By Kathi E.B. Ellis for WFPL
September 12, 2016
The Louisville Ballet is one of the oldest ballet companies in the country, and this year it’s celebrating its 65th anniversary with a year-long celebration.
The programming kicked off this weekend with “Stars and Stripes,” which included the works of American-adopted Balanchine, modern dance icon Twyla Tharp and a world premiere of a work by artistic and executive director Robert Curran.
Curran’s “How They Fade” bridged the other two works, taking the second part of the evening.
His choreography is boldly athletic and lyrical in equal measure, showcasing the nine dancers in an aesthetic and vocabulary with which they are all familiar. Curran introduced YASSOU vocalist Lilie Bytheway-Hall onto the stage with the dancers, integrating Bytheway-Hall as both observer and participant, at times appearing to double with Brandon Ragland’s similar function. YASSOU colleagues joined the Louisville Orchestra in the pit, performing their haunting original composition for Curran’s premiere.
Continuing Curran’s commitment to cross-genre collaborations, Louisville-based Letitia Quesenberry returns to Louisville Ballet as scenic designer (her debut was for Balanchine’s “Square Dance” in the 2013-14 season,) collaborating with media designer Amelia Sweeney.