Smuin Closes 25th Anniversary Season With DANCE SERIES 02
Smuin concludes its quarter-century celebration with a tribute to founder Michael Smuin and his vibrant works set to the music of George and Ira Gershwin, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, and others. The Best of Smuin will feature the return of timeless favorites such as the red-hot chair solo "Fever," along with highlights from Dancin' With Gershwin and more. Sharing the bill is a smashing world premiere by master dancemaker Amy Seiwert, honoring Michael's legacy as an innovator in ballet, dance, and beyond. After ten years as the Company's Choreographer in Residence, Seiwert returns to help Smuin celebrate its milestone 25th season with this groundbreaking work, set to the music of Kitka Women's Vocal Ensemble and loosely inspired by the 385-mile protest wall of women in India on New Year's Day 2019. Smuin tours the Bay Area with its Dance Series 02 program beginning with shows in San Francisco (April 26-May 5), continuing in Walnut Creek (May 17-18) and Mountain View (May 23-26), and finishing in Carmel (May 31-June 1). Tickets ($25-$81) are available by calling the individual venues (see below for details) or visiting www.smuinballet.org.
The Best of Smuin is a charming look back at the best of Michael Smuin's work including classic numbers such as "Unforgettable" and "Fever" from Smuin's inaugural performance of Dances With Songs. Smuin devotees will also be treated to selections from Carmina Burana, Frankie and Johnny, Dancin' with Gershwin, and more in this fabulous showcase packed with Smuin's signature razzle-dazzle, visually stunning effects, and trademark twists.
Acclaimed choreographer Amy Seiwert returns to Smuin with a powerful world premiere inspired by the "Women's Wall" protest earlier this year. The strength and versatility of Smuin's artists, highlighted by Seiwert's breathtaking choreography, beautifully complements the empowering a cappella soundtrack of Kitka Women's Vocal Ensemble. The acclaimed Oakland-based a cappella group, which specializes in the techniques of traditional and contemporary Balkan, Slavic, and Caucasian vocal styling, has earned recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts, Chorus America, and the American Choral Directors' Association. In creating this work, Seiwert drew inspiration from the women's protest in India that took place on January 1, 2019. Millions of women joined hands to form a 385-mile "wall" in Kerala to create awareness of gender equality, and to protest a religious ban that prevented women of childbearing age from entering one of the country's sacred Hindu temples. Seiwert was mentored by Michael Smuin for eight of her nine years as a dancer at the company, becoming Smuin's Choreographer in Residence upon her retirement from dancing in 2008. As a choreographer, she has pushed the boundaries of dance, collaborating with artists of other disciplines and experimenting with all of its various forms and expressions from a classical base-making her an invaluable voice in the Bay Area dance community. Now Artistic Director of Sacramento Ballet, Seiwert returns to help Smuin celebrate this milestone anniversary with a stunning new piece featuring her signature choreography, which was described by the San Francisco Chronicle as "keeping founder Michael Smuin's legacy of unabashed showmanship alive!"
For 25 years Smuin has expanded the boundaries of contemporary ballet, engaging and delighting audiences with uncommon physicality and expression. Founded in San Francisco in 1994 by Tony and Emmy award-winning choreographer Michael Smuin, the company is committed to creating work that merges the diverse vocabularies of classical ballet and contemporary dance. As Artistic Director since 2007, Celia Fushille has maintained Michael Smuin's legacy while enriching the Company's impressive repertoire by collaborating with inventive choreographers from around the world, commissioning world premieres, and bringing new contemporary choreographic voices to the Smuin stage.
Photo credit: Chris Hardy