Area-based Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble, was inspired by a women’s protest in India that took place in January 2019, in which "millions of women joined hands to form a 385-mile 'wall' in Kerala to create awareness of gender equality, and to protest a religious ban that prevented women of childbearing age from entering one of the country's sacred Hindu temples," according to a press release about the performance.

"Dance Series 2" also features the premieres of two new works that were expanded from pieces presented last season by two company members. Dancer Tessa Barbour reworked a classical duet set to Tchaikovsky into a piece for three couples while dancer Brennan Wall expanded her contemporary pas de deux, "Untwine," into a piece for four couples.

"Dance Series 2: P.S. Forever Smuin" takes place May 19-22 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View. Tickets are $25-$79. For more information, visit smuinballet.org.

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