WHO: Orlando Ballet, Central Florida’s only professional resident ballet company.
WHAT: A uniquely diverse collection of Orlando premieres created by three remarkable guest choreographers whose artistry makes for a sumptuous dance event like none other as well as serving as the season’s sole performance at Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre
Orlando Ballet welcomes renowned choreographers Jessica Lang, Heath Gill, and Val Caniparoli, all of whom will present productions that have never been performed by Orlando Ballet, but which celebrate innovation and creativity through a blending of traditional ballet and contemporary dance.
This stirring night of dance will begin with choreographer Jessica Lang who returns to Orlando Ballet with her highly anticipated “Lyric Pieces” which leverages her unique balletic vocabulary in a tonal novella rich in spirit, joy and grace. Set to ten Edvard Grieg compositions, Lang holds true to being lyrical with her blend of swirling moves and sophisticated grandeur as well adding just a hint of mischief. The production’s pas de deux offers a sense of desperate passion offset by Lang’s fascination with space, light and landscapes. “Lyric Pieces” s offers another of Lang’s mesmerizing moments of dance. Dancers will be accompanied by live music performed by Orlando Ballet’s pianist, Angelyn Traylor.
Lang has created more than 100 works with companies worldwide including American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pacific Northwest Ballet, the National Ballet of Japan, Joffrey Ballet, and her eponymous company Jessica Lang Dance, among many others. Lang’s additional commissions include works for the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra, Harris Theater and the Chicago Architecture Biennial (in collaboration with architect Steven Holl), and the Guggenheim Museum for its Works and Process series
Atlanta-based choreographer Heath Gill follows with his innovative, “Confronting Genius,” a cheeky production which Gill said was inspired by the words and speech of an award-winning writer. Gill’s sleek artistic design reflects the angst and joy of the creative spirit in us all.
“Her speech took something that was weighing on me and celebrated it as something beautiful. It painted vivid pictures that were hilarious and sweet,” Gill explained about his inspiration. The very first piece of music is by Paganini who is considered to be a “genius” composer for violin and his works are considered some of the hardest to play. The last track is by Tom Waits, also on violin, but in stark contrast to the freneticism of the opening is something simple and sweet. I like to imagine it is the melody Elizabeth refers to which Tom Waits said was haunting him.” “Confronting Genius” is being sponsored by: Kevin Meek & Camilla Van Liew.
Gill, who serves as resident choreographer with Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre in Atlanta, danced with the Atlanta Ballet for a decade and has been recognized in Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch.” He has performed works by John McFall, Twyla Tharp, Michael Pink and Ohad Naharin. Gill has also worked several times with Orlando Ballet Artistic Director Jorden Morris and his production of Moulin Rouge® – The Ballet.
The evening concludes with Val Caniparoli’s “Lambarena” inspired by authentic African and Classical Ballet techniques, fused only together in its rhythms. “The music, by Johann Sebastian Bach and traditional African rhythms, bridges a cultural divide and I wanted my choreography to do the same,” he explained. Known for his uplifting and vibrant approach to dance, Caniparoli exceeds expectations with his mix of classic and ethnic movements. “It’s very much a ballet, and it’s my own vocabulary, but it’s also influenced by my African Dance Consultants, Dr. Zakariya Diouf and Naomi Gedo Diouf” Charmaine Hunter, Orlando Ballet’s Community Enrichment Director says “I am super excited for the students to experience the combination of dance genres in Lambarena inspired workshops. What a wonderful way to incorporate our community programs, meeting the students where they are and expanding on their arts education. Using the universal language of Dance.”
Caniparoli has been affiliated with the San Francisco Ballet for more than 45 years, and in 2017 brought his vibrant, retro-styled production of A Cinderella’s Story to Orlando Ballet. He has contributed to the repertoires of more than fifty dance companies.“Lambarena”, was nominated for the Prix Benois de la Danse in 1997 for Best Choreography and was also featured on Sesame Street with dancers Lorena Feijoo and Lorna Feijoo.
The Premiere Collection is a unique moment in dance; these three productions could not be more different from each other, yet similar in their breadth of creativity, spirit and exquisite choreography,” said Orlando Ballet Artistic Director Jorden Morris. “It’s an added treat for us to host this event in our own home – Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre, providing the audience with an intimate and delightfully rich ballet experience.”
Thursday, March 17, 2022 – 7:30pm
Friday, March 18, 2022 7:30pm
Saturday, March 19, 2022 – 2:00pm
Saturday, March 19, 2022 – 7:30pm
Sunday, March 20, 2022 – 2:00pm
Thursday, March 24, 2022 – 7:30pm
Friday, March 25, 2022 – 7:30pm
Saturday, March 26, 2022 – 2:00pm
Saturday, March 26, 2022 – 7:30pm
Sunday, March 27, 2022 – 2:00pm
Tickets start at $30
*Prices, titles, dates, times, locations and cast are subject to change at any time without notice.