Ballet is more than just a classical performance of “Swan Lake,” and this weekend the ballet division aims to prove that.
BYU’s Ballet Showcase will take place Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 along with a 2 p.m. show on Saturday. Both the Ballet Showcase Company and the Theatre Ballet will perform, offering a wide variety of themes, styles and movement representing the diversity of ballet.
Kalise Child, Ballet Showcase artistic director, said in addition to some classical ballet performances, there will also be a story piece as well as a few contemporary and neo-classical works.
“The audience will walk away knowing that ballet is capable of so much more than originally thought,” Child said. “It’s very versatile and offers a taste of everything.”
Many of the showcase’s works focus on overcoming obstacles, said Lynne Thompson, promotion director for the ballet division. One piece, “Shadows of Oppression,” is an abstract, contemporary ballet built upon the natural human response to oppression. Each dancer created a gesture to portray what oppression meant to them.
“A lot of the showcase focuses on learning to move on and find strength,” Thompson said, citing “Velvet Revolution,” a piece representing a woman’s journey to transcend the past, as another example. The music for that piece was written by Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov after three years of depression.
“The sense of overcoming trials can be felt through the music,” Thompson said.
In addition to those works, other performances don’t focus on any one theme and instead focus on providing contrast and entertaining the audience. Margaret Tata, a dance major in the Ballet Showcase, said her favorite performance is “Fascinatin’ Rhythm,” a fast-paced and upbeat piece directed by Suzi Wood and set to the music of George Gershwin.
“The music is fun and really different from everything else,” Tata said. “It feels like an old Gene Kelly movie.”
The showcase will take place in the Dance Production Theatre in room 166 of the Richards Building. Tickets are $6 and are available at the Harris Fine Arts Ticket Office or at the door.