Choreographer Thomas Vacanti’s describes his new work “Enroulement”

Tom Vacanti
Tom Vacanti is an assistant professor of ballet at UMass Amherst.

“Enroulement” has been a ballet that has lived in my head for a number of years, and I have found a perfect opportunity here at Festival Ballet Providence to bring it to life. The literal translation of “enroulement” is “curl”, “spiral”, “winding”, and I have choreographed a ballet that embellishes the ballet technique with these qualities. The music I chose for Enroulement is by Kevin Volans. Though he now lives in Ireland, Kevin Volans was born in South Africa, and first established himself internationally with a series of works – most famously the string quartet “White Man Sleeps”, which I am using for this ballet – that made use of the indigenous music of his homeland.


As with much of Volans’s music, ideas don’t so much develop as explode into action. Choreographically, I am following his lead. The dancers’ steps and musicality, full of intricately worked rhythmic patterns, create engaging “scenes” and motifs within the ballet that come together as a cohesive whole at the end. Out of this emerges an intricate conversation of overlapping ideas, within which individual moments seem an echo of music and dance we already knew while others seemed startlingly fresh.

The spring program of FBP’s Up Close on Hope will feature the world-premiere of Vacanti’s “Enroulement” along with nine other pieces. For more information on Up Close on Hope, visit our website. 


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