Ballet West’s third annual Innovations program takes the stage at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center with a fresh and exciting showcase for new and cutting edge choreography including three original works created by Ballet West dancers, for Ballet West dancers.
Principal Artist Michael Bearden, Artist Aidan DeYoung and Artist Megan Furse will premiere their works alongside two prominent choreographers from outside Ballet West – internationally recognized choreographer Helen Pickett, whose ballets have also recently been presented by Boston Ballet and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, among others – and Charlotte Boye Christensen, artistic director of Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company.
Commissioned by Ballet West
Choreography by Charlotte Boye Christensen
I would like to thank the dancers for their contributions to the work, as well as Bruce Caldwell, Heather Thackeray and Nathan Webster for their assistance in the process and valuable insight. And last but not least, thank you to Adam Sklute. - Charlotte Boye Christensen
Choreography by Aidan DeYoung
I was first introduced to the Turtle Island String Quartet by my father, Tom Diskin, when I was very young. I have always loved the way they infuse funky jazz themes into their classically based music. Their unique and eclectic style has been my biggest influence for making this piece. I want to thank them for inspiring me and allowing me the pleasure of working with their incredible talent. Lastly, I want to say that without certain people, I wouldn’t be close to where I am today, so thank you to my parents, Pat and Tom Diskin. You have inspired and will continue to inspire me. - Aidan DeYoung
Choreography by Megan Furse
Selcoutheries is an invention from the Middle English selcouth, meaning strange, marvelous, and unusual. The work was inspired in part by the dreamlike illustrations of Arthur Rackham.
Choreography by Michael Bearden
This is a ghost story, the journey of a girl passing from this world to the next.
This work was inspired by the life and music of Dmitri Shostakovich. He lived most of his life under the oppression of Stalin and the Soviet Union. He loved his country but could not stand the atrocities committed by the communist government on the people of Russia. However, he towed the party line. Some might call him a coward, while others might say he was a survivor. In any event, he lived while many of his friends were murdered or shipped off to Siberia. He continued to write music and express his true feelings through it. His works were banned twice and he was called an enemy of the State. In 1960, he reluctantly joined the Communist party. Reduced to tears and often suicidal, he accepted his fate.Shostakovich’s music is heartbreakingly beautiful at times, and dark overtones permeate it. I wanted to create a ballet that displayed the pain and fear in his life, but also the beauty he was able to achieve despite his suffering. - Michael Bearden
The Action: The Girl (Marina) enters the underworld, she is greeted in ceremonious fashion by the dead, as well as by their manipulative master, Edward. Lost in confusion and fear, she must come to terms with her hopeless circumstance and accept her fate.
But Never Doubt I Love
Commissioned by Ballet West
Choreography by Helen Pickett
"Doubt that the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move his aides, Doubt truth be a liar, But never doubt thy love."
-- “Hamlet,” William Shakespeare