Arts

Fall ballet shows dance's many styles

This weekend's program includes 2 world premieres

POSTED AT 12:00 AM ON Oct. 7, 2005 

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The fall ballet promises to be a night of excitement and entertainment with four varied performances including two world premieres, both created by IU faculty members.

Glenda Lucena created the show for "Winds from the South," the opening piece. Lucena, a second-year guest lecturer, chose the music by Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona this past summer, however the actual story was not created until August. After meeting the dancers and getting to know everyone's abilities, Lucena created the story of two sisters at a grand party. While "Winds from the South" is a ballet by definition, it incorporates excitement and colorful music one might not expect. Further, the dancers will have to communicate to the audience and rely on acting to convey the emotions and relations between the sisters.

"I like to explore," Lucena said.

Fulfilling the hopes of a traditional ballet, the second piece, "Grand Pas Classique," is a classical pas de deux (literally "step of two" or "partnering") representing what most would imagine when thinking of ballet. One of the show participants, Justin Zuschlag, a senior majoring in ballet with an outside field in English, characterized this piece.

"It's one of the more technical pieces because it's classical," he said.

Technical and classical, however, do not mean that the piece is easy or boring, as Zuschlag said.

"It's very difficult," he said. "But the accomplishment of performing such a difficult piece makes the seven hours of practice a day all worthwhile."

The third selection, "Spring Water," lasts only about five minutes, but in spite of its length, it is one of the more complicated and filled works being performed. Sophomore Michelle Mahowald, who will be featured in three of the performances, looks forward to this piece.

"It's fast and exciting," Mahowald said. "You have to trust your partner for everything to work."

"Spring Water" will bring a neoclassical touch to the ballet, but as with "Grand Pas Classique," the piece is far from restrictive.

"It's very free moving," Mahowald said.

Appropriate to its name, "The Final Pointe" will end the night. This world premiere work was created by visiting IU faculty member Guoping Wang.

"('The Final Pointe') has a different tone from the other pieces. It's heavier, you could say," Mahowald said.

Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms are the musical masterminds behind this touching piece, which shows a dancer's final performance. Like the other premier, "Winds from the South," this piece is about 30 minutes in length and will highlight the dancing and acting abilities of the performers.

Both Zuschlag and Mahowald feel ready for the performance, and both have experience at IU as well as other distinguished ballet institutions.

"I think we're ready, all we've got to do now is build the stamina," Zuschlag said.

Lucena agreed.

"I feel comfortable. From this point on, everything comes from the dancers," she said.

Lucena also explained how the stage in the Musical Arts Center is considerably larger than the practice studios, so the dances have to be restaged. Lucena said that this would hardly pose a problem, though.

"(Staging) is what I do, it's what I've always done," she said.

With two world premieres and a very excited cast, Lucena sees bright prospects for this weekend's performances.

"People will go home very happy and refreshed," she said.

The fall ballet shows at 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow in the MAC. Ticket prices range from $8 to $12 for students and $12 to $20 for general admission. The show will run about an hour-and-a-half, including an intermission. For tickets and more information, call 855-1583.

 

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