THIS WEEK'S TOP BALLET NEWS
● Sarasota Ballet Opens the Season with a Program of Premieres
● Nayon Iovino New Resident Choreographer of Ballet Arizona
● Margaret Atwood Work Inspires New Ballet
● The Australian Ballet 2023 Season Announced
Sarasota Ballet Opens the Season with a Program of Premieres
Next month, Sarasota Ballet begins their season with three world premieres by Richard House, Gemma Bond, and Ricardo Graziano. The program, fittingly titled Premieres, will be accompanied by live music from the Sarasota Artist Series Concerts, a rarity within the FSU Center for Performing Arts.
House’s ballet – his first main season choreography for the company – is set to the music of Italian Composer Ludovico Einaudi’s Seven Days Walking, “a distinctly minimalistic yet mesmerizing auditory chronicle of a seven-day journey along the Alps, with moments of sharp and ambitious drama followed by transcendent moments of tranquility and solitude, playing into the duality of the ballet’s inspiration.”
Bond’s debut work with Sarasota Ballet features Samuel Barber’s Excursions and piano sonata and costume design by Lauren Starobin. The American Ballet Theatre corps member has been choreographing since the age of thirteen when she participated in The Royal Ballet’s Sir Kenneth Macmillan Choreographic Competition.
Graziano is a familiar name and face for Sarasota Ballet fans as the principal dancer is also the company’s resident choreographer. His new work marks the tenth one-act ballet choreographed with the company and is set to Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio #2. Of his ballet, Graziano says,
“Throughout life’s journey we encounter multiple obstacles, are presented with pleasant situations and are gifted with relationships that help us grow stronger and wiser so we can move forward and be better prepared for the future that lies ahead, whatever it may be.”
Nayon Iovino New Resident Choreographer of Ballet Arizona
A company dancer since 2012, Nayon Iovino now adds another title to his name within the organization. Ballet Arizona has announced that Iovina is now its resident choreographer, granted after creating nine works for the company.
“Nayon has proven his talent in the many years he has been choreographing, earning him this role,” said Ib Andersen, Ballet Arizona’s artistic director. “I’m looking forward to seeing how Nayon is going to challenge himself with his choreography and what direction he will go with it, because it is a journey. To progress in your choreography, it’s crucial that the dancers know your style and that you have that continuity.”
Iovino was one of three choreographers selected to participate in the 2019 New York Choreographic Institute’s spring session where he collaborated with composer Trey Makler. Iovino also choreographed five pieces for the Artist Relief Fund and was commissioned to create two works for Southwest Youth Ballet Theatre. In 2017, alongside then school director Carlos Valcárcel, Iovino co-choreographed The School of Ballet Arizona’s full-length production of Cinderella. In 2017, he was recognized by AZCentral as an “Up and Coming Artist Under 40” and in 2018 he was named “Best Choreographer” by the Phoenix New Times.
As a choreographer, Iovino draws inspiration from music to help determine the concept for a new piece. He explores and combines different types of movement depending on the composition, which is why audiences can expect a wide range of dance styles and music with his choreography.
“It means so much to me to be named resident choreographer for Ballet Arizona,” said Iovino. “It’s been an amazing experience creating new works for this company. I have discovered a whole new facet of ballet which I feel deeply connected to. I’m excited to continue exploring my creativity and would love the opportunity to put together some bigger ballets for the company.”
His first piece for Ballet Arizona was in 2013 and his latest – Tierra de Ángele – will premiere later this month in their upcoming program Contemporary Moves.
Margaret Atwood Work Inspires New Ballet
Prominent choreographer Wayne McGregor will create his first piece for The National Ballet of Canada inspired by the writings of Canadian Margaret Atwood (probably best known for The Handmaid’s Tale). MADDADDAM is ballet triptych based on Atwood’s trilogy – Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam. McGregor, who has won awards for his Chroma and Genius, “explores themes of extinction and invention, hubris and humanity, spliced together with aspects of Atwood’s activism and deep connection to the Canadian landscape, past and present”.
The premiere of MADDADDAM will be on November 23, 2022 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts i Toronto.
The Australian Ballet 2023 Season Announced
The Australian Ballet 2023 season has been announced, one filled with classical ballets, neoclassical favorites, and more contemporary explorations. 2023 marks the Sydney-based company’s 60th anniversary and Artistic Director David Halberg has curated a season that commemorates its history, present, and future.
Find all the details here including insights by Halberg and the trailer video.
Photo Credits: 1) The Sarasota Ballet in Ricardo Graziano’s Sonatina. Photo by Frank Atura; 2) Nayon Iovina in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor. 3) Wayne McGregor. Photo by Johan Hallberg-Campbell. Margaret Atwood. Photo by George Whiteside. Courtesy of The National Ballet of Canada; 4) The Australian Ballet, photo from The Australian Ballet.