New works and fresh perspectives

The final program in our season is around the corner (Up Close on Hope, April 10-25), and though the end of the season is in sight, the company is as busy as ever preparing for a wide-ranging show. This third installment of our popular black box theatre series features a total of nine pieces, seven of which are either world premieres or company premieres. Here are a few highlights:

“NEAR ABROAD” BY SYDNEY SKYBETTER

This will be the FBP choreographic debut for Sydney Skybetter, a contemporary choreographer and recent recipient of RISCA fellowship. Sydney’s choreography has been performed around the country, most recently at the Kennedy Center, Boston Center for the Arts, and Jacob’s Pillow. Near Abroad premiered at the Dance Theater Workshop in Manhattan and was originally a dance for a man and a woman. For FBP, Sydney is adapting Near Abroad – a physically intimate yet emotionally distant pas de deux – for two men. The work references the antithetic impulse to contain yet remain separate from one another, exploring the physicality of partnership and loss.

Rhode Island premiere

Below, the choreographer performs in Near Abroad at Jacob’s Pillow in Beckett, Mass.

 

“MEIN WEG” BY JOSEPH MORRISSEY

Joseph’s choreography has been featured in recent Up Close on Hope programs (“In Passing” pictured below). Mein Weg “lays bare the ultimate stretch and strength of the body, something that classical dancers often work to disguise” according to Robert Wesner, Artistic Director of the Neos Dance Theatre, the company for which Mein Weg was created for in 2011. Set to Arvo Pärt‘s eerie and powerful score of the same name the piece makes use of a dynamic classical ballet technique throughout its intricate solos and duets. Five dancers are on their own individual path while intersecting with each other at diverse moments in time and space. Translated from German, Mein Weg means “my way.”

Rhode Island premiere

Alan Alberto and Ruth Whitney in Joseph Morrissey's "In Passing." Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

Alan Alberto and Ruth Whitney in Joseph Morrissey’s “In Passing.” Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

“ALL THE BIRDS BECOME SILENT TO THE MOON’S COMPLAINS” BY VILIA PUTRIUS

It has been a few years since long-time company dancer Vilia Putrius choreographed for her colleagues, and with this new work, Vilia makes an impressive return. All the birds is a drama following a girl from youthful innocence to womanhood and into a tragic descent into self-loathing, and eventual suicide. Throughout the emotional piece, her “former self” haunts her as other dancers symbolizing temptation, obsession, addiction torment her. The gripping scenario plays out against a heart-wrenching aria by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos.  The translation for the Portuguese aria is below:

Evening, a rosy, slow and transparent cloud
Over the space dreamy and beautiful
The Moon sweetly appears in the horizon,
Decorating the afternoon like a nice damsel
Who rushes and dreamy adorns herself
With an anxious soul to become beautiful
Shout all Nature to the Sky and to the Earth!
All birds become silent to the Moon’s complains
And the Sea reflects its great splendor.
Softly, the shining Moon just awakes
The cruel missing that laughs and cries.
Evening, a rosy, slow and transparent cloud
Over the space dreamy and beautiful…

World premiere. Dedicated to former Lithuanian National Opera & Ballet Theater principal dancer Jonas Katakinas.

Below, the Villa-Lobos aria, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.

“3•23” BY JORGE RULLÁN

3•23 is the professional choreographic debut of FBP trainee Jorge Rullán. The piece premiered as a last-minute addition to FBP’s recent program JuxtaPOSE at The Vets. Jorge – just 19 years old – proves he is a budding talent with powerful, moving choreography in this group work set to a dynamic and stirring score by German composer Nils Frahm.

 

Up Close on Hope Program 3 runs April 10-25. Visit our website for more information or to purchase tickets online.

Share

Announcing Assaf Benchetrit as Guest Faculty for SDI 2015

 

