Monday, March 4, 2013

Agon & Orchis: Ballet Inspired by Photography

By Dennis Goulet, MNEC

The Festival Ballet Providence will perform two ground-breaking ballets on March 8-10, 2013 at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence. Agon was first performed in 1957 and broke ground with new music by Stravinsky. Orchis, on the other hand, is a newly created ballet whose inspiration is the photography of Rhode Island photographer A. Cemal Ekin. Noticing that his images of dried orchids looked very much like ballet dancers, he approached the Festival Ballet with the notion of a ballet based on his orchid images. Starting from the collection of photographs, music was written and the dance choreographed. The choreographer, ViKtor Plotnikov, is working with Cemal as he organizes the images into a slide show that runs the entire length of the dance; the images and timing coordinated with the movements of the dancers. Cemal has donated his time (many hundreds of hours) to making this unique ballet a success.

I’ve seen roughly half of the slide show and can assure you it is something entirely different, and will be rear-projected on a16 x 20 foot screen on stage with the dancers.

You can read more about the evolution of Orchis, see images of the dancers in rehearsal, and save 15% on your ticket price by reading the posts on Cemal’s website, Kept Light Photography.