A lot can happen in 65 years.
A lone woman dancer becomes a company of dozens; a single cello a full orchestra; a small audience a sold-out theater crowd; and a civic ballet company one of the most innovative and well-known cultural institutions in the country.
Such is the tale of the Louisville Ballet, from their first performance in 1952 – a performance of Fokine’s “The Dying Swan” by performer Bonnie Dance - to their 65th Anniversary Season, opening this weekend with their newest production, “Stars and Stripes.”
An anniversary calls for a celebration the past, both good and bad - an ode to memory and how it seeps and folds into the present. Louisville Ballet Artistic and Executive Director Robert Curran answers that call with with the world premiere of his piece “How They Fade,” a collaborative effort featuring the soft layers of visual inspiration from local artist and scenic designer Letitia Quensenberry, and the expansive, emotional soundscapes of San Francisco-based post-pop band Yassou.
Last year, the KC crew produced stories
from behind the curtain by focusing on the physical aspects of ballet production. We were there for rehearsals, stagings, set designs and construction, to show you the immense amount of time, material, and energy it takes to perfectly execute a show. Through the stories of dancers, choreographers, costume masters, and musicians, our goal was to look beyond the traditional assumptions of what ballet is and can be.
This year, we continue that mission through a different approach. In an effort to expand the visual vocabulary of ballet, we will focus on each production as memory and vision, innovation and evolution; and how each show is manifestation of 65 years of growth and of human spirit as movement. We’ll show you how every show is originally a thought, feeling, or idea, and how it takes shape through collaboration, improvisation, and connection. We’ll dive even further into the Ballet’s story to feature voices from the past, and outlook on the future.
We couldn’t be prouder to partner with the Ballet, a cornerstone of the Louisville arts community. We look forward to many more years of documenting the Ballet’s continued success.
See you behind the curtain.
-Taylor and the Kertis Creative Team