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The Female Factor

April 2017


   7:30 pm Thursday, March 30, 2017 with Pizza Prelude 7:00 pm
   8:00 pm Friday, March 31, 2017 
   8:00 pm Saturday, April 1, 2017 
   3:00 pm Sunday, April 2, 2017

GINA PATTERSON choreographer – You Are Here WEBSITE
JESSICA LANG choreographer – From Foreign Lands and People WEBSITE
KAREN RUSSO BURKE choreographer – Prelude and Allegro – World Premiere
SUSANNE PAYNE choreographer – Dreams of Flight

Since the beginning of time when the natural movement of body to music evolved into its own art form, women have shaped the face of dance in the most sensuous and exhilarating of ways. In fact, the very origins of Dayton Ballet began with the work of two creatively brilliant and determined women when Josephine and Hermene Schwarz founded The Experimental Group for Young Dancers in 1937. In Spring 2017, Dayton Ballet honors the women of dance by presenting a program that shines a spotlight on the ingenuity and talent of a few female choreographers of our time in a repertory program called The Female Factor. 

The program opens with You Are Here, choreographed by internationally acclaimed choreographer Gina Patterson.  This engaging work made its Dayton Premiere in 2015, having had its World Premiere with Cincinnati Ballet in September 2013.  You Are Here is an emotional ballet that works to convey the pulling sense of loss and human determination. says of the 2013 You Are Here premiere that Gina Patterson begins the ballet quietly, but then “…kicks the work into a higher emotional gear.  Forceful and swirling, it is as if she has somehow harnessed breath itself; gasping, panting, sighing.  It is an endless series of surprises.”  

Choreographer Jessica Lang has gained worldwide fame working with ballet companies across the U.S. and abroad since 1999. In 2011, she established her own ballet company in New York City, called Jessica Lang Dance, and it has quickly become one of the most exciting companies in today’s dance scene. Dayton Ballet brings back to the stage her exciting and innovative work entitled From Foreign Lands and People, a clever and captivating ballet with beautiful movement to music by Robert Schumann. This original ballet features large black rectangular boxes on stage to represent the black keys on the piano.  Boxes will be laid on their sides, tilted, propped on others to form slides, erected as pillars, and built into structures. “Dancers will crawl, slide, walk, and dance on, over, and around the boxes,” explains Karen Russo Burke. “The boxes will truly become part of the choreography.” If you haven’t seen this before, this is a ballet not to be missed. 

Dayton Ballet is known internationally as "The Company of Premieres," and in keeping with this title, Dayton Ballet Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke premieres a brand-new all-female ballet, choreographed with each dancer’s individual strengths in mind. For more than 10 years, Karen was a professional dancer with American Repertory Ballet.  She has danced leading roles in ballets by dance icons Antony Tudor, Jose Limon, Gerald Arpino, John Butler and George Balanchine and current choreographers such as Septime Webre, whose work she has honored over the last several years. Her extensive experience on stage gives her the perfect perspective to create a new work of art that allows each of her female dancers in this piece the opportunity to truly shine.

The program closes with a work created by Dayton area native Susanne Payne called Dreams of Flight, which received its world premiere with Dayton Ballet in 2014. Ms. Payne is a graduate of Wright State University and winner of Dayton Ballet's 2009 "New Music for New Dance" competition. In Dreams of Flight, nine men will fill the stage with decidedly contemporary movement, raw energy, and pure power, combined with exciting lifts, athletic floor work, technical mastery, and unique partnering. “Loosely inspired by The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Dreams of Flight is a powerful and rigorously athletic contemporary ballet that consists of seven parts,” says Ms. Payne. “The work depicts the magical experiences, realizations, and lessons learned when one truly commits to the pursuit of a dream.” 

With these stunning works from all female choreographers, Dayton Ballet focuses fittingly on The Female Factor for this final presentation of the Excite season. 

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