San Diego Ballet’s second weekend at the Temecula Performing Arts Center features a sampler of its exciting, eclectic repertoire. The jubilant JOPLINESQUE, the jazzy TIME FURTHER OUT, and a repeat of this season’s sophisticated THREE LATIN AMERICAN SKETCHES.
April 1 – 2pm
The Joplin piece has a different beginning. Back when I started dancing, the movie The Sting was very popular. With it came a re-examination of Scott Joplin’s music and ragtime. This all sort of seeped into popular culture and even as far as… ballet classes. Many a ballet barre in the 80’s featured the sounds of The Entertainer and Maple Leaf Rag, Plotless ballets based around specific composers are a stock and trade with dance companies. Some, like Les Sylphides (Chopin), strive to achieve something more than strict music visualization. With this particular piece, I wanted to give the dancers a piece in which they could just dance as themselves, but within the construction of classical ballet form. So often there are so many layers that audiences have to peel through just to get to the dance. Which is not to say the piece isn’t complex, because sometimes it IS. Just like big puzzle that comes together beautifully.
THREE LATIN AMERICAN SKETCHES is a piece of music that has been rolling around in my head for over a decade. I have known that I wanted to do something with it, but couldn’t figure out the shape that it should take. In the past, I have used our choreographer’s concert, Dance Gallery, to experiment with possible pieces for the season. That was the case with this piece. I worked on some movement for 2 of the 3 pieces and the larger piece revealed itself to me. While based in classical ballet, the movement has taken some flavor from Mexican imagery and folk dance. It is also a bit of a exploration of a piece of music that sounds simple but is actually very complicated.
We are also presenting last year’s TIME FURTHER OUT. In 1961, the Dave Brubeck Quartet continued their exploration of unusual time signatures that began on their 1959 album Time Out, with the release of Time Further Out. This was one of the earliest jazz albums I was exposed to and have always wanted to use it as the basis of a piece. As we are renewing our commitment to jazz music as a viable accompaniment to contemporary ballet, this seems like a good time to do so