I Conversed With You In A DreamTuesday, May 12, 2009
I consider myself to be both priviledged list and extremely lucky to get the occasional invitation to watch a choreographer's work in progress. It is interesting to see the beginning and intermediate steps (in some cases raw steps) that lead to a finished and polished choreographic work. These works in progress come with explanations, reasons and what inspired them. In the case below choreographer Simone Orlando's talk (she was elegantly dressed to kill!) was preceded by high praise from Ballet BC Artistic Director John Alleyne who also explained how the grant in question works. There was an additional surprise. Her name is Jocelyn Morlock.
Dear Ballet BC Supporter,
You are invited to attend a FREE, informal showing of a new work by Ballet BC member and choreographer Simone Orlando created through a Fellowship Initiative Grant from the New York Choreographic Institute.
The process, which began on April 20, culminates with this post-work presentation at the Scotiabank Dance Centre on Monday evening. This innovative new work features Ballet BC company dancers Makaila Wallace, Jones Henry, Connor Gnam, Maggie Forgeron, and Leon Feizo-Gas.
WHEN: MONDAY, MAY 11, 2009 @ 5:30pm
WHERE: SCOTIABANK DANCE CENTRE - THE FARIS STUDIO
677 Davie Street Vancouver
This is an open-invitation event, so please feel free to bring and invite friends.
"Ballet BC has been awarded a Fellowship Initiative grant from the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet, to support the development of new choreography in a studio setting. The choreographer will be Simone Orlando. Peter Martins, Founder and Artistic Director of the Institute states: 'The Fellowship is meant to help ballet companies to create an environment in which a choreographer can develop ideas without the pressure of stage production. The Institute is committed to classical choreographers who will be creating works for the future."
Lauren, Rebecca and I arrived early so that we could sit up front centre. At the Farris Studio this means that your feet are on the dance floor. Rebecca no longer has to explain to anybody, as I do, that we like to hear dancer's gasp for air and see the sweat on their bodies. We did manage to sit in that front row but not before I greeted young Vancouver new music composer Jocelyn Morlock. I could not figure out why she was there. Then I spotted trombonist and co-director of the Turning Point Ensemble, Jeremy Berkman and in another area of the studio composer Owen Underhill who is the musical director of the Turning Point Ensemble. I was intrigued. Lauren was dead serious staring at the five Ballet BC dancers who were warming up (one of the nice extras of being in a work-in-progress situation).
Simone Orlando, above centre, set us straight when she mentioned that her ballet was based on two pieces of music. One was Antonin Dvorak's Piano Trio in E Minor, Op 90 "Dumky" (1891) and the other (aha!) Jocelyn Morlock's I Conversed With You In A Dream. Morlock's work is inspired by Sappho's fragmentary poems. It is a duo for flute and piano. The version we heard was with pianist Rachel Iwaasa and flutist Mark McGregor, below right.
The Dvorak piece had lots of classical ballet which contrasted so nicely with Morlock's music as Orlando incorporated more modern ballet into her dancer's movements. Complicating matters rather nicely, Orlando could only use five dancers, so many of them (in a work full of Greek gods and godesses) played more than one god. Jones Henry seen here with Rebecca and Lauren played both Zeus and Hephaestus (god of fire and especially the blacksmith's fire).
My girls behaved. The afternoon was most pleasant. My only regret, while watching dancer Makaila Wallace, was to wonder why I have never had the opportunity to photograph her. She is Vancouver's epitome of the classical ballerina (but so sumptuously well shaped, nonetheless!) now that Andrea Hodge has retired from active dancing.