The Festival Ballet Providence joins forces with the RISD museum for the first time with “Off The Wall”
For the very first time, Festival Ballet Providence presents its first program of the 2022-2023 season, Off The Wall, a unique collaboration with the RISD Museum.
This program presents a trio of new works inspired by works from the RISD Museum collection, exploring and interpreting elements of visual art through dance. Off The Wall takes place at the Woodman Center on the campus of the Moses Brown School, Providence RI, with performances October 21-23, 2022.
“I have always been a big proponent of arts institutions working with each other, sharing knowledge and creativity, and expanding the worlds of audiences each serves,” said Kathleen Breen Combes, Director of FBP. “When I approached the RISD museum, they were so generous in opening up their collection to us and letting our choreographers explore this huge body of artwork.”
Three renowned choreographers create new works for the company, Andrea Schermoly, Yusha-Marie Sorzano and FBP artistic curator Yury Yanowsky. “The RISD Museum has over 100,000 objects in the collection, a mere fraction of what is on display at any given time,” said Sarah Ganz Blythe, Acting Director of the RISD Museum, adding, “I am so thrilled that the choreographers have been given access to everything and able to explore on their own, and delighted with the works they have selected.”
“The RISD Museum has over 100,000 objects in the collection to inspire innovative creators across all disciplines,” said Sarah Ganz Blythe, Acting Director of the RISD Museum, adding, “I am so thrilled the choreographers have spoken with our curators and were able to explore the collection virtually and in person for themselves. I am delighted with the works they have selected.”
Andrea Schermoly, currently resident choreographer at Louisville Ballet, has created works for such major companies as Kansas City Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Theater Afrikan, Cape Dance Company, Met Ballet, among others. Her new work will be inspired by a vibrant 1981 abstract work titled Gather by English artist Bridget Riley, renowned for her use of geometric patterns and color, particularly brightly colored vertical stripes.
Inspiration for choreographer Yusha-Marie Sorzano – who is currently a dancer with Camille A. Brown & Dancers and performed lead roles with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – came from modernist painter Rufino Tamayo and his 1938 work Two Women . Tamayo, known for his surreal-inspired Mexican folk art, uses soft colors to depict two women walking outdoors in long dresses.
FBP artistic curator and former Boston Ballet principal dancer Yury Yanowsky chose a 1964 portrait of Jackie Kennedy by Eugene Feldman titled Friend’s Wife (Mrs. JFK) as inspiration; the dark and haunting lithograph depicts the grieving first lady as soft pools of light surrounded by darkness.
As a special bonus, the evening will also feature an artifact of the dance, the iconic Pas de Quatre. This charming chamber work, the zenith of romanticism for classical ballet, brings to life a lithograph of the original work depicting the four most famous ballerinas from the year of its creation: 1845.
“The dance party being held so elegantly reflects ballet’s past and its bright and bold future, and I’m so proud of our choreographers and dancers for the work they do to bring the art to life for our audiences,” said said Breen Combes. .
Tickets for Off The Wall start at $35 and can be purchased online, over the phone, or in person at FBP’s Hope Street Studios.
For more information about Off the Wall, visit www.festivalballetprovidence.org.