Benchetrit_220

Assaf Benchetrit began his dance and music studies at the Rubin Academy for Music and Dance in Jerusalem, Israel. Upon graduation, he danced with the Jerusalem Dance Theater, the Panov Ballet, and later with The Israeli National Ballet Company. During his military service, Assaf received the “Remarkable Dancer” prize from the Israeli government which allowed him to continue dancing while serving. After completing his military service, he arrived to United States to dance with companies such as The Joffrey, Metropolitan Classical Ballet, Alabama Ballet, and Gelsey Kirkland Ballet. Throughout his career, Assaf toured through England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and numerous other countries. He performed lead roles in the majority of renowned ballet productions such as Swan Lake as Siegfried, Don Quixote as Basilio, La Corsaire as Ali, La Bayadere as Solar, Coppelia as Franz, Sleeping Beauty as the Prince, the title-role in Petrushka, and a number of George Balanchine works including Apolloin the title-role, Donizetti Variations and the Nutcracker as Cavalier. Assaf holds a joint B.S in computer science and B.F.A in dance degrees with academic honors from Montclair State University, and an M.F.A degree with academic honors in dance from Hollins/ADF/Frankfurt. He was a faculty member at Columbia University (Barnard College), Rutgers University, Montclair State University, and Raritan Valley Community College, where he taught ballet, mens’ class, pas de deux, variations, and modern dance. He is currently Assistant Professor of Dance at UNH.

Share

Find out more about SDI’s new Director…

Marissa Parmenter - Company Dancer

Marissa Parmenter returned to Festival Ballet Providence after having danced for the company from 2002-2006. Her most memorable FBP roles were Pingril, the witch in The Widow’s Broom, Finger Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, and the Nurse in Romeo & Juliet. Before returning to FBP she danced for Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montreal, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater and BalletMet Columbus. In 2008, Ms. Parmenter was honored to participate in Paris’s prestigious L’Ete de la Danse with Les Grands Ballet. She has performed as a guest artist with many companies in the US including Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, and Boston Ballet.

Ms. Parmenter has been fortunate enough to create works with leading choreographers, Ohad Naharin, James Kudelka, Mauro Bigonzetti, Edwaard Liang, Dominic Walsh and Viktor Plotnikov. She has also had the pleasure of performing works by icons such as Christopher Wheeldon, Jiri Kylian, Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano and Alejandro Cerrudo.IMG_0222.jpg

Ms. Parmenter has previously been on faculty at BalletMet Academy and Passe Dance Center. She has been a guest teacher for Rice University, Sam Houston University, University of Houston, and Wheaton College. Ms. Parmenter has been awarded the Sono Osato and the Caroline H. Newhouse grants for dancer higher education. Her choreography has been performed at Hollins University and at Wheaton College.

Ms.Parmenter received her MFA from Hollins University in collaboration with the Forsythe Company in 2014 and is on faculty at FBP School as well as Artistic Assistant and Director of FBP School’s Summer Dance Intensive. She is married to FBP dancer Ty Parmenter and they have a beautiful son, Miles.

Marissa-JohnHall

Share

Coma previews

Chances are, you are probably aware that Viktor Plotnikov‘s thrilling, moving Coma returns to the stage as part of JuxtaPOSE at The Vets next weekend. This choreographic masterwork leaves audiences spellbound from the moment the curtain rises on a gripping, haunting scene.

Vilia Putrius is slated to reprise the role of “Black Angel” but for the most part, the cast of this ballet is entirely new to the ballet since the last time it was performed in Rhode Island, seven years ago. As we look forward to the ballet’s long-awaited return, here’s a look at what’s in store:

[simpleviewer gallery_id=”37″]

Share

Announcing Shura Baryshnikov as Guest Faculty for SDI 2015

 

Shura Baryshnikov

Shura Baryshnikov

SHURA BARYSHNIKOV is a Rhode Island-based educator, improvisor, dancer and movement designer.  Shura has worked as a choreographer and movement consultant for Trinity Repertory Company, The Wilbury Theatre Group, Bridge Repertory Company, Elemental Theatre Collective and on a number of Brown/Trinity MFA productions.  As a freelance dancer, she has performed in works by Heidi Henderson, Ali Kenner-Brodsky and Betsy Miller, among others, and with Aerplaye Dance, American Dance Legacy Initiative, Lostwax Multimedia Dance and Festival Ballet Providence.  Shura is a teaching associate in the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University and has also taught movement and choreographed for students at MIT, Dean College, Rhode Island College, Salve Regina University and at Earthdance in Plainfield, MA.  Shura’s performance work has been presented by the RISD Museum, Festival Ballet Providence, the Providence Fringe Festival and in Earthdance’s Moving Arts Lab.

Share

In Rehearsal: Viktor Plotnikov’s “Coma”

Gallery

Rehearsals for Viktor Plotnikov’s “Coma” have been underway since the new year, and with each passing day the ballet – arguably the defining achievement of Viktor’s choreographic career – takes shape with impressive precision and breathtaking clarity. Here’s a collection … Continue reading

Share