Final Student Dance Gala to feature generational “greats” Balanchine and Tchaikovsky

Dancers perform "Serenade (Excerpt)" during An Evening of Pas de Deux featuring Alumni Artist, Wednesday, August 2, 2018, in the Amphitheater. BRIAN HAYES/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

After a seven-week summer course, the School of Dance students will be performing their final pieces to display their technical and stylistic growth.

At 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, the School of Dance students will perform in the Amphitheater as their seven-week summer draws to a close.

The young dancers had the opportunity to perform some of the pieces included in Sunday’s Student Dance Gala during the first performance; however, there have been some additions to the program. Students in the hip-hop workshop will be performing a piece choreographed by the class instructor, Rachael Humphrey Leonard. Additionally, Igor Stravinsky’s “Firebird” will be performed by two ballet dancers with the same choreography at different times during the show.

“It is fun because the dancers get a second chance to perform their pieces,” said Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, artistic director of the School of Dance.

The performance will include dancers from Chautauqua’s workshop program, Festival Dancers and Apprentice Dancers, who will present several different forms of dance, including hip-hop and ballet.

Featured composers include Johann Sebastian Bach, Adolphe Adam, Maurice Ravel, Aaron Copland, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky. Bonnefoux said he is particularly excited to see the students perform George Balanchine’s “Serenade,” with music composed by Tchaikovsky.

“It has been a really great season,” Bonnefoux said. “We have some really talented dancers this season coming from all over the U.S. It’s exciting for us that we are able to draw such talent.”

The performance will open with a piece choreographed by Associate Director Maris Battaglia, — “Bach Concerto.” Directly following will be a solo from Stravinsky’s “Firebird.” The dance was choreographed by Bonnefoux and will be performed by student Cate Walter.

Next in the program, Workshop Dancers Christiana Cecere and Finn Faulconer will perform “Peasant Pas de Deux” from “Giselle,” which is composed by Adolphe Adam and choreographed by Glenda Lucena, ballet mistress. Tomaso Albinoni’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Violin Concerto in E” by Bach, both choreographed by Battaglia, will follow.

The Apprentice Dancers will perform the next piece, titled “In the Interim,” with music by Ravel and choreography by Mark Diamond, the School of Dance’s associate artistic director. Diamond is celebrating his 30th year at Chautauqua this season with Battaglia.

Following a brief intermission, a hip-hop piece choreographed by Leonard will be performed. Then, Workshop Dancer Melanie Cuddeback will present the second solo dance to “Firebird.”

The male Workshop Dancers will then perform “Guys Will Be Guys,” composed by Copland with Battaglia’s choreography. Apprentice and Workshop Dancers will then perform “Ecstatic Orange,” set to music by Michael Torke and choreographed by Sasha Janes, director of contemporary studies.

The performance will end with Bonnefoux’s favorite piece, choreographed by Balanchine — Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade.”

“It is exciting to give the audience a second chance to see ‘Serenade,’ ” Bonnefoux said.

Tags : Chautauqua School of Dance GalaDance GalaSchool of DanceSchool of Dance Gala

The author Lexie Erdos

Lexie Erdos is a rising senior at Wagner College, where she is pursuing a degree in English literature. Erdos will be covering the dance programs, the CPOA, the board of trustees and arts administration for the Daily. She is the current editor-in-chief of her college newspaper, The Wagnerian. She is an avid lover of animals, yoga and gardening. Upon graduation, she intends to continue her education in veterinary medicine.