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Dayton Ballet Presents New Directions, Featuring a Stunning Dayton Ballet Premiere by Internationally Acclaimed Jessica Lang

Beautiful Dance from Four Different Directions of the World Comes Together On Stage at the Victoria Theatre

CONTACT: Angela Whitehead
Interim Communications & Media Manager
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Dayton Ballet / Dayton Opera / Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra
126 N. Main St., Suite 210, Dayton OH 45402
O: (937)224-3521 x 1138  F: (937)223-9189

DAYTON, OH (March 3, 2014) On Thursday, March 20 and Friday, March 21 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 22 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, March 23 at 3 p.m. at the Victoria Theatre, Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke and the Dayton Ballet will present New Directions, featuring ballets from four diverse and incredibly talented choreographers who will bring their work from four different directions of the world together on stage to delight and inspire audiences.  The choreographers will present some magnificent works from Dayton Ballet, as well as a Dayton Ballet Premiere by the highly sought-after choreographer Jessica Lang.  This performance is sponsored by the Dayton Power & Light Company Foundation and The Ruth I. and Henry H. Hoefer, Sr. Fund of The Dayton Foundation.

The program begins with Fête des Courtiers, a beautiful European-inspired ballet with music from Johannes Brahms.  Former Dayton Ballet Artistic Director Dermot Burke has choreographed an exquisite piece inspired by a Renaissance royal court.  Fête des Courtiers opens with four lovely couples greeting one another with the utmost reverence and then builds to a very unified yet exuberant finish.

Then, Chicago-based Choreographer Susanne Payne returns to Dayton Ballet with Interactions, bringing her winning work of the New Music for New Dance Competition commissioned by The Dermot Burke Premiere Fund in 2011.  Susanne recently premiered her breathtaking Dreams of Flight with Dayton Ballet this past February, and she is thrilled to be returning to present Interactions once again.  “Set to original music by composer Jesse Ayers, Interactions is a two-part work inspired by the unpredictable nature of circumstance.  Human beings are porous,” explains Susanne Payne.  “Our energies can be contained, passed, or thrown to one another.  Be they playful, sincere, abusive, or synergistic, these daily encounters make us susceptible to change and can sometimes change the course of our destiny.”  The piece features the full Dayton Ballet company in a playful but powerful presentation in the modern realm, although the dancers are still en pointe in the classical fashion.  “Interactions is filled with the uplifting and bold movement that is Susanne’s signature vocabulary. It is so great to revisit this piece with an entirely new cast,” says Karen Russo Burke. 

After intermission, audiences will be awed by the Dayton Ballet Premiere of From Foreign Lands and People, choreographed by the internationally acclaimed Jessica Lang.  From Foreign Lands and People was originally commissioned by the Colorado Ballet and premiered in 2005 at the Vail International Dance Festival.  Ms. Lang has gained worldwide fame as a choreographer, continuously working with ballet companies across the U.S. and abroad since 1999.  In 2011, she established her own ballet company in New York City called Jessica Lang Dance, and it has quickly become one of the most exciting companies in today’s dance scene.  Clifton Brown, Rehearsal Director of Jessica Lang Dance and former dancer of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, will bring his New York City dance influence to Dayton Ballet to set From Foreign Lands and People, a clever and captivating ballet with beautiful movement to music by Robert Schumann.  This creative ballet will feature large black rectangular boxes on stage to represent the black keys on the piano.  Boxes will be laid on their sides, tilted, propped on others to form slides, erected as pillars, and built into structures. “Dancers will crawl, slide, walk, and dance on, over, and around the boxes,” explains Karen Russo Burke.  “The boxes will truly become part of the choreography and take the dancers in many New Directions.”

The program concludes with the presentation of Karen Russo Burke’s intriguing ballet Canyons, a striking, energetic homage to the spirit and heritage of the Native American. Canyons is an impressionistic view of the landscape and inhabitants of the Southwest, using the music, sounds, and sights of Utah and Native American Indians.  This piece represents the images, feelings and magnificence of the American Southwest. Starting out as a moving hieroglyphic, it evolves into a wild hunt, followed by a quiet interlude and finally a tribal celebration.  Canyons caps another stunning performance by our beloved Dayton Ballet.

For each performance, Ms. Burke will conduct a pre-performance talk for ticketholders 45 minutes prior to curtain time in the Burnell Roberts Room at 126 North Main Street, accessible through the foyer of the Victoria Theatre, and a Q&A with dancers will follow each performance in the theatre.  Pre- and post-performance talks are free of charge for all ticketholders.

Tickets for New Directions  are $20 to $70 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org. Senior, teacher and student discounts available at box office.

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About the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was formed in July 2012 as the result of a groundbreaking and innovative merger between the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they are the largest performing arts organization in the community, offering a tremendous variety of performance and education programs and setting a new standard for artistic excellence.  Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance also receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio's cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents.  The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is proud to be one of five performing arts organizations in the country selected to receive a three-year "Music Alive" grant from New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras.


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