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Sapphire Celebration

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Location Date and Time
Victoria Theatre February 11, 2022 7:30 pm
Victoria Theatre February 12, 2022 7:30 pm
Victoria Theatre February 13, 2022 2:30 pm

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Virtual February 15, 2022 1:00 pm

Sapphire Celebration

SCHERZO Karen Russo Burke, choreographer (11′)
SUR LE FIL Penny Saunders, choreographer (4′)
CALLING Ma Cong, choreographer
LIGHT RAIN* Gerald Arpino, choreographer (20′)

Program Length: 70 minutes with intermission

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 choreographers.

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.

*The performances of Light Rain, an Arpino Ballet, are presented with the permission of the Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation and have been produced in accordance with the Foundation service standards, established and provided by the Foundation.