Germaul Barnes Creates New Work For Alabama Ballet

Germaul Barnes Creates New Work For Alabama Ballet

Germaul Barnes, a New York-based contemporary dance artist with a global approach to movement, will premiere his first work created for Alabama Ballet as part of the Ovation series, April 26-28. Ovation is an annual mixed repertory performance which highlights Alabama Ballet's versatility, strength, and artistry while showcasing bold and creative original contemporary works.

Germaul Barnes is a choreographer, director, master educator, and scholar with a multifaceted career spanning more than thirty years in contemporary dance. Global in vision and influence, he is known for a bold, urgent, energetic movement style, steeped in spirituality and optimism. His work regularly reflects his deep knowledge of and interest in anthropology, dance of the African diaspora, musicality, the human condition, and social justice. In his dances, Barnes creates a world that reflects everyday contemporary life, but also address aspects of fantasy, imagination, and memory.

Barnes is a BESSIE Award-winning former dancer and current répétiteur for the world-renowned Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Notably, he is also the choreographer of Marley - A Musical which premiered in 2015 at Center Stage in Baltimore, MD. He has created more than 50 works for his dance collective Viewsic Dance, presented on stages and by companies across the world. He has served as faculty and as a guest choreographer around the world, including the Alabama School of Fine Arts.

In this premiere, his first commission for Alabama Ballet, Germaul Barnes will explore the concept of folding, in striking visual and choreographic style. Barnes's bold choreography fuses classical technique with a strong sense of theatricality, risk, and invention, punctuated by the complexity of music and sound.

"It may seem like a simple consideration, but what does it really mean to fold or come together, physically?," comments Barnes. "What happens to music, to the rhythm, when sound folds in on itself? 'To fold' can also mean to expand or compress. So many things -- from fabric to material to relationships to shared opinions -- become denser and stronger as they fold into themselves. It's been such a pleasure to explore this theme with the dancers of Alabama Ballet and I can't wait to share our work with the community."

Barnes's premiere features a commissioned score by the electrifying musician and composer, KAMAU. Originally from Washington D.C. and now based in Brooklyn, NY, KAMAU's style blends an intricate use of free vocal expression, melody, percussion, and beatbox, all leading to a unique and spirited style of musical expression. "KAMAU is a gifted rapper-singer whose free-flowing style carries a lot of indigenous and tribal influences" (OkayAfrica.com).

Company dancers Nadine Barton and Frederick Lee Rocas and Associate Artistic Director Roger Van Fleteren will also contribute new works to the program.

Tickets on sale March 19, 2019: www.alabamaballet.org, 205.322.4300 or on Ticketmaster.

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