Agon & Orchis Valentine’s Day Sale

AO Valentine's Day Sale
Orchid photo by A. Cemal Ekin

Give the gift of groundbreaking ballet this season by purchasing AGON & ORCHIS tickets at a huge discount. For one day only on Feb. 14, 2013, every seat in the Vets will be 20% off. There’s no better time to buy tickets for this amazing production.

Don’t miss your chance to see this monumental production at an incredible discount!

To Purchase Tickets:
IN PERSON Vets Box Office (One Avenue of the Arts, Providence) or PPAC Box Office (220 Weybosset St., Providence); BY PHONE 401-421-ARTS; or ONLINE by clicking here and using code VALENTINE

Happy Valentine’s Day from Festival Ballet Providence!

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Two views of Agon: In rehearsal and on stage

This caught our eye today: FBP Company Dancers Vilia Putrius and Mindaugas Bauzys rehearsing (left) and performing (right) the lead pas de deux from George Balanchine’s masterpiece Agon.

Vilia Putrius and Mindaugas Bauzys in rehearsal and performance of Agon. Rehearsal photo by A. Cemal Ekin. Performance photo by Thomas Nola-Rion. Agon choreography by George Balanchine. © The George Balanchine Trust.
Vilia Putrius and Mindaugas Bauzys in rehearsal and performance of Agon. Rehearsal photo by A. Cemal Ekin. Performance photo by Thomas Nola-Rion from Together We Dance 2 in October, 2012. Agon choreography by George Balanchine. © The George Balanchine Trust.

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February Vacation Events at FBP

Mary Ann Mayer
Mary Ann Mayer
School Director, Festival Ballet Providence

We hope you will join us next week as we open our doors for some very special events during the February vacation week.

Children Ages 2.5 to 5 years of age come join us for some fun … and bring an adult!

  • For just $10, we are inviting you to join us on Tuesday, February 19th and Thursday, February 21st from 11:30 am to 12:15 pm in a Music and Movement class while adults visit the Grand Studio for a look inside our professional company rehearsals.
  • For the first time this year I have been teaching this very new Music and Movement class.  It is truly one of the highlights of my week when Richard Derry and I come together to sing, dance and make music.  We are excited to share this opportunity with your children since we strive to bring the joy of music and dance to the lives of everyone.
  • Adults and children will leave the studio inspired and ready for a treat.  You will receive a coupon for a free coffee courtesy of Seven Stars Bakery which is directly across the street from our studios.

Check out this video of my Music and Movement class:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7UGpYTT9G8]

Intermediate and Advanced Level Students prepare to sweat…

  • On Wednesday, February 20th, Friday, February 22nd and Saturday, February 23rd from 9:30 am to 11:00 am FBP’s artistic staff will be teaching ballet classes for any interested student at the intermediate to advanced level.  It will be fun and inspiring, not to mention, a great way to stay in shape during the vacation week.  Following class you are invited to observe company rehearsal from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm.  All of this for just $10.  These classes are being offered to the community as well as FBP students…. come join us!
  • As you leave the studio inspired, be prepared for a special treat …. You will receive a coupon for a free coffee courtesy of Seven Stars Bakery which is directly across the street from our studios.

A peek inside company rehearsal…

  • As the company prepares for the upcoming production of Agon & Orchis, you will be impressed to see the choreographic process and the intensity with which these  professionals work.  Don’t miss this opportunity to see dancers in an informal and inspiring environment.
  • To order tickets for Agon & Orchis click here.

Mary Ann Mayer is the director of the Festival Ballet Providence School.

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Agon & Orchis is coming. Join us.

One month from now Agon & Orchis will be history.

By then, the ideas, sketches, and designs of the talented collaborators will have been put into focus, their ideas fully realized . The dancers, having had their moment on stage, will take their final bows and the curtain will fall on the Vets stage. They will have done all this – each one of them – for the chance to deliver a single yet complex work of theater to the public. One month from now, Agon & Orchis will belong to you, our audience.

