Neoclassical ballet

Preview: “Ballet under the stars” prepares “a real treat” for the public of Spoleto

For four days, five dancers from two different dance companies will come together to perform Ballet under the stars. Spoleto presents this event Friday through Monday on the Rivers Green Outdoor Stage at the College of Charleston. Two of the dancers are from American Ballet Theater, while three are from New York City Ballet.

Ballet expert Amy Brandt served as editor of Tip Magazine since 2014. Before being a writer, Brandt was a ballet dancer for 19 years, and she started dancing at age 5 because she wanted to be like the ballerinas she saw on TV.

Brandt will not be present Ballet under the stars, but she gave some insight into what to expect from the show.

“It’s a well-balanced program with fairly well-known choreographers – George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Lar Lubovitch, Jerome Robbins,” she said. “The public of Spoleto will be delighted.”

Ballet under the stars opens with the neoclassical work of Apollo by George Balanchine, then ends with the classical ballet piece in a tutu, Diamonds — also by Balanchine — an extract from a ballet in three parts entitled Jewelry. The Balanchine pieces alone represent the range that will be presented in the parade.

Adrian Danchig-Waring, one of the five dancers featured, is performing in Spoleto for the first time, but has been admiring the festival for a while.

“One of the great values ​​of my work is that dance is non-verbal, so it can touch hearts and minds around the world,” Danchig-Waring said. “This kind of festival programming and vibe is so essential to spreading our love of art and changing culture.”

By age 16, Danchig-Waringhe was attending the School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center, the official school of New York City Ballet. A year and a half later, in 2002, he joined the company as an apprentice. In 2003, he became a full member of the New York City Ballet.

One of the founding choreographers of New York City Ballet was Jerome Robbins, and Danchig-Waring always felt very connected to his work. (The dancers do a lot of pieces from the repertoire with them.)

In 2018, Danchig-Waring suffered a year-long injury – stress fractures to both shins – and spent six months of that time on a fellowship at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, browsing Jerome Robbins’ archive of personal letters, notes and more.

Danchig-Waring was intrigued by the Festival of Two Words in Spoleto, Italy, and how Robbins brought his company to show Italian audiences what American dance was like at that time.

“It was really a festival of two worlds, where they exchanged ideas,” he said.

Ballet under the stars is intentionally curated to address some of the most vital voices in 20th and 21st century ballet, both in terms of the choreographers who are featured (such as Jerome Robbins, George Ballansheen, Christopher Weeldon) and the five dancers, who Danchig-Waring said are close friends and grew up together in many ways within the New York dance scene.

“This is an opportunity for us to be fully ourselves as we come back from this crazy COVID year and share our passion for these works, for ballet, with a live audience for the first time in over 20 years. a year,” he said.

Other American Ballet dancers include Isabella Boylston, Calvin Royal III, Unity Phelan, and Joseph Gordon, who is also Danchig-Waring’s boyfriend.

“We’re in a unique position (where we) are principal dancers for the same company, but also partners in real life,” he said. “I just can’t express how exciting it is to know that in a few days we will be able to get on stage and do what we do best, do what we love and share that with people in real time. ”

Emily Johnson is a graduate student in the Goldring Arts Journalism and Communications program at Syracuse University.