Press release from Asheville Ballet:
The Asheville Ballet, Ann Dunn director, announces its 2018-19 Season – the 55th year for North Carolina’s Oldest Professional, non-profit Dance Company:
“Fall Into Dance: An Artistic Harvest” September 21-22, 7:30. Outdoors, Downtown on the Roger McGuire Stage, FREE
“Fall Into Dance” features original choreography by Dunn. Fleming Lomax, Tricia Renshaw, Sandi Weinberg, Rebecca O’Quinn, and newcomers, Lane Wagner and Phillip McRorie.
Dunn’s new work is set to a percussion piece by Mitchell Peters. LyraPopLava is a study for a longer piece – a short visual poem that explores, in slow motion and real time, the dynamics of a volcanic eruption. A metaphor for the process of eruptions within our personal worlds.
Lomax’s Autumn Anew (with music by Brian Lewis) conjures visual images of Fall, the season whose crisp air and vivid colors stir within us a sense of childlike wonder, offering renewal.
Renshaw’s new piece, Choose Your Words Wisely (music by Max Richter and Jóhann Jóhannsson), examines how language affects our reality. By increasing our awareness of how we speak to ourselves and each other, we can choose what we put our energy towards, which affects how we view the world around us and impacts what we create for ourselves.
Wagner’s Meditation on Breath (with ambient sound) focuses on the centering and grounding principals of breathing.
Revisions, by McRorie, is set to Andrew Bird’s “MasterSwarm”, and explores the struggles and successes of starting a new chapter in your life.
O’Quinn has made a rollicking fun piece to Jesus Gave me Water (Sam Cooke) and Shake (Otis Redding). She explores what moves the spirit: in rhythm, earth, and community.
Sandi Weinberg’s Have Your Way is a vivid and playful reminder to challenge the world with the uniqueness of your humanity, set to music by Jamie Cullum.
“Asheville is so fortunate to have a resident ballet company of this caliber,” says Ann Dunn, Artistic Director. “The community has, essentially, a year-long resident repertoire company. Seasoned ballet fans and novices alike have the opportunity to watch consummate professionals perform a wide variety of roles, from classical to contemporary.”
Asheville Ballet has built a reputation on the belief that dance plays a vital role in the education and culture of the community. As a key component of its Educational Outreach Program, The Asheville Ballet perform its entire production of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker, for school children every year.
Asheville Ballet is North Carolina’s oldest non-profit ballet company. First incorporated in 1963, the company has created and presented work in Asheville every year since. In an average season, formal and educational outreach programming affects a culturally diverse audience of approximately 23,000 people. An active advisory panel and a strong, well-organized volunteer base assist a committed board.
Asheville Ballet has produced residencies by historical choreographers (Anna Sokolow, Douglas Dunn, Lori Bellilove), hosted master classes and workshops by international dance stars (Sean Curran, Mark Dendy, Chuck Davis, David Dorfman), produced the three-week Fall Into Dance festival, and commissioned both classical and contemporary choreography.
Asheville Ballet productions reflect the region’s varied interests. In addition to an ongoing relationship with The Biltmore Estate, work has been produced for eight years for The Dirty Dancing Festival, fund-raisers (The Health Adventure, The Arts Council), civic events (Martin Luther King Day, Bele Chere Festival), and commercial events (The Miss Asheville pageant, opening for the Pointer Sisters).
Since its inception, Asheville Ballet has produced both cutting edge interdisciplinary work and full-length major work. The company has collaborated with other local art agencies (the Asheville Symphony, Asheville Bravo Concerts, Asheville Community Theater, Asheville Lyric Opera), and has worked live with the area’s major musical, poetic, and visual artists.
In addition to promoting new work and a professional ballet company for our region, Asheville Ballet offers an annual lecture series on dance appreciation, in co-ordination with other local dance presenters, and generates educational articles on dance history and appreciation for national and local publications. The company has built a full library of dance-related materials.
Asheville Ballet’s commitment to supporting its professional adult members is evidenced by its challenging and stimulating performances, choreography, and teaching opportunities. The company also continues to nurture the careers of advanced youth members. Dancers who have worked with the ballet have performed with Alvin Ailey, Kirov Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Fort Worth Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Colorado Ballet, Hartford Ballet, Boston Ballet, Geneva Ballet, National Ballet of Cuba, and the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. Company dancers have appeared in Broadway musicals, Hollywood films, and have won titles all the way up to Miss and Mrs. America. They have also been accepted at the schools of the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Juilliard, Boston Ballet, Jose Limon, Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Robert Joffrey, and The Dance Conservatory at Purchase.
Asheville Ballet has created and found funding for scholarships for advanced dancers to pursue professional work in New York and Europe, and for underprivileged children to study dance in Asheville. The company has worked with Project Steam, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Helpmate, Elida Home, Presbyterian Home for Children, and local churches to locate and encourage new dancers and dance-appreciators. The Tix for Tots program makes hundreds of tickets available to introduce young people to the wonders of dance.