This month, we want to take you inside Agon & Orchis and give you unique insights and angles of this incredible collaboration in order to inform and enrich the total experience of this production. We want you to see what we see – a team of artists each bringing their incomparable talent to the center of this project.

We are proud of each one of the creative minds and bodies that continue to flood Festival Ballet Providence from day to day. Their potential is bounded only by their dedication, which is immense by every measure.

Agon & Orchis is evolving. The excitement is building. We want you to be a part of it.

Join us.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jISMiTOjJq4]

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Festival Ballet Providence closing due to impending blizzard

Due to the impending winter storm, Festival Ballet Providence will be closed on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. All FBP Company rehearsals and School classes that are scheduled for Friday have been canceled.

A decision about Saturday’s School classes, Company rehearsals and the chatterBOXtheatre performance of Little Red Riding Hood will be made this afternoon. Stay connected with us on Facebook or check for cancelations on ABC 6, NBC 10 or CBS 12. You can also call the studio at 401-353-1129.

Stay warm and safe!

-Festival Ballet Providence

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Photos from the opening of Little Red Riding Hood

This weekend’s chatterBOXtheatre production of Little Red Riding Hood was 100% sold out! The dancers and the audience had a blast performing this lively ballet. Check out some photos from the performance and the milk and cookies reception. All photos by Thomas Nola-Rion.

Wolf (Dylan Giles). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.
Wolf (Dylan Giles). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

Little Red (Brenna DiFrancesco) and Mother (Kirsten Evans). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion
Little Red (Brenna DiFrancesco) and Mother (Kirsten Evans). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion

Little Red (Brenna DiFrancesco). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.
Little Red (Brenna DiFrancesco). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

Bee (Madeleine Issa), Butterfly (Louisa Chapman), Mushroom (Eugenia Zinovieva), and Squirrel (Alex Lantz). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.
Bee (Madeleine Issa), Butterfly (Louisa Chapman), Mushroom (Eugenia Zinovieva), and Squirrel (Alex Lantz). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

Grandmother (Tegan Rich). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.
Grandmother (Tegan Rich). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

Grandmother (Tegan Rich) and Wolf (Dylan Giles). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion
Grandmother (Tegan Rich) and Wolf (Dylan Giles). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion

Mother (Kirsten Evans), Little Red (Brenna DiFrancesco) and Grandmother (Tegan Rich). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion
Mother (Kirsten Evans), Little Red (Brenna DiFrancesco) and Grandmother (Tegan Rich). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion

Little Red Riding Hood cast in the Finale. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion
Little Red Riding Hood cast in the Finale. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion

Policeman (Ian Matysiak) and Mother (Kirsten Evans). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.
Policeman (Ian Matysiak) and Mother (Kirsten Evans). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

Little Red Riding Hood cast in the finale of the ballet. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion
Little Red Riding Hood cast in the finale of the ballet. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion

The audience enjoys cookies from our sponsor, Seven Stars Bakery. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.
The Audience enjoys cookies from our sponsor, Seven Stars Bakery. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

The audience enjoying milk and cookies. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion
The audience enjoying milk and cookies. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion

Little Red (Brenna DiFrancesco) posing with a young audience member. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion
Little Red (Brenna DiFrancesco) posing with a young audience member. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion

The audience meeting Little Red (Brenna DiFrancesco). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion
The audience meeting Little Red (Brenna DiFrancesco). Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion

Bee (Madeleine Issa) chatting with the audience after the show. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.
Bee (Madeleine Issa) chatting with the audience after the show. Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion.

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The RISD Designers: Jessie Kim, Butterfly Costume

Jessie Kim, designer of the Butterfly costume.
Jessie Kim, designer of the Butterfly costume.

Background: Hi my name is Jessie Kim and I am from Los Angeles, CA. I have always been interested in womenswear and am very excited to further expand my knowledge in the fashion world. I am drawn to color, details, and sparkles!

