Chattanooga Ballet will present the classical ballet Les Sylphides on Friday, May 9, and Saturday, May 10, at 8 p.m. at the U.T.C. Fine Arts Center. Also included on this program will be choreographic works by Tom Pazik, Cinnamon Halbert-Smith and Joellen Wojtowicz.
Les Sylphides was first presented in Paris in 1909 by Diaghilev's Ballet Russes with choreography by Michel Fokine to a score by Frederic Chopin. The principal dancers in the original production were Vaslov Nijinsky and Anna Pavlova, two of the most celebrated dancers in the world at that time. This ballet is recognized for beginning the ballet blanc era, which involved a new conception of dance based on ethereal atmosphere, soft music, and diaphananous white costumes. This ballet has continued on to be performed by companies throughout the world.
Chattanooga Ballet's production of Les Sylphides is staged by ballet master Frank Hay and the principal roles will be danced by professional company members Claire Carlisle Young and Dillon Davis. Ms.Young, a first-year company member with Chattanooga Ballet, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet Performance from the University of Oklahoma. She danced for several seasons with the Oklahoma Festival Ballet and has been a company member with the Columbia City Ballet and the Montgonmery Ballet.
Dillon Davis, a native of Chattanooga, began his training at Chattanooga Ballet and Chattanooga's Center for Creative Arts. He began his professional career at Alabama Ballet where he danced roles in Balanchine's Stars and Stripes, Giselle, and Sleeping Beauty. He spent two seasons with Nashville Ballet, where he danced the role of Peter in The Diary of Anne Frank and as a soloist in Andrea Vierra's Fluid Fracture. Most recently, he was a soloist at Dance Theatre of Tennessee danceing such roles as The Cavalier in Nutcracker, Franz in Coppelia, and Escamillo in Carmen. The demi soloists in Les Sylphides will be Amanda White and Marisa Montany.
Works by guest choreographer Cinnamon Halbert-Smith, and Tom Pazik will also be presented on this concert. Cinnamon Halbert-Smith holds a BFA in dance from the University of Texas has been honored to perform with acclaimed choreographers and companies both nationally and internationally and was in the Broadway Company of CATS. Her choreography was selected for the National College Dance Festival and showcased at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Her new choreographic work Boot Straps Up is a contemporary ensemble piece to music by Hans Zimmer.
Guitar Concerto is a neo-classical ballet by acclaimed choreographer, Tom Pazik with music by Antonio Vivaldi. Chattanooga Ballet commissioned Pazik to choreograph this work on the company in 1992. Pazik's works have been presented by the Atlanta Ballet, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Hawaii, and The Philippine Ballet, among others. He also choreographed the ballet sequences for The Metropolitan Opera productions of La Traviata and La Favorita. Pazik was Associate Director and Resident choreographer of Atlanta Ballet and Artistic Director of Baltimore Ballet.
Chattanooga Ballet is funded with the support of the Tennessee Arts Commission and Arts Build.
Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $13 for children, seniors, and students. For reservations call the U.T.C. Fine Arts Center at 423 425-4269 or tickettracks.com.