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The Washington Ballet to Conclude 2020/21 Season With Silas Farley's Werner Sonata and Dana Genshaft's ORPHEUS

Conceived and rehearsed in the early months of 2021, both Farley and Genshaft's works are creative responses to the pandemic gestalt.

The Washington Ballet to Conclude 2020/21 Season With Silas Farley's Werner Sonata and Dana Genshaft's ORPHEUS

The Washington Ballet will conclude its all-digital 2020/21 season with Silas Farley's Werner Sonata and Dana Genshaft's Orpheus, premiering on the global arts streaming platform Marquee TV beginning June 18, 2021, at 7:00PM ET.

"Silas and Dana represent exciting new voices in American ballet," stated TWB Artistic Director Julie Kent. "When we think about the future of the form, it's happening right now, with them and artists like them, in studios, on stages, and yes, on screens, thanks to boundary-bending choreographers and new partnerships with cinematic collaborators such as Marquee TV. This program, which comes just as we're beginning to think about a return to live performance, feels triumphant and so hopeful."

Presented as part of TWB's NEXTsteps, a series that supports the evolution of both ballet and the dancer, the works represent the fifth and sixth world premieres TWB has produced for Marquee TV since introducing an all-digital season in Fall 2020.

"It is a joy to see how our partnership with The Washington Ballet has flourished over the past year. Pivoting to an all-digital season is no small feat and these artists have done it with such resilience and optimism. NEXTsteps champions fresh new works and 21st-century voices. We're honored to bring these exciting premieres to TWB's digital audiences worldwide," said Kathleya Afanador, co-founder of Marquee TV and Head of Content.

Conceived and rehearsed in the early months of 2021, both Farley and Genshaft's works are creative responses to the pandemic gestalt. Artists rehearsed via Zoom, in pods of seven dancers each, before coming together in person for final rehearsals and filming in May and June 2021.

"I wanted to choreograph a work for this moment, one that fulfills our collective need for rest, reflection and renewal," remarked Farley. Werner Sonata is the first work he has made for a professional company since retiring from New York City Ballet nearly a year ago.

"The story of Orpheus, to me, is very human: he is a man that lost faith, and made a mistake. Loss of faith, hope...these are feelings we are holding onto this past year," said Genshaft. "Frustration, rage, and disappointment are brewing. I wanted to create something that reached out of the dark place to uplift."

"This past year, there has been so much that we, as dancers and as humans, could not do. But for The Washington Ballet, our mantra from the start was: so what can we do?," Kent concluded. "That we have been able to commission and produce six world premieres during our 2020/21 season, in spite of the strictures of lockdowns and social distancing, is a testament to our dancers, our company and our art form. I can't wait to share these new works with you."

Werner Sonata

Premiering on Marquee TV on June 18, 2021
Filmed on location at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Vienna, VA, June 2021

Choreography: Silas Farley
Music: Kyle Werner
Producer/Director: Wes Culwell
Director of Photography: Adrian Muys
Lighting: C.C. Gould
Costumes: Cassia Farley

Werner Sonata is choreographer Silas Farley's newest work created for The Washington Ballet's NEXTsteps program. Filmed during twilight in the spring meadows of Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Farley's Werner Sonata is a breath of life that honors ballet's history and traditions while simultaneously projecting a vibrant future for the art form, its artists, and its audiences. Set for 14 dancers to composer Kyle Werner's Sonata for Violin and Piano, Farley's three-movement work spotlights the virtuosity of TWB dancers.

Orpheus

Premiering on Marquee TV on June 18, 2021
Filmed in studio at 4Wall Entertainment, Columbia, MD, May 2021

Choreography: Dana Genshaft
Music: Kamran Adib, based on "Vagues" by La Femme, "Pyramid Song" by Radiohead, "Wolf Chase" by Daniel Rojas
Producer / Director: Ryan Miller
Director of Photography: Robert Barocci
Lighting: Joseph Walls
Costumes: Mario Lopez

Choreographer Dana Genshaft - whose Shadow Lands (2019) for The Washington Ballet was hailed as "a vision of ballet form that's futuristic and fresh" (Washington Post) - returns to TWB with Orpheus. Genshaft explores the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in a cinematic work for 14 dancers. A light narrative follows the central figure of Orpheus as he revisits the painful moment he definitively loses Eurydice to the underworld. The ballet is a metaphor for the universal message of finding one's way from darkness back to light.

Filmed against a dark backdrop that contrasts with stark lighting by Joseph Walls and airy costuming by Mario Lopez, Orpheus features an original score by San Francisco-based composer Kamran Adib that melds La Femme "Vagues" and Radiohead's "Pyramid Song." The 16-minute piece takes inspiration from the ocean, and draws on classical technique as well as more contemporary movement language to advance the narrative as the characters move from darkness to light.

The Washington Ballet's online programs are available exclusively through Marquee TV. Visit marquee.tv for subscription information.


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