– 8, 2009
Richmond Ballet Studio Theatre
- Apollo by George Balanchine
- Lines Squared - A World Premiere by Jessica Lang
Preview of Lines Squared and an interview with Jessica Lang
The work of modern artist Piet Mondrian inspired the newest commission for Richmond Ballet from choreographer Jessica Lang. Mondrian is a modern artist who is probably best known for his grid-like paintings featuring bold color blocks between black vertical and horizontal lines. Mondrian’s influence extended to the fields of design and architecture, and Lang knew that Mondrian could also serve as the inspiration for an interesting dance. Her new work, entitled Lines Squared, had its beginnings during Lang’s student days at The Juilliard School when she “danced” a report on Mondrian for an art survey class. Later, she participated in an American Ballet Theatre outreach project that focused on a number of visual artists, for which she choreographed a three-minute section on Mondrian.
Lang chose the music of Thomas Metcalfe and John Metcalf for the new ballet, which has five sections, each representing a different color and mood. While the piece initially appears very physically structured, “it arrives at an emotional place,” says Lang. Richmond Ballet Production Director MK Stewart has designed sets for Lines Squared that reference Mondrian’s linear style, and Richmond Ballet Costume Director Tamara Cobus has created costumes for the work that reflect the artist’s dramatic color sense.
Created in 1928, Apollo is George Balanchine’s oldest surviving ballet. It was his first great success and marked the beginning of his lifelong partnership with Igor Stravinsky, who conceived of and composed the score as a ballet. In this quintessential example of Balanchine’s spare, neoclassical choreographic style, the young god Apollo is visited and instructed by three muses – Calliope, Muse of poetry; Polyhymnia, Muse of mime; and Terpsichore, Muse of dance and song. Paired with this Balanchine classic is an eagerly awaited world premiere.
Igor Antonov in Apollo. Choreography by George Balanchine.
(c) The George Balanchine Trust. Photography by Suzanne Grandis.
Studio 1 is performed in Richmond Ballet's Studio Theatre.
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