Drawing from Artistic Director Hope Muir’s vast array of artists, choreographers and collaborators, Charlotte Ballet returns to Chautauqua Institution with its “International Series” at 8:15 p.m. tonight, July 3, in the Amphitheater.
“The works will cover a broad performance spectrum — from classical ballet to modern dance — and showcase iconic and well-established choreographers,” Muir said. “Look for a range of works from distinguished artists.”
For the classicalist, Charlotte Ballet will present Sir Frederick Ashton’s Balcony Pas de Deux from “Romeo and Juliet”; Frederick’s choreography debuted with the Royal Danish Ballet in 1955.
Contrastingly, the company will stage a series of Merce Cunningham solos from “Night of 100 Solos: A Centennial Event” — a tri-city event held on April 16, which celebrated what would have been the American modern dance icon’s 100th birthday. Dancer Anson Zwingelberg represented Charlotte Ballet at the New York City-leg of the performance.
Rounding out the four-piece show will be “IN Cognito” by Helen Pickett — commissioned and premiered by Charlotte Ballet in April of this year — and “Petite Ceremonie” by Medhi Walerski.
Pickett derived “IN Cognito” from North Carolina-native Tom Robbins’ book titled Villa Incognito. In the piece, nine dancers “race with time, wrestle with furniture, hide and re-find their identities, waltz with abandon, wholly connect and willfully disconnect with gusto,” Pickett said in her choreographer’s notes.
The piece draws on Villa Incognito’s themes — transformation, liberation and celebration — and particularly one line from the book: “ … to perform without a net is ecstasy. To perform without focus is fatal.”
“Petite Ceremonie,” by French choreographer Walerski, was commissioned and premiered in 2011 by Ballet BC in Vancouver. Walerski has described it as: “A group of people searching for the right space, the perfect balance. Men and women, different brains. Boxes and wires trying to create a congruent image.”
The piece is set to music by Mozart, Bellini, Justice, Goodman and Vivaldi.
“Even though Charlotte Ballet has been here for so many years, I think we’re going to see some fresh choreography and continue to see growth in the company that we’re excited about,” said Deborah Sunya Moore, vice president of performing and visual arts.
This is Charlotte Ballet’s second season at Chautauqua under Muir’s direction.
Prior to the Amp performance, Muir and company will host a dance preview at 7 p.m. in Smith Wilkes Hall, sponsored by the Chautauqua Dance Circle.
Charlotte Ballet will return to the Institution during Week Four for the company’s second residency and for “Made in Charlotte” — a selection of commissioned works — on July 15.