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Dekkers believes artists keep returning to “The Red Shoes” for inspiration for the same reason it attracted him. “A lot of the work I make is totally abstract, not really narratively driven, so when I do decide to do something based on a narrative, what draws me is the desire to find a way to take this framework and turn it on its head,” he said.
Diablo Ballet’s 24th Anniversary gala at the Lesher Center for the Arts, was a choreographic tapas of delicious, bite-sized samplings of the company’s diverse offerings and capabilities. The dancers were at their peak. For a company to go from organic, free-flowing contemporary pieces created by top modern choreographers such as Trey McIntyre to the simple elegance of the long-loved classical ballet Swan Lake with equal skill and precision requires a special breed of dancer with experience and maturity. This Diablo Ballet program clearly demonstrates that it is a company that nurtures and produces that breed of dancer.
Diablo Ballet has done it again, and the company has never looked better. Wait. Didn’t I say that last year? But it’s true—last Thursday’s anniversary gala performance seemed to be presenting Diablo Ballet at its strongest, its most versatile.
“Film scores are never easy and always make me second-guess myself,” said Levitt, manager at Steinway & Sons in Walnut Creek. “At the same time they also stretch my creativity and force me to grow as a composer. As a result, the film gets the music I feel it deserves and I reach a new level of personal achievement.”
The ballet world is highly stratified, however, there are small companies that quietly thrive — as if occupying a separate ecosystem. On the threshold of the 24th season of Diablo Ballet, I spoke with co-founder and artistic director Lauren Jonas about the phenomenon.
A sprightly and spry revue with its brightly colored costumes (Cynthia Sarmiento), lively accompaniment from Greg Sudmeier with the Diablo Ballet Swing Orchestra, and playful choreography, this piece continues to be a surefire way to mark the beginning of the holiday season.
An emotive, contemporary duet that charmed with a universal parable. A chamber work replete with neoclassical speed and musicality. A fun-filled, energetic ensemble dance to welcome the coming holiday season. What a well-crafted program to kick off Diablo Ballet’s twenty-fourth year!
Nothing says “holidays” like ballet set to the bright music of the 1930s and ’40s, including favorites by legends like Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole.