Utah Ballet will open the School of Dance Season

17 September 2018 Published in News and Announcements

The School of Dance will open its 2018/2019 season with Utah Ballet, a diverse show featuring the work of special guest Michele Wiles, former principle dancer of ABT, accompanied by live music by Dr. Vedrana Subotic, and new works from faculty members Melissa Bobick, and Christine McMillan. The program also includes a reimagining of Paquita Grand Pas Classique from Victoria Stocki-Kim, notable artist and former soloist with Universal Ballet Company of Seoul. 

In her piece, ordinary resilience, Christine McMillan explores ideas of vulnerability, vigilance, strength and resilience as twelve women navigate personal internal landscapes. “How do we experience ourselves as individuals within a group?  Even within commonality of experience, the perceptions are unique to each individual.” Says McMillan. “How do we navigate this on a daily basis?”  

Melissa Bobick’s new contemporary ballet, entitled, Fractured, explores a movement style inspired by the emotions felt when lives are fractured. “How is our experience altered when the pieces of our lives fail to come together? How do we coordinate the different versions of ourselves as we cultivate them to present to others? How do these internal negotiations with our fabricated self-identities affect us physically? The careful dissection of these questions served as my point of origin for the creation of movement in this piece,” says Bobick. In Fractured, she has crafted a unique movement language from these themes. By highlighting intentional dissimilarities, while carefully blending variations in dynamics, tempi, and qualities, Bobick lays bare the interplay between the individual and the group as they navigate the balance between their autonomy and their interdependence.

Guest Artist Michele Wiles has created an new piece for Utah Ballet. “Inspired by the seemingly mundane New York City bird most ignore every day,Birds of a feather is a celebration of the surprising and under-appreciated beauty and prowess of pigeons, as well as a subtle nod to the comical nature of these creatures. Beyond this, though, it is an ode to the poignant parallels between these impressive birds and ballet.” For example, says Wiles “Pigeons, sometimes called ‘evolutionary geniuses,’ have evolved over time to live in a vast array of climates and environments. They have been thriving and progressing as a species for centuries despite extreme temperatures, urbanization, difficult climates, and lack of resources. Over the course of ballet’s progression, the body of a dancer has evolved to physically take on so much more than before. We as a species of artist have grown immensely in strength, adaptability, creativity, and intelligence, surviving the test of time in the same way pigeons have. “ 

Victoria Stocki-Kim has staged the Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet Oleg Vinogradov version of PaquitaGrand Pas Classique for Utah Ballet. This version was first staged by Vinogradov, after Marius Petipa, in 1978. In 1998, he became Artistic Director of Universal Ballet Company of Korea where Victoria danced as a Soloist for a span of fourteen years. The Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet still retains Vinogradov's version in their repertory, and many companies throughout the world include his version of the piece in their repertories. Set in Spain during the occupation of Napoleon’s army, Paquita tells the story of the young gypsy girl, Paquita, who is unaware that she is really of noble birth and was abducted by gypsies when she was an infant after the assassination of her parents. 

Don’t miss this exciting evening of ballet! October 4 – 20thin the Marriott Center for Dance! Purchase tickets at the door or online at Tickets.utah.edu, free admission for students with their UID via Artspass.