Ballet Across America II
The Company was thrilled to return to the Kennedy Center in June to participate in Ballet Across America II. Featured alongside eight other companies from across the country, we are quite pleased with the accolades we received from the NYTimes.
Good press is always welcome, but moreover the week was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with friends spread out across the dance world. The Kennedy Center hosted combined company classes each day, giving dancers an opportunity to take class with members of other companies taught by alternating teachers. North Carolina Dance Theatre joined Farrell Ballet for class squeezing nearly 40 dancers into the rehearsal room. The energy of having everyone together under one roof was exhilarating.
A Dancer’s Perspective
By Amy Brandt
I was very excited to participate in Ballet Across America this year, mostly because it was another chance for the Company to get together. But BAA also gave me a chance to see many old friends dancing with the other companies on the program! It had been years since I'd seen them, and it was wonderful to see how much they've grown as artists.
Putting together Monumentum pro Gesualdo and Movements for Piano and Orchestra proved to be one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had with the Company. The process was extremely difficult -- trying to count Stravinsky's music in Movements is challenging even for the most musically inclined and for those who are not natural "counters" (like me) -- and rehearsals were often frustrating. We really had to work together, and spent countless rehearsal hours reviewing counts and perfecting our formations. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the rehearsal process was trying to capture the true intention of the piece. We even studied old rehearsal footage of Balanchine, Suzanne and the original cast. Suzanne and Artistic Assistant Kristen Gallagher emphasized the choreography's extremities, asking us to bend our bodies more, to lunge deeper, to reach our arms further than we thought possible. In the end, I think our Company brought the ballet's original effect back to life, and the wonderful response we received afterwards made all of our hard work worth it.