Oakland-esque Spring Repertory Season
Friday, May 16, 8pm
Saturday, May 17, 2pm
Saturday, May 17, 8pm
Oakland Ballet Company’s 2013-2014 season continues with “Oakland-esque” an exciting program featuring four world premiere ballets by Artistic Director Graham Lustig and guest choreographers Sonya Delwaide, Molissa Fenley and Robert Moses, all inspired by the cultural and natural wonders of Oakland.
“Oakland-esque” features Oakland Ballet Company’s dynamic dancers with special guest performers from Oakland’s groundbreaking AXIS Dance Company and the cult Oakland street dance crew Turffeinz. Music for this program ranges from grass-roots Oakland hip-hop, to classic Oakland funk, to a new percussion score by area cellist/composer Joan Jeanrenaud, performed live by Mills College alumnae.
Tickets to Oakland-esque are on sale now!
Adult Tickets: $35.00
Seniors (62 and over): $30.00
Children (17 and under) and college students (with valid ID): $20.00
Seating is general admission for all shows and is on a first come first serve basis. Accommodations will be made for any special needs. Doors open 1 hour before each performance.
Choreographer Sonya Delwaide-Nichols creates a new work incorporating two guest dancers from Oakland’s AXIS Dance Company into the ranks of Oakland Ballet’s company dancers. Founded in 1987, AXIS was one of the first companies to integrate dancers who were dependent on wheelchairs, crutches, and prosthetic limbs, and in this new piece, Delwaide-Nichols explores how dancers with mixed-abilities can collaborate with dancers with classical training. Delwaide-Nichols last collaborated with Oakland Ballet in its 2011 spring season, and here brings her longstanding creative relationship with AXIS – she was the first outside choreographer to be invited to work with them – to initiate this first association between the two prestigious Oakland dance institutions and encourage innovation between them. “AXIS is a great symbol of Oakland,” she says. “AXIS has transformed the dance community at large by taking risks.”
In her first collaboration with Oakland Ballet, acclaimed choreographer Molissa Fenley creates a piece inspired by her walks among the Oakland redwoods. In this, her first-ever work set exclusively on male dancers, Fenley conveys the feeling of traversing the Oakland natural landscape, “views constantly shifting from one moment to the next, the natural process of the hills, the switchbacks – what it is like spatially to be on a long walk through the woods, and trying to condense that idea onto the stage.” The newly-commissioned music score, by star cellist/composer Joan Jeanrenaud, will be performed live by the virtuoso young percussionists and Mills College alumnae Nava Dunkelman and Anna Wray.
In a new ballet-meets-hip hop collaboration, Artistic Director Graham Lustig creates a work that incorporates the thrilling improvisational vocabulary of two street dancers from the cult Oakland turfing crew, Turffeinz. Local favorites of the Oakland-born street dance style called turfing (“taking up room on the dance floor”) since one of their online videos went viral (with more than 6 million hits to date), the Turffeinz create improvised choreography with effortlessly-executed backflips, gestures borrowed from ballet and martial arts, and elaborate breakdance-style arm movements. Two Turffeinz dancers, “Looney” and Garion “No Noize” Morgan, will join company dancers in a new work that celebrates the similarities between the two dance art forms. “As a trained ballet dancer and choreographer, the movement of the Turffeinz fascinates and inspires me,” says Lustig. “These guys dance on the tips of their sneakers! Familiar movements we know in the ballet as relevés, pirouettes, bourrées and piqués are effortlessly woven into their free-form improvisations. It is beautiful and expresses a joy that is beyond words.”
Robert Moses’s new piece reflects on Oakland’s rich history as a center of funk and soul music in the 1960s and beyond.
OBC is excited to present this ballet at one of downtown Oakland’s historic venue’s, the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts.*
The series of performances will include a “Production in Action” educational matinee for local school students and their teachers. Arrange for your school to attend this exciting educational experience >
In support of OBC’s 2013-2014 season, the City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program has awarded the company a matching grant of $21,000. Help support our upcoming production of Oakland-esque and meet our matching goal by making your donation today!
*Note: The Malonga Center is located within blocks of BART’s 12th Street Oakland City Center Station at 1428 Alice Street. Several parking garages are within easy walking distance of the center.