Thoughts on the Collaboration: Collaborating with professional dancers was an amazing opportunity to learn how to make functional, purposeful clothes. It was challenging to take into consideration so many aspects, such as the movement, colors and the iconicity of the costumes. It was definitely a dynamic experience where designers were exposed to a realm outside of just fashion and introduced to another art form, ballet!

Jessie Kim is a junior at RISD in the Cut & Sew Costume Studio.

Butterfly costume sketch. Design by Jessie Kim.
Butterfly costume sketch. Design by Jessie Kim.

Butterfly costume sketch. Design by Jessie Kim.
Butterfly costume sketch. Design by Jessie Kim.

Butterfly Costume. Design by Jessie Kim. Photo by Matt Francis. In this photo: FBP Company Trainee Casey Dolson.
Butterfly Costume. Design by Jessie Kim. Photo by Matt Francis. In this photo: FBP Company Trainee Casey Dolson.

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The RISD Designers: Brianne Benack, Mushroom Costume

Brianne Benack, designer of the Mushroom costume.
Brianne Benack, designer of the Mushroom costume.

Background: I was born in Delaware and I grew up in Seattle and Tokyo. I have a twin sister who is also at RISD and majors in illustration, and I often ask her for artistic advice. I have always loved art and fashion design, and I especially enjoy designing sportswear.

Thoughts on the Collaboration: I had never done any costume design before this class, and so it was a really fun opportunity for me to let go a bit creatively and design with a lot of imagination. At the same time, I think we learned a lot about collaboration and about the practicalities and challenges of constructing a functional dance costume.

Brianne Benack is a junior at RISD in the Cut & Sew Costume Studio.

Mushroom Costume Sketch. Design by Brianne Benack.
Mushroom Costume Sketch. Design by Brianne Benack.

Mushroom Costume. Design by Brianne Benack. Photo by Matt Francis. In this photo: FBP Company Trainee Eugenia Zinovieva
Mushroom Costume. Design by Brianne Benack. Photo by Matt Francis. In this photo: FBP Company Trainee Eugenia Zinovieva

 

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The Excitement of an Arts Collaboration

Louisa Chapman
Louisa Chapman

“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

—Charles Darwin

Arts collaborations are an extremely exciting prospect to me. Every time I see or hear about an upcoming collaboration I pull the program closer or perk my ears up. Collaborations present an opportunity for different groups to join their strengths and ideas to create something new and powerful they could not have done on their own. In my career thus far, I have already had the privilege of being involved in amazing collaborations. In Nashville, TN the Tennessee Holocaust Commission and choreographer Gina Patterson collaborated to create a poignant version of Anne Frank in which I got to portray a version of the title character. In Columbus, OH video game programmers and choreographers worked together to create a program in which projections and sounds corresponded to the dancers movements. These experiences taught me to be eager when I learned that Festival Ballet Providence would be collaborating with students from Rhode Island School of Design’s “Cut and Sew Costume Studio” to create unique costumes for our upcoming children’s production of Little Red Riding Hood.

The process began this fall when the designers came and observed a day of rehearsals. I remember my fellow trainee, Tess and I whispered in the back of rehearsal how unique and beautiful the fashion student’s outfits were. Knowing that I am only going to wear my street clothes for five minutes on the way to and from the studio generally produces apathy towards my outfits. (I often clash, ask my friends)  The students watched rehearsal and talked with Boyko Dossev, the creator of the ballet.

The dancers did not see them until a few weeks later when they all came in with their designs for Boyko to choose between.The studio looked like an art gallery with all of their sketches against the wall. I slowly walked through, agape at the designs. It was amazing to see the designer’s varied interpretations of the creatures. For instance, in the ballet, there are three different trees. There is a tree that looks ancient, covered with vines and lichens, a tree that has a flowered tutu, reminiscent of a blossoming cherry tree, and the tree I play which is a robust brown with vibrant leaves.

