BYU Theatre Ballet performs through livestreams this weekend

Sophie Kunzelman (top) and Ryan Lambert are two dancers performing in BYU Theatre Ballet’s show this weekend. The live-streamed performance will include Act II of “Giselle,” excerpts from “Airs” by Paul Taylor and “A Choreographic Offering” by José Limón. (BYU Photo)

BYU Theatre Ballet will perform Act II of “Giselle,” excerpts of “Airs” by Paul Taylor and “A Choreographic Offering” by José Limón through live streams this weekend.

Performances will be streamed on March 12 at 7 p.m. and March 13 at 11 a.m. The shows can be streamed for free through the BYU Dance website. The show celebrates 50 years of BYU Theatre Ballet.

Artistic directors for the show are Shayla Bott, Ashley Parov and Hilary Wolfley. Wolfley said the ballet “Giselle” was chosen as a challenge for the dancers to rise to.

“We knew that Giselle was an iconic classic, and we also knew that it would be a really good challenge for our students,” she said.

Dance senior Madyson McCook plays a willie in “Giselle.” This weekend’s performances will be her last with BYU Theatre Ballet.

“Usually the ballet ends with the couple being together and they’re living happily ever after,” McCook said. “But in this ballet, there’s an emotional ending. In fact, I cried last night watching it.”

McCook said she loves performing because of the people who find joy in ballet, and it can be difficult to perform for a camera rather than an in-person audience.

Sophie Kunzelman (left) and Ana Brooks will perform in a free livestreamed show this weekend that celebrates 50 years of BYU Theatre Ballet. (BYU Photo)

Junior dance major Ana Brooks plays Giselle in the show and also said performing for a camera is difficult. The audience is much closer to the dancers when they watch through a livestream, she added.

Brooks said “Giselle” and the two other selections are from different styles. “Giselle” is a light, romantic style of ballet, while the excerpts have a much more modern style.

“I hope that people understand how broad the spectrum of dance is and how you can get different things from different styles,” Brooks said.

Wolfley hopes the audience will come away realizing there is joy in complexity and said there is a transformative power in the arts.

“Even though the audience won’t be with us in person, we hope that they can feel joy and feel uplifted in the performance,” she said. “These pieces are very aesthetically beautiful. I think that we could all use some uplifting right now.”

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