BYU’s ballet students will share their talents with a variety of choreography this weekend. The annual fall “Ballet Showcase” premieres Friday and Saturday, Nov. 7–8 in the Richard Building’s Dance Studio Theatre.
The showcase will feature performances and choreography by students and faculty of BYU’s Department of Dance. The Ballet Showcase company is an advanced class of ballet dancers. The Theatre Ballet company will be guest performers at the Showcase along with the premier ballet group.
The Ballet Showcase is managed and directed by Shayla Bott, and her original choreography will be featured as well. The performance will include ten different numbers and one brief intermission with dances ranging from classical to contemporary ballet.
“The BYU Ballet Showcase concert is always very unique in that it is a repertory concert,” Bott said. “This means that instead of an evening length concert, the concert is made up of smaller works. This concert will feature choreographers from Europe, local choreographers who are currently dancing on a local professional ballet company, BYU faculty, and two student choreographers.”
The performance choreographed by faculty include “Dixit Domnius” by Karyn Rosborough Willis, “Spring” and “Summer” by artistic director Shayla Bott, “Helstu Traust” by Kaitlyn Potts, “Oneself” by Hilary Wolfey, “Stockholm Syndrome” by Jessica Salter, “Virtues’ Oddity” by Alexandre Munz and “S/S 2015” by Ihsan Rustem. The numbers choreographed by students include “Warrior Dance” by Hannah Brown and “One Step Back” by Aubrey Pearson.
“Dance majors spend a lot of time creating small choreographic studies for choreography and composition classes,” Bott said. “For the two student choreographers’ whose work is in the concert, it is a nice next step for them to create a larger work with a bigger cast and be mentored throughout the process and finally have their creative research presented in a formal setting with full production elements.”
The Showcase will highlight traditional classical ballet or innovative contemporary ballet. There are some neo-classical ballets with eye catching costumes by Priscilla Hao. Additionally, some cutting edge work by European choreographers Ihsan Rustem and Alexandre Munz, who was trained at the Paris Opera Ballet and performed as a principal soloist with the Berlin Opera Ballet, will be featured.
“I think the audience will enjoy the diversity that is in this year’s Ballet Showcase,” said Kaley Johnson, a dancer in the showcase. “The audience will be entertained and intrigued by the different styles, choreography, and genres of the whole show. It is enough to leave you wanting more, but won’t drag on.”
There will be nightly shows at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee Saturday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $6.00 and are available through the Harris Fine Arts Center or Marriott Center, by telephone at (801) 422-4322 or online at arts.byu.edu.
“I think that it is just neat to be able to see contemporary ballet in this performance,” said Hannah Brown, student choreographer of ‘Warrior Dance’ and current President of Theatre Ballet. “We are trying to defy gravity as we dance. I hope that people enjoy the show and enjoy the variety of pieces that have been rehearsed. This is a great opportunity to have both Ballet companies performing together.”