The final designs were chosen and we did not hear from the designers until  they were ready for our first fitting. It was exciting to enter their studio and see the designs coming to life. The first fitting was all about the base layer of the costumes, usually a leotard or unitard. Some designers were lucky, the leotard slipped on and needed only minor adjustments. Some were not so lucky as more than one seam had to be ripped out to even get the leotard on. I was struck by how complicated it was for them to fix a problem.  One adjustment took four more to keep the proportions right and I couldn’t help but think an engineering degree would come in handy in the fashion world.

I enjoyed getting to know the designers and their lifestyles. Whereas we complain of pointe shoes that died too quickly or tight muscles, they complain of broken sewing machines and sore fingers. We have long, exhausting days but we know that at 8:30 we can go home and go to bed. They often stay until the early hours of the morning and crash before class that day. We joked about how often they fall asleep in the very slow, very warm elevator on their way to or from the studio.

We had more fittings building up to the culmination of their side of the collaboration, their Critiques. For the Critique they had to present their design along with a companion ready-to-wear look in a fashion show in front of three judges. I was so excited about the prospect of being in a fashion show!

We arrived early so the designers could do our makeup and make sure everything looked good. My designer took time to choreograph how many steps and turns I and the girl wearing her companion piece would take across the stage. She kept worrying that we wouldn’t remember and I laughingly assured her that my job was to remember choreography, this was no big deal. She looked the same as we dancers look waiting in the wings before we go on. Nervous, fidgeting, taking deep breaths, but with an intense focus in her eyes that let me know she was prepared. When the time came we modeled across the stage and then stood for the judges to verbally critique the outfits.

The critiques for all the designers were very good as they had poured so much work into their beautiful designs. I really had to bite my tongue when the one negative comment my designer got was that it was, “Too costumey”. I wanted to shoot back, “Well, it is a costume.”

Now it is our turn to put the work in. Boyko has choreographed a beautiful, funny ballet that will thrill and delight children of all ages. We are rehearsing away at the studio and cannot wait to put on our beautiful costumes and proudly perform this piece that has been a true collaboration between two talented parts. I hope you will come see the show and that this is the first of many collaborations between RISD and FBP!

Louisa Chapman is a first-year Company Trainee with Festival Ballet Providence.

Chapman in the final product of the Tree costume. Design by Jennifer Kim. Photo by Matt Francis.
Louisa Chapman wearing the Tree costume. Design by Jennifer Kim. Photo by Matt Francis.

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The RISD Designers: Fatoumata Camara, Little Red Riding Hood Costume

Fatoumata Camara
Fatoumata Camara, Designer of the Little Red Riding Hood Costume

Background: Fatoumata Camara grew up in Jersey City, NJ to a family of Guinea decent. From an early beginning, she was submersed in the fine arts world and began exploring fashion design in high school. As an artist and designer she is strongly influenced by whimsical, child-like themes and bold colors.

Thoughts on the Collaboration: Working with Festival Ballet was one the most exciting experiences I have had thus far. I was thrilled when I was chosen to design Little Red’s costume. I drew inspiration from the fashion of the CW11 hit series Gossip Girl while keeping the innocence of the traditional character. I loved working with my dancers. They were just as excited about the development of the costume as I was. The best part about this experience was seeing how the garments looked in action.

Fatoumata Camara is a junior at RISD in the Cut & Sew Costume Studio.

Design by Fatoumata Camara
Design by Fatoumata Camara

Fatoumata and FBP Company Apprentice Mady Issa at the first fitting for the Little Red Riding Hood Costume.
Fatoumata and FBP Company Apprentice Mady Issa at the first fitting for the Little Red Riding Hood Costume.

 

Little Red Riding Hood Costume. Photos by Matt Francis. Design by Fatoumata Camara. In this photo: FBP Company Apprentice Mady Issa
Little Red Riding Hood Costume. Photos by Matt Francis. Design by Fatoumata Camara. In this photo: FBP Company Apprentice Mady Issa

Little Red Riding Hood Costume. Photo by Matt Francis. Design by Fatoumata Camara. In this photo: FBP Company Apprentice Mady Issa
Little Red Riding Hood Costume. Photo by Matt Francis. Design by Fatoumata Camara. In this photo: FBP Company Apprentice Mady Issa

 

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