Here is company dancer Alan Alberto on returning to work for a week of rehearsal with choreographer Joseph Morissey:
It was a pleasure to finally have the opportunity of meeting and working Joseph Morissey. We have know each other for several years and are both graduates from The HARID Conservatory. This past week at FBP several company dancers and apprentices had the opportunity of taking class with him and learning two of his pieces.
It was a true pleasure for me to work with Joseph because I’ve heard so much about him. The experience was wonderful. It was nice to be in the studio again since we’ve been away for about a month now.
Ruth and I learned a pas de deux which was created on a couple from ABT. We learned the material in two days. It was rather speedy but we all knew we where in a time crunch. The following two days we worked on a group piece (originally set on Stuttgart Ballet) with Mady, Jennifer and Harry. This work was a little more complicated because we had two couples learning completely different material. We spent most of Friday and Saturday morning cleaning, learning, and re-learning.
We all had a great time and did our best for a week of intense work. We’re excited to be able to work on these pieces this coming season.
Both the pas de deux – “Poised” – and the group piece – “In Passing” – will be performed during Up Close on Hope in the upcoming 36th season.
The first of two summer intensives begins today with the Junior Intensive! The students arrived this morning for their first full day of intense 9-5 classes. Our intensive programs are designed to enhance a student’s development during the summer, where they can fully focus on their classes and progress. These students not only work on their dance technique, they also have conditioning classes and lectures about dance history and other topics . It’s no surprise that these long days can be difficult to get through, so here are a few tips, courtesy of Friends of Festival Ballet Providence!
Make new friends! There are students here from many cities and towns. Making new friends can be one of the best things about Intensive.
Take Care of Your Body. No sense working all day in class and not eating right or not hydrating during the day or staying up late at night. You won’t perform well the next day.
Pack that dance bag well:
Toe tape (for lots of intense Pointe work)
Bobby pins, brush, hairspray
An extra pair of tights, ballets shoes, jazz shoes, ballet skirt and warm-ups
A note book and pen to record the corrections from teachers or difficult combinations
Snacks like a granola bar or banana (bananas are great for cramps!)
Here is company dancer Kirsten Evans writing about her adventures in Paris. Kirsten – who is recovering from a back injury – was originally Paris-bound for a dance workshop with roommate and best friend Tegan Rich (who is still participating in the workshop). Now, she is discovering Paris a different way, and hopefully stepping lightly and carefully on those cobblestone rues.
When you are presented with the opportunity to attend a summer ballet intensive in Paris, you take it, sans hesitation. When you are diagnosed with a spinal stress fracture two weeks before the end of your season, making both performing in your ballet company’s final show and participating in the summer intensive absolutely impossible, you take those two weeks to start healing your broken back and quickly find a non-dance-related excuse to keep your Parisian travel plans. Such was my predicament about a month and a half ago, just before FBP’s performance of The Sleeping Beauty.
So what ingenious justification did I come up with to save my previously purchased plane tickets and mostly memorized maps of Paris from an unceremonious trashcan burial? Why, I signed myself up for a French language class in Paris, of course! And I must say, it could not have worked out any better. This is my third week of French classes here in the City of Light, and I’ve learned so much more than comment dire Je suis une Americain danseuse de ballet!
Besides the immense amount of French language I hear, speak, write, learn, and (attempt to) use every day, simply being submerged in the Parisian culture for these past few weeks has taught me more than I ever could have anticipated. Not only have I become exposed and accustomed to the relaxed pace of this diverse city, but I’ve been able to absorb the sites and art through an (almost) completely unfiltered lens.
As I wander down les rues of my neighborhood during the day, I’m taking the time to look up and notice the clever and colorful street art that so perfectly contrasts the framed masterpieces of Monet and Renoir proudly embellishing the walls of some of the world’s most famous museums.
Between the obligatory trips to le Musee d’Orsay and La Tour Eiffel, I am exploring Oberkampf, the “bobo” hipster neighborhood two metro stops away from my apartment, and buying the sweetest cherries at my local produce stand. In the evenings I’m sampling charcuterie plates and taste-testing cheap wines in teeny little brasseries hidden away by red awnings. At night I fall asleep to the sound of throaty French voices jabbering from balconies across the way, and in the morning I wake up to the purr of Vespa’s zooming past our gate en route to the workplaces of their operators.
