One film, five new works – #ChorShow explores evocative themes
of the human experience via dance.
LOUISVILLE, KY – Today, Louisville Ballet announced the release of Choreographers’ Showcase, also known as #ChorShow, streaming now through June 30th. Five innovative, new performance pieces – created by five different choreographers – are premiering virtually as the final original production of the Ballet’s Season of Illumination.
Love, anxiety, isolation, racism, reconnection – these are just a few of the themes examined in this year’s #ChorShow which was filmed inside the Ballet’s Main Street studios by KERTIS Creative. The film, though presented via cinematic digital performance, still captures the immediacy, thrill, and intimacy of an in-studio show.
“While we plan to soon return to the physical stage, the digital platform provides audiences with a sense of connection and intimacy, evoking the experience of a production performed in our in-studio home,” said Robert Curran, Artistic Director for Louisville Ballet. “The themes explored, and the proximity to the dancers, are what always make ChorShow so special. Filming these works gives the viewer an even closer seat and captures dance in a way that brings the audience along for the full experience.”
#ChorShow features a new work by San Francisco-based Guest Choreographer Danielle Rowe, former Australian Ballet and Houston Ballet Principal Dancer, alongside four debut works choreographed by Louisville Ballet Artists: Justin Michael Hogan, Natalie Orms, Brandon Ragland, and Sanjay Saverimuttu. This production also includes several Louisville-based musicians, writers, and spoken word artists.
The five pieces actively pull from themes that specifically connect to the full human experience, examining topics such as mental health, LGBTQ friendships, the Black American experience, romance, rivalry, humor – and more.
Tickets to #ChorShow are available for $35 via the Louisville Ballet website and offer three views per digital ticket. This digital performance streams from May 19th through June 30th.
MORE ABOUT THE CHOREOGRAPHERS AND THEIR PIECES
Choreographer: DANIELLE ROWE
Piece: The Misfits
Dani Rowe is an internationally recognized visiting choreographer and former principal dancer with The Australian Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, and Houston Ballet. In her piece “The Misfits,” four well known story-ballet disruptors share their stories during a weekly counseling session for oddballs and outsiders. As each character revisits the pivotal moment that defined their ballet persona, the audience witnesses that moment told through dance.
Choreographer: JUSTIN HOGAN
Piece: A l’œuvre on connaît l’artisan
Justin Hogan is a Louisville Ballet company dancer. His piece “A l’œuvre on connaît l’artisan” explores relationships – romance, friendship, rivalry, and more. Beyond those themes, it also looks at a dancer’s relationship with a pianist, which occupies a very important yet often unspoken place in many dancers’ lives. The dynamic between the two, particularly one in the absence of the other, is central to the through-line of this work.
Choreographer: SANJAY SAVERIMUTTU
Piece: The Movement
Sanjay Saverimuttu is a choreographer, Louisville Ballet company dancer, and faculty member at The Louisville Ballet School. His piece “The Movement” tackles the theme of queer friendships. Often the narrative in the media around LGTBQ people centers on romance or coming out; however, friendships and chosen family are extremely valuable, and in many cases, life-saving for queer individuals. This piece is a mix of dance and theatre, co-created with Louisville-based playwright, Allie Fireel. You’ll see five dancers moving and acting – not to music – but to pre-recorded scenes performed by five actors.
Guest artists include:
Allie Fireel, Playwright, (they/them) is a bi-polar non-binary queer writer, performer and producer based in Louisville. As an actor, playwright and journalist Fireel works to de-stigmatize neurodivergence and emerging queer identities through their work.
Cris Eli Blak is a writer for the page, stage and screen as well as a performer. His work aims to use race, religion, gender, and sexuality as catalysts for conversations that are not typically had, and views that are not typically presented. He is the winner of a Bronze Remi from the Worldfest Houston International Film Festival, the Christopher Hewitt Award in Fiction and is a Pushcart Prize nominee. He is currently having work developed with Columbia University’s Black Theatre Ensemble, The Pressure Players, Common Ground Theatre, Garage Theatre Ensemble and Et Alia Theater.
Choreographer: NATALIE ORMS
Natalie Orms is a Louisville Ballet Studio Company dancer. “Circadian” dives into the emotions of a sleepless night, exploring movement through feelings of anxiety, anger, and exhaustion. Following the dancers through a dream-like state, this work leaves you questioning what was real and what was just a dream.
Choreographer: BRANDON RAGLAND
Piece: I Am
Brandon Ragland is a Louisville Ballet company dancer and a pre-professional program manager for the Louisville Ballet School. “I Am” explores the discomfort and growth that comes from occupying unwelcoming spaces. Through movement, Ragland’s choreography evokes the self-consciousness, tension, and fear Black people often experience when inhabiting “white spaces;” their efforts to adapt; and their self-discovery upon confronting their discomfort, defying stereotypes, and asserting their presence. The piece tells stories, using the voices of Black poets, of exclusion, discrimination, and pain.
Guests Artists include:
Hannah L Drake is a blogger, activist, public speaker, poet, and author of 11 books. She writes commentary on politics, feminism, and race. Hannah’s message is thought-provoking and at times challenging, but Hannah believes that it is in the uncomfortable spaces that change can take place. “My sole purpose in writing and speaking is not that I entertain you. I am trying to shake a nation.”
Isiah Fish is a queer poet & performer from Louisville, Kentucky. He holds an M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he worked as an editor for Crab Orchard Review. His work has been published in Albion Review, Blood Orange Review, Foglifter, & Miracle Monocle.
Lance G. Newman II was raised in Louisville, Kentucky. He is a writer, poet, host, actor, performing, visual and teaching artist. His experience is the culmination of a 16 year career performing around the country. As a playwright, he helped create plays such as the “Smoketown Poetry Opera,“ ”The Westend Poetry Opera” and “The Blood Always Returns.“ Under the name, SpreadLovEnterprise, he teaches his creative writing and public speaking curriculum in schools, community centers and service providing organizations. He co-host the largest and longest running poetry slam in Louisville; created the public art “LITS Project” on 4th st; and has been featured in newspapers, commercials and the feature film “Frathouse.” Better known as ‘Mr. SpreadLove,’ a local man of worldly talent.
ABOUT LOUISVILLE BALLET
Louisville Ballet, led by Artistic Director Robert Curran, is an evolved but accessible ballet company committed to boldly and beautifully communicating artistic stories both classic and new. We exist to move, to evoke emotion, to provoke thought, and to challenge perceptions. We are artists, athletes, activists, inventors, and inspirers. Louisville Ballet has been one of the nation’s leading regional ballet companies since 1952. As the Official State Ballet of Kentucky, Louisville Ballet has worked with some of ballet’s brightest lights including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Twyla Tharp, and Wendy Whelan, performed for tens of thousands of people and reached over 20,000 school children throughout the Commonwealth with educational programs annually.