Through the Veil: Giselle Redux

March 23, 2019

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A one-night, one-of-a-kind experience...

... as only Ballet Memphis can do it! First, it's your only chance to see a preview of the upcoming, iconic, must-see ballet, Giselle. Then, in true Ballet Memphis fashion, we're reimagining the classic through our modern lens as two young choreographers—Julie Marie Niekrasz and Pablo Sanchez—take on Giselle with their own perspectives, movement and music. It's a festive night with conversation led by our artistic staff and choreographers on the significance of both the classic and its Redux, and a chance to meet your professional dance Company as they prepare for one of the ballet world's most challenging pieces. Plus Mama Gaia will be on hand with fun drinks for purchase!

Sat, Mar 23, 7:30p

One of the most beloved works from the classical repertoire, Giselle is a challenging undertaking for any company... a visual feast, featuring stunning costumes, evocative lighting and gorgeous scenery."
Jeffrey Ellis, Broadway World


Julie Marie Niekrasz (choreographer) trained at the School of Ballet Chicago, as well as at Milwaukee Ballet/Milwaukee Ballet II and summer programs at the School of American Ballet. She joined Ballet Memphis as a Company dancer in 2004 and enjoyed many roles including Hermia in Mark Godden's Midsummer Night's Dream; Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Wendy in Peter Pan and the title role in Cinderella, all by Steven McMahon; and in Trey McIntyre's Reassuring Effects of Form and Poetry and In Dreams before retiring from the stage in 2018. She also has choreographed several works on Ballet Memphis including Sa VoixReminisce and Corps de Fortitude. She also is a certified Dance for Parkinson’s instructor as well as a STOTT PILATES® instructor.

Pablo Sanchez (choreographer) first choreographed as a member of Indiana University Ballet Theater in its 2009 Choreographic Project at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, Bloomington, Ind. Upon becoming a member of Atlanta Ballet in 2011, Pablo was engaged by Dean Sharon Story to make dances for the students of Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education in their annual spring and summer showcases. Pablo has choreographed a collection of dances for Stacy Joy Keller at Dancenter North, Libertyville, Ill., and for Erica Lynette Edwards, Community Engagement at the Academy of Dance, Official School of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, since 2015. Pablo was drawn to Memphis as a Company Dancer for the 2017-18 season, in which he choreographed for Interiorworks 18, benefitting Ballet Memphis Dancers’ Resource Fund. Through the Veil: Giselle Redux, marks Pablo’s first commission for Ballet Memphis under the direction of Dorothy Gunther Pugh.

Tingting Yao (pianist) started learning piano at the age of 3. From this start, Ms. Yao went on to win a number of National piano competitions at an early age. Ms. Yao was then selected for the prestigious Shanghai Conservatory of Music at the age of 9, where she studied under the guidance of Professors Xiaosheng Zhao and Zijie Wu. In 2005, Ms. Yao entered the Music Department of Tongji University in Shanghai, China. Highlights included close collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and her highly acclaimed performance of Mozart’s “Rondo for Piano and Orchestra in D major, K.382” with the German Baden-Württemberg Symphony Orchestra for Tongji University’s 100th Anniversary Concert. In 2011, Ms. Yao graduated from Melbourne University with a Master of Music (performance/teaching) degree. Subsequently, Ms. Yao was selected from the pianists all over the world to work at Lang Lang’s Music World in Shenzhen, China. Ms. Yao later received a Master’s Degree in piano accompaniment with distinction in 2015 and Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Collaborative Piano at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2016. She is now the staff pianist at the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music and continues to be in high demand as a collaborative pianist.

Redux 1, Jolie Lore, choreographed by Pablo Sanchez

Alexis Hedge

Ashley Hannah Davis

Cecily Khuner

Iori Araya

Lydia McRae

Lilit Hogtanian

Mei Kotani

Jonathan David Dummar

Redux 2, choreographed by Julie Marie Niekrasz

Ryan Nicolas

Crystal Brothers

Felecia Baker

Ricardo Dyer

Oscar Fernandez

Eileen Frazer

Nathanael Santiago

Nicole Zadra

Redux 1, Jolie Lore, choreographed by Pablo Sanchez

"Jolie Lore is an abstract ballet paired to music from the Romantic Era. It is inspired by the classic Giselle in its melding of thematic elements from Act 1 and visual elements from Act 2, while being a young and fresh illustration of the world as it is today."

Redux 2, choreographed by Julie Marie Niekraz

"I have chosen the theme of forgiveness, as Giselle does with Albrecht in the ballet. I chose this because forgiveness shows compassion for another life — which we may need to be reminded of more than ever right now. My ballet has many parallels to the original Giselle, except mine is set in a 1950's with music and costumes suggesting that time. It starts with a jilted bride, left at the altar, who finds her coed "tribe" of others who have been left like she was, grooms included. Like the ballet, this group of abandoned brides and grooms take revenge on the groom that skipped out on his wedding, but my Giselle forgives him in the last pas de deux. However, forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation.