PRESS: Inside Andrea Schermoly’s Arctic “Rite of Spring” at Louisville Ballet

by Kyra Laubacher for Pointe Magazine, May 17, 2021

South African–born choreographer Andrea Schermoly is no stranger to challenges, and she’s often on the move. Among an extensive portfolio of productions created for companies worldwide, she has also tackled reimaginings of Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring and Judith as one of three artists in residence at Louisville Ballet.

Schermoly is also no stranger to film, having created a digital short called In Passing for the Ashley Bouder Project in 2015. But her most recent film project for Louisville Ballet, a new version of the iconic Rite of Spring, breaks ground—or, rather, ice—with its fresh, arctic take on the Stravinsky masterwork.

Pointe spoke with Schermoly about this newest work for the company’s digital Season of Illumination, discussing the challenges of Zoom rehearsals and the ballet’s arctic inspiration.

How did this project come about?

Robert Curran, Louisville Ballet’s artistic director, presented the idea over a year ago, but I started working on it last spring. And that’s mostly in terms of talking. My brother, Joe Schermoly, did the set design, so I spent a lot of time discussing the piece with him, our lighting designer Jesse AlFord and Mikelle Bruzina, who’s one of our head ballet mistresses.

The piece was initially proposed as part of a Stravinsky triple bill by Louisville Ballet’s three resident choreographers featuring Petrushka, Firebird and Rite of Spring. It would have been a theater piece had it not been for the pandemic. Eventually, Rite will transfer to the stage, so I wanted it to live in an “80 percent land,” where I wouldn’t have to change it all over again. It was pretty daunting, but a great challenge.



November 11-14 2021
The Brown Theatre
Choreography by Robert Curran
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchakiovsky

This will close in 0 seconds

The Brown-Forman Nutcracker

December 11-23, 2021
Whitney Hall, Kentucky Center
Choreography by Val Caniparoli
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

This will close in 0 seconds


January 12-22, 2022
Louisville Ballet Studios

This will close in 0 seconds

Spotlight Series: Impressionism to Jazz

March 3-5, 2022
The Brown Theatre
A mixed repertory evening featuring:


Choreography by George Balanchine

Music: "Pelléas et Mélisande" + "Shylock" by Gabriel Fauré

In G Major

Choreography by Jerome Robbins
Music: "Piano Concerto in G Major" by Maurice Ravel

World Premiere Work

Music by Louisville-based Jazz Composer and Musician, Dick Sisto

This will close in 0 seconds

Sleeping Beauty

March 31 - April 2, 2022
The Brown Theatre
Choreography by Adam Hougland
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchakiovsky

This will close in 0 seconds