Take Shape

October 14-22, 2017

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A creative selection of boundary-breaking work.

Balanchine, revered as the "father of American ballet," is back this season with a work never before seen in Memphis, the tremendously athletic Square Dance. Having choreographed over 400 works in his lifetime, his unique style is highlighted by brilliant speed and attack. Sharing the program of inventive short works will be Julia Adam's Fingers of Your Thoughts, created for Ballet Memphis in 2008 and representing another incredible collaboration between the choreographer and the creative costume designs of Christine Darch. Known for her playful props Adam gives us the most important moments in life through the lens of our dancers. Completing the shape of this show, we're thrilled to present Trey McIntyre's Reassuring Effects (of Form and Poetry) with its "dizzying blend of classical and colloquial movement" that will most assuredly leave you wanting more.

Waves of fresh, imaginative dancing spill across the stage; the movement is both virtuosic and nuanced…The Reassuring Effects of Form and Poetry is one that bears repeated viewing – and soon.
The Washington Times


Square Dance 
October 14, October 21 at 8pm, October 22
Virginia Pilgrim Ramey, Brandon Ramey
Lilit Hogtanian, Francisco Preciado
Alexis Hedge, Oscar Fernandez
Felecia Baker, Pablo Sanchez
Iori Araya, Ryan Preciado
Cecily Khuner, Jonathan David Dummar
Mei Kotani, George Sanders 

October 15, October 20, October 21 at 2pm
Crystal Brothers, Oscar Fernandez
Lilit Hogtanian, Francisco Preciado
Anwen David, Jared Brunson
Eileen Frazer, Pablo Sanchez
Iori Araya, Ryan Preciado
Lydia McRae, Jonathan David Dummar
Nicole Zadra, George Sanders

The Fingers of Your Thoughts 
October 14, October 21 at 8pm, October 22 James Vessell, Ryan Preciado, Brandon Ramey, Anwen David, Cecily Khuner 

October 15, October 20, October 21 at 2pm James Vessell, George Sanders, Ricardo Dyer, Nicole Zadra, Julie Marie Niekrasz

The Reassuring Effects (Of Form and Poetry) 
October 14, October 21 at 8pm, October 22 Crystal Brothers, Lydia McRae, Julie Marie Niekrasz, Eileen Frazer, Rafael Ferreras, Francisco Preciado, Jared Brunson, Jonathan David Dummar 

October 15, October 20, October 21 at 2pm Virginia Pilgrim Ramey, Cecily Khuner, Julie Marie Niekrasz, Eileen Frazer, Jonathan David Dummar, Pablo Sanchez, Jared Brunson, Ryan Preciado

Julia Adam (The Fingers of Your Thoughts) hails from Ottawa, Ontario. At age 13, she entered the National Ballet School in Toronto and, upon graduation in 1983, spent five years with the National Ballet of Canada. She joined the San Francisco Ballet in 1988, becoming a principal dancer in 1996. Among the choreographers who created works for her are Helgi Tomasson, Mark Morris, William Forsythe, James Kudelka and Nacho Duato. In 2002, Julia retired from dancing and quickly gained recognition as one of the dance world’s rising talents in choreography. Since 1996, Julia has been commissioned to create more than 70 works for San Francisco Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Houston Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theater, Nashville Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and more. She has created and set more than 10 works on Ballet Memphis. Julia has been featured in Dance Magazine, and she received the Isadora Duncan Award for Choreography. She currently resides in the Bay Area and is the Artist in Residence at Marin Ballet and Co- Founder/Artistic Director of Julia Adam Dance. 

George Balanchine (Square Dance) transformed the world of ballet. He is widely regarded as the most influential choreographer of the 20th century, and he co-founded two of ballet’s most important institutions: New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet. He was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1904, studied at the Imperial Ballet School in St. Petersburg, and danced with the Maryinsky Theatre Ballet Company, where he began choreographing short works. In the summer of 1924, Balanchine left the newly formed Soviet Union for Europe, where he was invited by impresario Serge Diaghilev to join the Ballets Russes. For that company, Balanchine choreographed his first important ballets; Apollo (1928) and Prodigal Son (1929). After Ballets Russes dissolved following Diaghilev’s death in 1929, Balanchine spent his next few years on a variety of projects in Europe and then formed his own company, Les Ballets 1933, in Paris. There, he met American arts connoisseur Lincoln Kirstein, who persuaded Balanchine to come to the United States. In 1934, the pair founded the School of American Ballet, which remains in operation to this day, training students for companies around the world. Balanchine’s first ballet in the U.S., Serenade, set to music by Tchaikovsky, was created for SAB students and premiered on June 9, 1934, on the grounds of an estate in White Plains, N.Y. Balanchine and Kirstein founded several short-lived ballet companies before forming Ballet Society in 1946, which was renamed New York City Ballet in 1948. Balanchine served as the Company’s ballet master from that year until his death in 1983, building it into one of the most important performing arts institutions in the world, and a cornerstone of the cultural life in New York City. He choreographed 425 works over the course of 60-plus years, and his musical choices ranged from Tchaikovsky (one of his favorite composers) to Stravinsky (his compatriot and friend) to Gershwin (who embodied his love of America). Many of Balanchine’s works are considered masterpieces and are performed by ballet companies all over the world.

