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Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet Presents an Evening of Original Works

by Danielle Georgiou 14 Nov 2011 12:57 PM

Tonight, the newly formed Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet will host a free performance of new works by directors Emilie Rupp and Victoria Dolph, as well as guest choreographer Addison Reed.


Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet principal dancer Lea Essmyer. Artwork by Yukari Eda.

Guest blogger Danielle Marie Georgiou is the artistic director and choreographer of DGDG: Danielle Georgiou Dance Group. She also serves as the Assistant Director of the UT Arlington’s Dance Ensemble.

Tonight, the newly formed Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet will host a free performance of new works by directors Emilie Rupp and Victoria Dolph, as well as guest choreographer Addison Reed.

Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet (DNCB) sets forth to exhibit dance as art through the classical ballet form by working with young professionals to establish a supportive, healthy environment in which both dancers and visual artists can express their passion for the arts and institute a sound future for classical dance in Dallas.

According to their mission, founders (and friends) Rupp and Dolph are determined to work with local artists to generate an alliance between the dance world and the art world, and I must say they are off to a busy start. Their inaugural performance was at the Music is Medicine benefit in August, then they staged a Meet the Company night at the Texas Theatre (on Sept. 12), and then performed excerpts from Camille Saint-Saën’s Le Carnaval des Animaux at a Krama Yoga Center event benefiting the SPCA on Oct. 8. That was a collaboration of Dallas artists, yogis and dancers in support of shelter animals. DNCB worked with local artist Lizzy Wetzel, who designed the headpieces and masks worn by the dancers. They performed the work a second time on Oct. 10 at the Texas Theatre, where they hosted a fundraiser/Halloween party to support the new full-length ballet they are putting on in the spring (see below for more information).

And tonight, they will once again perform at the Texas Theatre, with whom they have developed a complimentary relationship, staging three new works.

Yakhalò, by Rupp, features dancers Lea Essmyer, Rebecca Shaw and Brittany Bollinger. A sensual piece choreographed to the Eastern European Gypsy melodies of Devotchka, Yakhalò (the Romani term for “the evil eye” and “attractive”) takes a glimpse at the strength and beauty of three women as they dance together with a wary eye, knowing one another to be untrustworthy.

Guest choreographer Reed’s piece, Hear the Vast Night, a work in three sections (“The Night is Fractured,” danced by Bollinger, “Same Night Whitens,” danced by Audrey Archer and “Hear the Vast Night,” danced by Archer, Bollinger and Shaw), is based on poem 20 by Pablo Neruda, famous for writing beautiful and at times heart-wrenching poetry. Reed takes the emotions of the poem – first fractured and disconnected, then hopeful, then a combination of whimsy and despondency – and weaves together her interpretation of Neruda.

Dolph’s piece is a classical pas de deux done to Camille Saint-Saën.

Directors Emilie Rupp (Photo by AJG Photography) and Victoria Dolph.

In addition to their upcoming show, DNCB has plans to not only create performances but to implement outreach programs to help educate students of all ages around North Texas about the importance of classical dance, visual art and teamwork. They also want to open new doors for professional dancers and artists to collaborate on projects. Their latest one, Kaguya-Hime, based on the Japanese “Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,” will begin rehearsals in early 2012. Rupp has created a Kickstarter page to help raise funds for the project — donations will go toward the theater rental, costumes, set design and stipends for the dancers and artists.

Tonight’s performance is free. Food will be provided by local Dallas company Scardello Artisan Cheeses. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., performance at 8:30 p.m.