By Molly Powers, marketing and communications coordinator, College of Fine Arts
Visiting Guest Artists Gabrielle Lamb and Katie Scherman, both honored with Princess Grace Awards for Dance and Choreography, will premiere new works with the Utah Ballet dancers at the University of Utah. Additionally, two premieres from faculty members Jennifer Weber and Melissa Bobick, as well as reimagined and restaged excerpts from Marius Petipa’s masterwork, “Raymonda” will be showcased on the program Feb. 2-4, 2017, at the Marriott Dance Center.
The classic and contemporary mix performance will highlight the broad range of ballet, from “Raymonda,” originally choreographed in 1898 to contemporary ballet works created in 2017. The program promises to delight, entertain and inspire with five unique approaches to the art of ballet.
New York City-based Lamb redefines the essentials of ballet technique – precision flow, and the defiance of gravity – as she searches for new intersections of the organic and the surprising. She will premiere her new work entitled “Springload.” Lamb, who began choreographing in 2005, has won the National Choreographic Competition of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2009 and 2013, first prizes in Milwaukee Ballet’s Genesis International Choreographic Competition and Western Michigan University’s National Choreographic Competition. She was named winner of the Banff Centre’s 2014-15 Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award and in 2014 she was honored with a New York City Center choreography fellowship.
Katie Scherman’s new work for Utah Ballet is entitled “it’s about time.” Scherman describes her work as coming from a place of curiosity, using vulnerability as a gateway for movement inspiration. A California native, she has performed with Houston Ballet II, The Washington Ballet Studio Company, Trey McIntyre, Hubbard Street 2, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Central California Ballet, Terpsicorps Dance Theatre and BodyVox to name a few. She graduated from Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet/Dominican University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and received her Master of Fine Arts in dance from the University of Oregon.
“Legacy,” a new work by visiting assistant professor Bobick, uses a fusion of the classical ballet vernacular and narrative storytelling to acknowledge the efforts of the women who have come before us, so that we might recognize and honor their sacrifices and therein find our inspiration to continue their legacy.
Weber brings to the stage “Tethered,” a new work focused on the concept of “difference,” which all too often can lead to violence and chaos throughout the world. Her work embraces the other side of the spectrum – focusing on the richness that difference can bring to us all. Her choreography is an abstraction of the acknowledgement, honoring and acceptance of difference and diversity on all levels and the true celebration that can be found using this approach.
Excerpts from Petipa’s masterwork “Raymonda” have been restaged by faculty member James Ady for the performance. Reimagined from the original choreography from 1898 set to Alexander Glazunov’s expansive score, the University of Utah dancers bring history to life before our eyes. Originally performed at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg with a Moscow premiere at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1900, the work is currently performed by numerous ballet companies around the globe.