D.C.'s Chamber Dance Project Continues Free Zoom Series With Luz San Miguel and Davit Hovhannisyan
Chamber Dance Project, Washington's premiere contemporary ballet company, is using technology to engage audiences virtually. CDP's well-received Virtual Chat series, which began in March, continues at 5 p.m. each Tuesday throughout May. To receive the link for each Zoom session, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit https://chamberdance.org/virtual-chats or call 202.499.2297.
On May 19, CDP will feature its dancers and ballet masters Luz San Miguel and Davit Hovhannisyan. Now in their seventh season with Chamber Dance Project, the principal dancers (who also work with the Milwaukee Ballet) having danced in leading roles in many classical ballets including "Don Quixote" and "Swan Lake." The couple will discuss and demonstrate the basics of classical ballet partnering including lifts, talk about the physical and psychological demands of partnering, and share photos and video clips from past performances. The Zoom presentation wraps up with a Q&A.
San Miguel and Hovhannisyan, partners on and off stage, live in Milwaukee and will make their presentation from their basement home studio, with lift demonstrations done outdoors due to the height restrictions in their home.
"Some of our neighbors might come to their backyards to watch the show," said Hovhannisyan. "If so, we hope they enjoy it as much as we think the Zoom audience will."
The dancers will also talk about how drops, falls and other accidents can happen in partnering and how to recover from these incidents without injury.
This is the third of four CDP presentations and Q&As scheduled for this month. On May 26, San Miguel and Hovhannisyan will discuss and demonstrate contemporary ballet partnering.
The Spanish-born San Miguel received her training at the Municipal Institute of Ballet in Antwerp, Belgium. Prior to joining Milwaukee Ballet six years ago, she danced with BalletMet, Charleston Ballet Theater and Tulsa Ballet in the U.S. as well as with Dresden Ballet and Leipziger Ballet in Germany. During her time with Milwaukee Ballet, she has performed lead roles in "Cinderella," "Esmeralda," "Romeo & Juliet" and "La Bohème."
Born in Armenia, Hovhannisyan began dancing at the age of six and four years later was accepted into the National Ballet School of Armenia on a full scholarship. At the age of 16, he began his professional career with the Armenian National Ballet Company. After arriving in the U.S., he received critical acclaim dancing with numerous companies throughout the country before joining Milwaukee Ballet in 2004. He is a principal dancer with Milwaukee Ballet, now in his ninth season. His principal roles have included Romeo in "Romeo & Juliet," Basilio in "Don Quixote," Rudolfo in "La Bohème," the title role in "Dracula" and Oberon in "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
About Chamber Dance Project: Award-winning choreographer and Artistic Director Diane Coburn Bruning founded Chamber Dance Project upon her conviction that dance should be a collaboration between dancers and musicians, and that when artists' share the creative process with audiences, it deepens the audience's experience. The company commissions and performs new and contemporary works by outstanding choreographers and composers in collaboration with dancers and musicians (who appear together onstage). In past years, CDP performers shared their creative process with open rehearsals; this year's virtual series aims to provide the same connection between audience and artist. Most ballet companies in the U.S. hire their dancers for only 35-40 weeks per year; Chamber Dance Project hires it dancers during the January and June-July lay-off periods common with other companies, bringing dancers from all over the country to work in D.C. with CDP musicians.
With its Donated Ticket and Bring a Child for Free programs, CDP provides access to those who otherwise would not have the opportunity to see live music and dance.
Photo Credit: Eduardo Patino