Smuin Presents DANCE SERIES 01
Smuin, on the heels of a successful run of its annual holiday extravaganza The Christmas Ballet, returns in February to bring its Dance Series 01 to Mountain View and Carmel. Continuing its 24th season, this program includes Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's critically lauded and transcendent piece Requiem for a Rose. Ochoa is an internationally acclaimed choreographer who creates contemporary dance works and also adapts her style for classical ballet companies. At its West Coast premiere with Smuin in fall 2017, San Francisco Classical Voice described the piece as "perfection!" Also on the program is Michael Smuin's joyful tribute to Ol' Blue Eyes, Fly Me to the Moon, hailed as "delicious" by the San Francisco Chronicle. This blend of ballet and popular dance is the embodiment of the smooth and stylish melodies that have inspired generations, including Sinatra's renditions of "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "The Lady is a Tramp." Rounding out the bill is the return of Garrett Ammon's bold Serenade for Strings.Set to Tchaikovsky's score of the same name, this work is a vibrant new interpretation of a piece inexorably tied to the iconic 1934 Balanchine ballet. Upon making its West Coast premiere with Smuin in October 2014, the San Francisco Chronicle noted that "the whole cast danced it vibrantly and flawlessly." TheDance Series 01 program debuted in San Francisco last fall, with San Francisco Classical Voice describing the program as "terrific...in tune with the demand for ballets that aren't the same old!" Dance Series 01 will be presented February 22-25 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts and March 23-24 at the Sunset Center in Carmel. Tickets ($56-$74)* are available by calling the individual venues (see info below) or visiting www.smuinballet.org.
In Dance Series 01, Mountain View and Carmel audiences will get their first look at Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Requiem for a Rose, set to what many consider to be Schubert's most romantic string adagio, from the Quintet in C. She returns to San Francisco in the spring to take part in San Francisco Ballet's 2018 festival titled "Unbound: A Festival of New Works," along with Trey McIntyre, whose work was also introduced to San Francisco by Smuin. Ochoa has created for theatre, opera, and fashion events such as for the celebrated Dutch fashion designers Viktor & Rolf's project in the Van Gogh Museum. She completed her dance education at the Royal Ballet School of Flanders in Belgium. After a 12-year-long dance career, during which she danced as a soloist with the Sapino Ballet in The Netherlands, she decided in 2003 to focus her energies solely on choreography. In that same year, she was hailed as a "rising star of the Dutch dance scene" by NRC, and only seven years later, the Temecula Performing Arts Examiner wrote "Ochoa is truly a masterful choreographer with an edge for what dance can and should be in this constantly changing industry." She has created works for more than 40 dance companies around the world including Dutch National Ballet, Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, The Royal Ballet of Flanders, Gran Canaria Ballet, the Gothenborg Ballet, Modern Dance Theater Ankara, BalletX, Pennsylvania Ballet, Luna Ballet National de Marseille, Ballet Hispanico, Le Jeune Ballet du Québec, BJM-Danse Montréal, Jacoby & Pronk, Saarbrucken Ballett, Whim W'him, Incolballet de Cali, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, and New York City Ballet, among others.Dance Series 01 also includes Michael Smuin's rollicking Fly Me to the Moon. Performed against a twinkling backdrop of a glowing night sky, the ballet highlights warm and witty Sinatra favorites such as "You and the Night and the Music" and the funny and charming "I Won't Dance," culminating in a full chorus, high-kicking "New York, New York." The San Francisco Chronicle called the work an "irrepressible crowd-pleaser." Infused with Michael Smuin's signature Broadway pizzazz, this "A-Number One, top of the heap" ballet inspires audiences to shake their little town blues, stand up, and cheer.
Rounding out the bill is the return of Garrett Ammon's daring Serenade for Strings. Set to Tchaikovsky's score of the same name, this work is a vibrant new interpretation of a piece inexorably tied to the iconic 1934 Balanchine ballet. Upon making its West Coast debut in October 2014, the San Francisco Chronicle described it as "Playful. Exciting" and Dance View Times declared, "Ammon has made the Tchaikovsky score his own. Elegance as well as exuberance." Ammon was last seen here in September 2016 when Smuin presented his world premiere work Madness, Rack, and Honey, hailed "an infectious good time" by The Mercury News. Ammon is an acclaimed choreographer who began his tenure as Artistic Director of Wonderbound in 2007. He has created some 70 dance works over 18 years, and developed a trademark aesthetic that seamlessly blends tradition with adventurous new ideas. A serial collaborator, Ammon has worked with poets, visual and digital artists, musicians, actors, a perfumer, and an illusionist. As a dancer, he was a member of Houston Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Ballet Memphis, and Trey McIntyre Project, with which he toured to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Vail International Dance Festival, Dance Salad, and Wolf Trap.
For more than 20 years, Smuin has pushed the boundaries of contemporary ballet within a distinctly American style, 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: Smuin dancer Erica Felsch is the featured soloist in
Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Requiem for a Rose, presented
as part of Smuin's Dance Series 01, with performances in Mountain View Feb 22 - 25 and Carmel Mar 23 - 24.
Photo credit: Keith Sutter