Elyse Borne (Restaging Square Dance) began her dance training in her native Los Angeles and finished at the School of American Ballet in New York. As a recipient of a Ford Foundation scholarship, she joined the New York City Ballet where she danced for more than 13 years, being promoted to Soloist. She performed numerous principal roles in ballets by Balanchine and Robbins and shared a debut in the Nutcracker with Mikhail Baryshnikov. During this time, she also made several television appearances and traveled on concert tours with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Peter Martins, Suzanne Farrell, Edward Villella, Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. She served as Ballet Mistress for the Miami City Ballet for eight years and San Francisco Ballet for six years. Currently she devotes herself full-time to staging ballets nationally and internationally on behalf of the George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins Trusts, as well as additional works by Hans van Manen and Helgi Tomasson. She has staged ballets at the Boston Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Dutch National Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Ballet, Kirov Ballet, Central Ballet of China, Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Zurich Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Ballet Nacional de Danza (Mexico), Alberta Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and many others. 

Travis Bradley (Repetiteur The Fingers of Your Thoughts) has danced for Ballet Memphis, Houston Ballet, Richmond Ballet and Julia Adam Dance, SF. He has performed many memorable roles and originated multiple works with choreographers from around the globe. He created numerous ballets for Ballet Memphis, including Sleeping Beauty, The Ugly Duckling, and Step Out of The Shadows; he also restaged Julia Adam’s The Little Prince. For Playhouse on The Square, he has co-choreographed Memphis: The Musical, Kiss Me Kate, Rock Of Ages, Mamma Mia, The Rocky Horror Show, Hairspray, Sister Act, Peter Pan, Spamalot, Pageant, and was movement consultant for Lord Of The Flies. Travis also performed in Playhouse’s production of Billy Elliot where he played the role of Adult Billy. He has created works for Project Motion, Opera Memphis’ Pirates of Penzance, and co-choreographed Beauty and The Beast, South Pacific, and Shrek The Musical for Theatre Memphis. He assistant directed/co-choreographed The King and I and The Music Man for Desoto Family Theatre and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson for Rhodes College. He has received two Ostrander Awards for choreography, an Allie Award for best musical, and the Michael Wasmund award in Houston for his love and dedication to dance.

Trey McIntyre (The Reassuring Effects of Form and Poetry) was born in Wichita, Kansas, and trained at North Carolina School of the Arts and Houston Ballet Academy. In 1989, he was appointed Choreographic Apprentice to Houston Ballet, a position created especially for him, and in 1995 he became the company’s Choreographic Associate. He has worked for more than 25 years as a freelance choreographer, producing more than 100 pieces during the span of his career so far. McIntyre is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Choo San Goh Award for Choreography, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters, two personal grants for choreography from the National Endowment for the Arts, and is a United States Artists Fellow. His works have been performed by companies around the world including Stuttgart Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Queensland Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, New York City Ballet, BalletX, The Washington Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theatre.

In 2005, McIntyre founded his dance company, Trey McIntyre Project (TMP), based in Boise, Idaho. The company was a tremendous critical success and was lauded for its innovative business model. In 2014, the company transitioned towards new artistic ventures, reducing greatly its efforts in dance, focusing currently on the feature-length documentary, Gravity Hero.

A renowned photographer, McIntyre’s photographs have been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and Sunset Magazine, and he was commissioned by the U.S. Forest Service to create a series of photographs to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act. He is currently working on two books of photography.

Square Dance
Antonio Vivaldi (L’estro Armonica, Op. 3, No. 10, RV 580 and No. 12, RV 265) and Arcangelo Corelli (Sarabanda, Badinerie e Giga, i.e., Sonatas for Violin and Continuo, Op. 5, No. 9 [Giga] and No. 11 [Gavotta])

The Fingers of Your Thoughts
‘Gnossienne no 3’, composed by Eric Satie, performed by Patrick Cohen; ‘More Xylophone Inventions’ by the Carl Orff Ensemble; ‘Vibrate’ by Rufus Wainwright; ‘Bolero’ and ‘Berceuse’ by Carl Orff; ‘Petite Ouverture A Danser’, composed by Eric Satie, performed by Reinbert de Leeuw

The Reassuring Effects (Of Form and Poetry)
‘Serenade for Strings in E, Op. 22’ by Antonín Dvořák

Square Dance 
Bruce Bui and Ballet Memphis Costume Shop

The Fingers of Your Thoughts 
Original Costume Design: Christine Darch

The Reassuring Effects (Of Form and Poetry)
Constructed by Ballet Memphis Costume Shop based on original designs by Liz Prince

The Fingers of Your Thoughts
Original Lighting Design: Greg MacPherson

The Reassuring Effects (Of Form and Poetry) 
Original Lighting Design: Nicholas Philips

All lighting for this production by Dani Deutschmann.