Five world-premiere, contemporary ballets recorded at the Aronoff Center
Cincinnati Ballet’s The Kaplan New Works Series shifts to an innovative, digital experience, streaming FREE, Feb. 25-28 and March 5-7. Audiences can look forward to thought-provoking new work that reflects this unprecedented moment in time. Cincinnati Ballet’s Resident Choreographer Jennifer Archibald and choreographers Dana Genshaft and Helen Pickett will share their personal perspectives through movement. The digital program also features choreography from Cincinnati Ballet Principal Dancer Melissa Gelfin De-Poli and Corps de Ballet Dancer Taylor Carrasco. New Works was recorded at the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater with multiple cameras for an immersive digital experience, following strict health and safety protocols.
What the choreographers say inspired their pieces for New Works:
Jennifer Archibald, Pursuit:
“It’s a play on power. It’s a play on the fearlessness and the sexual power of the madams of the 19th century. A lot of the madams of the 19th century had some of the highest wages of American women at that time. A lot of them funded irrigation and roadbuilding projects, and they provided their employees with healthcare. They were these brazenly public women. Even if you didn’t agree with their life choices, they were able to gain power and control of their womanhood and moved through society in this non-apologetic way.”
Taylor Carrasco, Regards:
“I decided to go the gay, queer route because that is how I identify and there have been a lot of voices like mine that have not been heard. Luckily, I’ve been given a platform. So, when I was thinking about how I wanted to explain that voice, I started gravitating towards Broadway music, because when I thought about, it is an art form that has a lot of gay men involved in it, but if you look at the subject matter of a lot of Broadway works, they’re not extremely inclusive of gays. You’re probably not going to be lead male unless you’re strong and masculine and fawning after a beautiful woman. I wanted to give people like me a space to feel like themselves.”
Melissa Gelfin De-Poli, Ain’t I a Woman:
“I am exploring the voice of intersection — intersections of equality for the voices of minority groups. Humans whose voices have been silenced, whose being has been hushed because of gender, race, religion. But more importantly, I hope to address ‘the how’ — how can we put away the blocks of judgment between us and race as one.”
Dana Genshaft, Wunderkammer:
“My piece is about fantasy. Fantasy is the bridge our minds make when it is reaching for ‘knowing.’ When we don’t know, we often create fantasies to make sense of the world. This piece is about acceptance of the things that are unknown, strange or don’t fit into society, that somehow don’t have a place in the logical, ‘real’ world.”
Helen Pickett, BALANCE:
“BALANCE is a journey solo, a dive into the continual negotiation of life’s on and off balance, physically and emotionally. What do we choose to carry or relinquish? In the solo, there is a chair and the image of the world printed on a carpet. Is that carpet the small/interior world, and the room, the large/exterior world? Or vice versa? How can we move fluidly between both worlds? When we DO find our balance, we dance our way through life.”
WHO: Cincinnati Ballet
WHAT: The Kaplan New Works Series
WHEN: February 25-28 & March 5-7
*Video link will be available at cballet.org beginning at 8 pm, Thursday, February 25 through 11:59 pm, Sunday,
February 28 and again beginning at 8 pm Friday, March 5 through 11:59 pm, Sunday, March 7.
WHERE: FREE at cballet.org
About Cincinnati Ballet
Since 1963, Cincinnati Ballet has been the cornerstone professional ballet company of the region, presenting a bold and adventurous array of classical, full-length ballets and contemporary works, regularly with live orchestral accompaniment. Under the artistic direction of Victoria Morgan, Cincinnati Ballet has become a creative force within the larger dance community, commissioning world premiere works and exploring unique collaborations with artists as diverse as Grammy winning guitarist Peter Frampton and popular, Ohio-based band Over the Rhine. With a mission to enrich, expand, and excel in the art of dance through performance, a high-caliber academy, and impactful education and outreach in local to global communities, Cincinnati Ballet reaches beyond the stage in programs that allow every person in the region to be part of the continued evolution of dance. To that end, Cincinnati Ballet presents exhilarating performances, provides extensive education and community engagement programs, and offers top-level professional ballet training at Cincinnati Ballet Otto M. Budig Academy.
Cincinnati Ballet 2020-2021 Season Sponsors: Rhonda & Larry A. Sheakley, Margaret and Michael Valentine, ArtsWave, Mercy Health, Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, Ohio Arts Council, Frisch’s, The Austin E. Knowlton Foundation