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BalletNova Center for Dance collaborates with American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra
Premiere of New Ballet Performed to "Pictures at an Exhibition"
Pictures, choreographed by BalletNova's Constance Walsh, director of enrichment and adult programs, is set to the music composed by Modest Mussorgsky and arranged by Maurice Ravel. Mussorgsky composed the work after visiting an exhibit of a late friend's artwork. He captured his experience in music.
Now Walsh must capture the experience in dance.
In this second collaboration between the two organizations, AYPO will perform all ten sections of Pictures during its opening concert, with Walsh's choreography accompanying five of them. She has vividly interpreted "Promenades,"
Walsh's newest ballet shares the story of four school girls and their teacher, as they venture through a museum's art exhibits during "Promenades."
"The young school girl is enamored by the paintings," Walsh said. "Seeing them come to life she is both fearful and fascinated at the same time."
Mussorgky's Pictures, originally a piano solo, was published in 1886, four years after his death. The more popular Ravel-orchestrated version, which AYPO will be performing, was arranged in 1922.
Last year, the two organizations presented Daphnis and Chloe. This year, Walsh knows what to expect in terms of overall look and feel of the performance. While she's used to seeing only dancing on stage, the orchestra offers a movement of its own behind the dancers.
"I want to enhance the experience of the audience with the orchestra, for the audience to hear the music and maybe hear it differently with the dancers on stage," Walsh said. "There should be a sense of the collaboration between the dancers and orchestra. The reason I do this collaboration is to hear and feel the live music behind the dancers. The tempo can change at the whim of the conductor and the musicians. It's a good experience for our dancers to learn to adjust."
The images certainly aren't the easiest to interpret, even figuratively, as Walsh has discovered.
"The humor of the dance is always a fun part of choreography,"
High school students from both BalletNova and AYPO are training at the pre-professional level in order to deliver this high-quality art partnership to the surrounding community on November 5.
Sylvia Allmena, Interim Music Director & AYP Conductor Director and Director and Brass Fellowship for Orchestral Arts, leads AYP on an all-Russian concert, featuring AYPO alumnus Jennifer Montone '95 (Philadelphia Orchestra) on Gliere's Concerto for Horn. The program concludes with Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.
BalletNova Director of Enrichment and Adult Programs Constance Walsh (http://balletnova.org/
Tickets are $10 - General Admission and can be purchased online or at the door.
American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras (formerly the Northern Virginia Youth Symphony Association)
BalletNova Center for Dance, founded in 1981, is dedicated to educating and mentoring dancers in a positive, nurturing environment and preserving the traditions of classical ballet through quality dance productions and education. Led by Artistic Director Laveen Naidu (http://balletnova.org/
BalletNova is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization supported in part by the Arts Council of Fairfax County, Arlington County through the Arlington Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington Economic Development, the Arlington Commission for the Arts, the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.