Richmond Ballet’s 2015 New Works Festival returns with four unique, contemporary productions
“It’s these three smoke stacks of interstellar dust and gases where the stars are formed,” said Katarzyna “Kate” Skarpetowska about how she came up for inspiration for her 2015 New Works Festival piece. “They are like these cauldrons where the stars are being cooked up.”
Skarpetowska’s new work, called Polaris, is inspired by a cosmic-feeling piece of music by Mexican artist Murcof. Starting with the music, she looked for an image to complement the theme and draw more inspiration. She came across a Hubble Telescope photo from 1995 called ‘The Pillars of Creation.’
Skarpetowska, a Polish native choreographer currently living in New York City, along with three other choreographers - Nicole Haskins of the Smuin Ballet in San Francisco, Rex Wheeler with The Sacramento Ballet, and Matthew Frain of the Richmond Ballet – are all premiering pieces in the Richmond Ballet’s 2015 New Works festival this week.
In her piece, dancers resemble the formation of the stars. The music, lighting, costume, and decoration will add to cosmic theme. The work is more contemporary than the traditional ballet seen on the RVA Ballet stage.
Four choreographers have been commissioned to make their very own unique pieces specifically for the festival. It starts tomorrow, March 17th through Sunday the 22nd, all held at the Richmond Ballet Theatre.
As with past New Works festivals, the selected choreographers participated in a week-long workshop and were given 25 hours to create their pieces. They had unlimited access to work with the company’s dancers, production, and costume shop to craft their work as they pleased.
The concert will showcase each work one after the other, each about ten minutes long.
Skarpetowska said the open platform is beneficial for new choreographers to unleash their creativity and showoff their abilities.
“I think it’s very important for up and coming choreographers to have a platform where we can practice our craft and this is really what this production is about,” said Skarpetowska. “Just giving a chance to new choreographic voices and I really admire that about this particular festival.”
There were definitely challenges working in a short-time frame, but the pieces all came together she said. For Skarpetowska, it was hard to match the music to the dancers because the score is not very rhythmic or melodic. She had to work to find an internal rhythm so they could all be consistent with the changes in the music.
It’s a rare experience for choreographers to work in this environment, but even rarer for an audience to see these new choreographic voices and trends in motion.
“The New Works Festival also speaks directly to our mission,” said Artistic Director Stoner Winslett in a release about the event. ”To support the creation of new work that is both significant in our time and enduring for generations to come.”
Tickets for the shows are $20, They can be bought at the Richmond Ballet Box Office, etix.com, or by calling 1.800.514.3849
Located at the Richmond Ballet Studio Theatre, 407 E. Canal Street.
Tuesday, March 17 6:30 pm
Wednesday, March 18, 6:30 pm
Thursday, March 19, 2:00 pm and 6:30 pm
Friday, March 20, 6:30 pm
Saturday, March 21, 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm
Sunday, March 22, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm
As far and as deep as Le Sacre du Printemps goes, the company’s visual elements were stellar.April 14, 2016
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