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Dayton Ballet Hails 10 Years of Leadership from Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke with a Sparkling Sapphire Celebration

DAYTON, OH (January 14, 2022) – On Friday, February 11, 2022 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, February 12, 2022 at 7:30 pm; and Sunday, February 13, 2022 at 2:30 pm in the Victoria Theatre, the Dayton Ballet is thrilled to present Sapphire Celebration, the third ballet of the 2021–2022 Season.

Dayton Ballet hails Karen Russo Burke’s 10th Anniversary as Artistic Director with a sparkling blue Sapphire Celebration! The full Dayton Ballet company pushes the boundaries of technique and conversation of dance with four stunning ballets from an array of creative and acclaimed choreographer:

The program opens with an original ballet from Karen herself entitled Scherzo, choreographed to the music of the second movement of Beethoven’s grand Ninth Symphony. This scherzo is a lively movement with one of the most recognizable motifs in the classical repertoire. This ballet is a reflective interpretation of the energetic and layered music of Beethoven’s masterpiece in which Karen showcases the athleticism and artistry of her dancers with this challenging yet captivating dance.

Choreographer Penny Saunders returns to Dayton Ballet with a playful work entitled Sur le Fil, a ballet that explores the mischievous nature of love. Set to the soundtrack of the 2001 romantic comedy film Amélie by French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet, this fun and flirtatious duet shares its secrets of joy and leaves its audience full of hope.

 Calling is a modern ballet from internationally acclaimed choreographer Ma Cong. Six dancers perform this imaginative work, set to the music of Goran Bregović, a Yugoslav musician of Serbian and Croatian decent. The life and music of Bregović, combined with the music of Kroke, a Polish musical group, inspired this delightful ballet. The passionate voice in the Mediterranean music lends itself to the playful and energetic movement of the piece, which is filled with delicate partnering.

Premiering in 1981, Light Rain was created by the late Gerald Arpino for the Joffrey Ballet’s Silver Anniversary to showcase the new young dancers of the company. Light Rain is a ballet in three movements set to an original score by Douglas Adamz and Russ Gauthier, who employed Eastern rhythms in their composition, which has been described as “East-West fusion.” The title Light Rain refers to a rain of light as seen in the subtle shimmering by the dancers and special lighting effects that occur on stage. The work became a signature piece for the Joffrey Ballet throughout the 80s, 90s, and into the 2000’s until Arpino passed away in 2008, and this timeless ballet continues to be performed by companies around the world.

After each full performance of Sapphire Celebration, Dayton Ballet will offer a Q&A with dancers in the theater, called “Behind the Ballet”, giving audiences the opportunity to learn more about the life of a dancer at Dayton Ballet. “Behind the Ballet” sessions are free of charge for all ticketholders.

Safety Protocols
The DPAA is excited to welcome audiences back to the 2021–2022 Season. The health and safety of patrons, performers, staff, and volunteers is our top priority. Beginning November 22, 2021, in partnership with DPAA’s venue partner Dayton Live, the following new health and safety protocols are in place at all performances and events until further notice:

  • Vaccination and Testing – Proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing will no longer be required to attend performances at Dayton Live venues, including the Schuster Center and the Victoria Theatre.
  • Masks – Masks will be required for all patrons over the age of 6 during the entire visit while attending a DPAA performance or event. Mask must cover both nose and mouth.

Tickets for Sapphire Celebration begin at $5 and are available through the box office at (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org. Senior, teacher and student discounts are available. 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 (DPAA) 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 greater Dayton community, with a mission to be the community’s indispensable source for traditional, diverse and innovative experiences in ballet, opera, and orchestral music. The vision of the DPAA is to transform lives through the power of music and dance. The DPAA offers a wide variety of performance and education programs, setting a new standard for artistic excellence. DPAA performances reach an audience of more than 90,000 people annually, and their rich arts education programming serves over 60,000 schoolchildren in 150 schools in the Miami Valley. These performances and education initiatives are made possible in part through major support provided by the Ohio Arts Council, Culture Works, the City of Dayton, Montgomery County and the National Endowment for the Arts.