DAYTON, OH (March 7, 2017) – On Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 pm; Friday, March 31 at 8 pm; Saturday, April 1 at 8 pm; and Sunday, April 2 at 3 pm in the Victoria Theatre, the Dayton Ballet is thrilled to present The Female Factor, the fourth ballet of the 2016–2017 Excite Season. The Thursday evening performance of The Female Factor includes a Pizza Prelude from Uno’s Pizzeria to be served in the Victoria lobby beginning at 7 pm.
Since the beginning of time when the natural movement of body to music evolved into its own art form, women have shaped the face of dance in the most sensuous and exhilarating of ways. In fact, the very origins of Dayton Ballet began with the work of two creatively brilliant and determined women when Josephine and Hermene Schwarz founded The Experimental Group for Young Dancers in 1937. This March, Dayton Ballet honors the women of dance by presenting a program that shines a spotlight on the ingenuity and talent of a few female choreographers of our time in a repertory program called The Female Factor.
The program opens with You Are Here, choreographed by internationally acclaimed choreographer Gina Patterson. This engaging work made its Dayton premiere in 2015, having had its world premiere with Cincinnati Ballet in September 2013. You Are Here is an emotional ballet that works to convey the pulling sense of loss and human determination. Cincinnati.com says of the 2013 You Are Here premiere that Gina Patterson begins the ballet quietly, but then “…kicks the work into a higher emotional gear. Forceful and swirling, it is as if she has somehow harnessed breath itself; gasping, panting, sighing. It is an endless series of surprises.”
Choreographer Jessica Lang has gained worldwide fame 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. Dayton Ballet brings back to the stage her exciting and innovative work entitled From Foreign Lands and People, a clever and captivating ballet with beautiful movement to music by Robert Schumann. This original ballet features 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.” If you haven’t seen this before, this is a ballet not to be missed.
Dayton Ballet is known internationally as “The Company of Premieres,” and in keeping with this title, Dayton Ballet Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke premieres a brand-new all-female ballet, choreographed with each dancer’s individual strengths in mind. This all-female ballet will highlight the fast footwork and languid adagio movements that female dancers are known for, as well as precision corps work. Burke’s extensive on-stage experience gives her the perfect perspective to create a new work of art that allows each of her female dancers in this piece the opportunity to truly shine.
The program closes with a work created by Dayton-area native Susanne Payne called Dreams of Flight, which received its world premiere with Dayton Ballet in 2014. Ms. Payne is a graduate of Wright State University and winner of Dayton Ballet’s 2009 “New Music for New Dance” competition. In Dreams of Flight, nine men will fill the stage with decidedly contemporary movement, raw energy, and pure power, combined with exciting lifts, athletic floor work, technical mastery, and unique partnering. “Loosely inspired by The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Dreams of Flight is a powerful and rigorously athletic contemporary ballet that consists of seven parts,” says Ms. Payne. “The work depicts the magical experiences, realizations, and lessons learned when one truly commits to the pursuit of a dream.”
With these stunning works from all female choreographers, Dayton Ballet focuses fittingly on The Female Factor for this final presentation of the Excite Season.
Before each performance, Ms. 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 The Female Factor are $21 to $72 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.