Three world premieres, iconic classics, and a host of Peabody Dance and Washington School of Ballet students graced the stage in Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall last week for “Reactions,” the Peabody Dance 2017 Spring Showcase.
The Showcase opened with the premiere of David Grenke’s modern dance piece, Thermoclines Sketch, with new music by Alan Terricciano. Conservatory students sang and Preparatory students danced the Fandango from the recent production of Mozart’s opera, Le Nozze di Figaro, choreography by Constance Dinapoli. Fandango was not the only piece using classical music; a staging of Durante Verzola’s first choreographic work, A Light Exists in Spring, included music by Frédéric Chopin and Viennese dances by Fritz Kreisler.
Dressed in traditional costume, guest soloists Gilles Delellio and Natsumi Ohata from The Washington Ballet Trainee Program danced the “Peasant Pas de Deux” from the Romantic ballet Giselle. The ballet originated in Paris in 1841 and Vladimir Djouloukhadze’s setting of the Village dances for Peabody Dance students pointed to the influences of ballet greats Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, and Marius Petipa.
“Reactions” continued with two more world premieres. Ms. Dinapoli, Peabody’s artistic coordinator of contemporary dance, shaped Letting Go in memory of her father, Dr. Robert P. Dinapoli, who passed away in October. Members of The Washington School of Ballet performed Mimmo Miccolis’ BE/TAG-My digital life.
The final staging was a reproduction of Martha Graham’s legendary modern dance Steps in the Street from Chronicle (1936). Named Time’s “Dancer of the Century,” Ms. Graham once said, “Great dancers are not great because of their technique. They are great because of their passion.” Peabody Dance goes beyond movement, teaching students to create imaginative professional-level performances for over 100 years.
The program was funded by the Levi Distinguished Visiting Artists Fund for Dance, Sonia Robbins, and David H. Schwartz.