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Dayton Ballet Celebrates the Fall Season with Phantom Dances, a Wide-ranging Program Featuring Five Works, Including Two Stunning World Premieres

Communications & Media Manager
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Phone 937-224-3521 x1138

DAYTON, OH (September 23, 2019) – On Thursday, October 24 at 7:30 pm; Friday, October 25 at 8 pm; Saturday, October 26 at 8 pm; and Sunday, October 27 at 3 pm in the Victoria Theatre, Dayton Ballet is thrilled to present Phantom Dances, the second ballet of the 2019–2020 Season of Titans.

Phantom Dances celebrates the autumn season with a wide-ranging program featuring five works, including two stunning world premieres. This summer, Dayton Ballet was highlighted by Dance Magazine as one of the few companies across the country continually committed to presenting works by female choreographers, and this repertory program is no exception. All five ballets that comprise Phantom Dances have been choreographed by women, promising a captivating weekend of dance in the Gem City.

The evening opens boldly with the world premiere of Día de Los Muertos, choreographed by Dayton Ballet Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke. This new ballet honors the souls of loved ones far and near. It is not a focus on death, but more on what happens when we pass into the next life. The Latin-flavored ballet is filled with imagery closely associated with the Latin holiday, including sugar skeletons and marigold blooms, which represent just how fragile life is. Dayton Ballet takes the stage to showcase their athleticism and artistry in this contemporary piece.

The work of talented choreographer Nicole Haskins returns to Dayton Ballet with her engaging pas de deux La Linea Scura (meaning “the dark line”), choreographed to music of the same name by Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi. In this enticing duet, two dancers dance intimately together, although they never look at each other. Haskins hails from Venice Beach, California, and has danced professionally with well-known companies across the country, including Sacramento Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, and Washington Ballet. Ms. Haskins’ work on La Linea Scura is made possible by the Dermot Burke Fund.

Ghost Light is a Dayton-premiere ballet from imaginative choreographer Penny Saunders. “A popular theatrical superstition holds that every theater has a ghost,” said Saunders. “It is believed that ghost lights provide opportunities for ghosts to perform onstage, thus appeasing them and preventing them from cursing the theater or sabotaging the set or production. Ghost Light tells the story of what happens after the audience leaves the theater and the ‘ghosts’ of former performers are left to their own devices.” Saunders is resident choreographer with Grand Rapids Ballet, and she has danced previously with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and with internationally acclaimed choreographer Septime Webre. Ghost Light is a fun but incredibly challenging contemporary ballet featuring three men and one woman, with intricate work among the men and a dreamy pas de deux to complete the piece. Ghost Light was commissioned by Johnson County Community College’s Performing Arts Series for New Dance Partners.

Chasing Ghosts is a work choreographed by Amy Seiwert, a native of the Cincinnati area. The ballet calls us to conjure up memories in our minds that are just out of our grasp. “New York composer Kevin Keller’s score creates a landscape of rich shadows. The music is special; it pulls the listener towards reminiscence without being sentimental, a rare balance,” says Seiwert. “The title comes from that feeling of chasing a memory, something you can’t put your finger on, a feeling that’s on the tip of your heart but that you can’t quite wrap your head around. My goal is to capture this abstract sensation.” Chasing Ghosts made its world premiere in Dayton in October 2012, and it returns to the stage once again to leave us searching to grab hold of those memories that continue to haunt us but remain just out of our reach.

The program closes with the second world premiere of the evening: Masquerade, choreographed by Karen Russo Burke. This exciting new work is set to music of the same name, Masquerade Suite by Aram Khachaturian. Masquerade is a classically danced ballet with a mysterious flare. With dancers dressed in tails and gowns with a splash of cobwebs and dancing to Khachaturian’s evocative score, audiences will be transported to a gala ball at a haunted house. Will the dancers reveal themselves from underneath their masks? Come and find out!

Before each performance, Dayton Ballet Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke will hold a pre-performance talk called “The First Step,” giving audience members a more in-depth look at the upcoming performance and a behind-the-scenes peek at Dayton Ballet. “The First Step” will be held 45 minutes prior to curtain time for each performance in the Burnell Roberts Room at 126 North Main Street, beside the Victoria Theatre. “Behind the Ballet,” a Q&A with dancers that gives audiences the opportunity to learn more about the life of a dancer with Dayton Ballet, will follow each performance in the theatre. “The First Step” and “Behind the Ballet” sessions are free of charge for all ticketholders.

Tickets for Phantom Dances begin at $15 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org. Senior, teacher and student discounts are available at the box office. For more information or to order subscriptions, including flexible subscription types that include performances by Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet, visit www.daytonperformingarts.org.


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. In 2013, The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance was thrilled 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. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is the proud recipient of a 2017-2018 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.