It’s these less obvious experiences that I hope to build upon each day. It is these unique times that will become my truly cherished memories of Paris when I’m no longer living around the corner from une fromagerie and a train ride away from Notre Dame.
To read more about Kirsten and Tegan’s trip to Paris, visit Kirsten’s blog: Setting the Barre.
(All photos by Kirsten Evans with her awesome camera)
Audiences who attended our spring program of Up Close on Hope had the opportunity to experience the FBP choreographic debut of Thomas Vacanti. His ballet –Enroulement – was a challenging and intricate task for the dancers, but was an immediate success in the black-box theatre performances.
Now, Thomas is packing his bags for Paris, where he will present a video of Enroulement at the CORPS de Ballet International Conference. Company dancers Emily Loscocco, Ian Matysiak, Beth Mochizuki, and Harry Yamakawa spent four days rehearsing and filming the ballet in May, and you can see the entire piece here:
Bon Voyage, Thomas. We hope Paris loves Enroulement as much as we did!
In case you missed the Little Red Riding Hood performances (in Feb. and March) OR the RISD Fashion Show (where the dancers performed a runway adaptation of the ballet in May), here is one last look at the most cheerful production of our season:
Video courtesy of Rhode Island Monthly, Jen McCaffery, and RISD.
145 student dancers +
30 pieces of choreography +
272 costumes +
300 roses +
more than 800 audience members =
A SUCCESSFUL 2013 CULMINATION!
The Friends of Festival Ballet Providence would like to thank all of our amazing staff, teachers and volunteers who made this production possible.
The studio is quiet, costumes are being cleaned and returned to storage, and the company and school are taking a well-deserved rest. We look forward to seeing everyone when the summer programs start up!
Culmination 2013 – the end-of-year performance involving nearly every level of the FBP School – is just around the corner! On Sunday, June 9 at 1:30pm and 6:30pm at Sapinsley Hall at Rhode Island College, the students of the FBP School take the stage for an exciting program showcasing the immense and diverse talent we have in our school.
The program features performances from each class concluding with the “Adam Suite” set to the music of composer Adolphe Adam and involving all students and levels in an grand finale.
Tickets in advance are $25 (ages 7+) and $20 (ages 3-7). All tickets at the door are $30. For tickets, call 401-353-1129.
Congratulations to our graduating seniors (pictured below): Sara Emaus, Katherine Kelley, and Laura Michaud.
Misha visited Memorial Elementary in Bedford, NH to choreograph for an event celebrating the school being named a “Blue Ribbon School” by the US Dept. of Education. The dance involves grades 1-4 (more than 400 students) each sporting their own unique hats that they use as props and, in the finale, projectiles. Thanks to the students and faculty for being such great hosts, and congratulations on the great honor!
It could be argued that in her 40-year career as a champion of the arts in Rhode Island, Iona Dobbins did more to foster the growth and quality of art in this state than any single person before or after her. Iona – who passed away in July, 2012 – was the executive director of the RI State Council on the Arts, president of the Art League of RI, and a dear friend and supporter of FBP (last year’s Together We Dance 2 gala was in honor of Iona and her contributions to FBP).
Now, Iona’s legacy lives on in what is poised to be a powerful annual event honoring Iona’s legacy and recognizing the rich products of her life’s work. The first ever “IonaFest” will take place on Saturday, September 28, 2013 and will bring together a diverse collection of arts organizations from around the state.
Central to this new event is the “IF” (IonaFest) award, which is given to a person who exemplifies Iona Dobbins’ fearless and universal love of the arts in RI. There is an open call for nominations, with a deadline of June 30 for this award. The award recipient will be selected on the following criteria:
The recipient of the IF Award will be an individual, from any walk of life, who embodies Iona Dobbins’ generosity and leadership in the arts community. The nominee should reflect Iona’s great skill at convening diverse artists and audiences; her tireless advocacy for all art forms; and her profile as an honest broker who crossed boundaries, everywhere present wherever art was being made, shown or dreamed.
To nominate an individual, or to learn more about the first annual IonaFest, please go to http://ionafest.org/