Don’t Miss: Festival Ballet’s Together We Dance 3 Gala Oct. 3
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
This event, which began in 2011 as a fundraising benefit and is now a regular part of the FBP season, features a roster of international ballet stars performing classic and contemporary works. The FBP professional company, along with students from the FBP School, will also perform, making the event a truly special evening of dance.
Five companies, 10 countries
The event this year features dancers and choreographers representing five ballet companies and ten different home countries, including the United States. Artistic Director Mihailo “Misha” Djuric said, “This is a truly international event, and it’s a thrill to have dancers from around the world come to Providence to help us celebrate the beginning of our 36th season.”
Providence, Rhode Island native and principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada Greta Hodgkinson will return for a second year, after receiving a warm reception and homecoming during her first performance in 2012. Mr. Djuric said, “We are so proud of Greta, because she is from Rhode Island, of course, but also because she took her first ballet steps at the FBP school.” During her appearance last season, Ms. Hodgkinson was honored with a citation by Governor Lincoln Chafee, one of the highest civilian honors the State of Rhode Island can give.
She will once again be joined by her husband and fellow dancer, Etienne Lavigne (originally from Montréal, Québec). Together, the pair will perform “Summer,” a pas de deux by acclaimed choreographer James Kudelka, set to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.
Ms. Hodgkinson will also perform a brand new solo called “Disarmed.” The piece is set to music by Philip Glass and will have its world premiere at Together We Dance 3. “Greta has reached the point in her career that dancers around the world strive to achieve,” Mr. Djuric said. “She is a breathtaking dancer, through and through – and she is going to be spectacular.”
Netherlands' Kaftira + Wörtmeyer
Megan Zimny Kaftira and Remi Wörtmeyer, both from the Netherlands’ Het Nationale Ballet, will perform two of the most famous pas de deux in all ballet repertory: the grand pas de deux from Don Quixote, and the balcony pas de deux from Prokofiev’s timeless ballet, Romeo and Juliet. Ms. Kaftira is a soloist and is quickly rising through the ranks with Het Nationale. Even prior to her promotion to soloist in 2012, Ms. Kaftira was dancing principal roles in the company, including Giselle. Remi Wörtmeyer (originally from Australia) is one of the leading principal dancers in Europe; Dance Europe proclaimed Mr. Wörtmeyer fifteenth in a critical list of the world’s leading 100 dancers. Earlier in September, Mr. Wörtmeyer was awarded the Alexandra Radius prize, the top decoration for classical ballet in the Netherlands. Together We Dance 3 will be the premiere of Ms. Kaftira and Mr. Wörtmeyer dancing the Don Quixote pas de deux together, before the pair begin performances in Holland the following week.
Miami City Ballet's Bromberg + Ito
Miami City Ballet dancers, Emily Bromberg and Shimon Ito, are returning to FBP after their last appearance in Swan Lake in 2012. “I am very excited to see my old student, Emily Bromberg perform again,” Mr. Djuric said. “I have known her since she was nine years old when I was teaching in New Hampshire.” Ms. Bromberg was a company dancer with FBP from 2002 to 2006. “She has really grown into such a wonderful, mature ballerina. After she left for Miami, I remember reading in the New York Times that [dance critic Alastair] McCaulay’s eye had dwelt on her. When I read that, I smiled because I thought the same thing since the first moment I saw her in class when she was nine years old.” Ms. Bromberg and Mr. Ito will perform a movement from the neoclassical work by Liam Scarlett titled “Viscera.” Rhode Island audiences might remember her as Owen in the original cast of Viktor Plotnikov’s Widow’s Broom, The Sugar Plum Fairy in Mr. Djuric’s The Nutcracker, and Kitri in FBP’s Don Quixote. The San Francisco Bay Guardian called Mr. Ito’s performance of the Jester in Swan Lake “scene stealing.” He reprised the role in FBP’s Swan Lake and was an audience favorite.
Boston Ballet's collaboration
Since the inaugural performance of Together We Dance, Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen has been generous in allowing his dancers to share their talents with a Rhode Island audience. This season, two stars of the world-renowned company join in to carry on the partnership. Having just been promoted to principal dancer this season, Ashley Ellis will pair with veteran principal dancer Nelson Madrigal (originally from Cuba) dancing the “Black Swan pas de deux” from Act III of Swan Lake.
For the company of FBP, this program will be as busy as any, with four different pieces in the program showcasing a diverse range of talents. The repertoire for this event will preview works that will be performed later this season.
Highlights include: two pas de deux danced by powerhouse partners Vilia Putrius and Mindaugas Bauzys (Smoryginas’ “Pieta” and Balanchine’s “Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux”); an energetic, spirited all-male pas de trois set to the music of Ray Charles (“Heaven Can Wait”); and a lyrical, passionate pas de quatre by up-and-coming choreographer Joseph Morrissey (“In Passing”).
Adaptive dancers share the spotlight
For two years running, Together We Dance has featured dancers in the FBP School’s most celebrated program – the Adaptive Dance program for children with Down Syndrome. “The spirit and emotion of these young, talented performers shines on stage,” School Director Mary Ann Mayer said. “Every year they just love performing. They soak up the spotlight – and that is so heartwarming to see.”
Ticket prices for all of FBP’s programs at The Vets range from $23 - $85. Having recently undergone and completed renovations, The Vets now features a new, expanded Mezzanine area that FBP plans to use for their exclusive “Director’s Circle” ticket holders who are entitled to a private reception, which includes complimentary wine.
“This season is packed full of some really incredible works. We needed to kick off with something equally incredible and I think we are going to do it on October 3.” Mr. Djuric said.