Contemporary ballet

Smuin Contemporary Ballet announces SMUIN AL FRESCO

East Bay dance audiences may be wondering not “to be or not to be”, but whether it’s nobler to dance when Smuin Contemporary Ballet takes the stage with Smuin al Fresco at the magnificent Bruns Amphitheater in the open air in Orinda.

Performed live at the California Shakespeare Theatre, this delightful program will offer a dynamic range of new work as well as “Smuin Songbook” favorites of scintillating dances set to pop standards and jazzy classics by the late Tony Award-winning choreographer. Michael Smuin.

Excerpts from Smuin’s story ballet “The Tempest” with music by an acclaimed composer Paul Chiharaand the exuberant “Sueños Latinos”, brought to Aaron Copeland score, will be presented. Also on the bill, a new pas de deux by Rex Wheeler, formerly of Smuin, and premieres by eight artists from the company.

Smuin al Fresco will be performed at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., Sunday, May 9 at the Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda. For tickets ($50), the public can visit www.smuinballet.org.

Each of the two performances will vary, with separate sets from Smuin artists who worked in their own COVID-secured “pods.”

1 p.m. show:

The artists Smuin Tess Lane, Max van der Sterre, Tessa BarbourBrennan Wall and Ricardo Dyer (the “Iris” capsule) will present this program, featuring Michael Smuin favorites, including a cheeky duet from “Fly Me to the Moon” and an exquisite solo from “The Tempest.” New dances choreographed by Barbour, van der Sterre and Wall will also be presented.

The performance will also feature Smuin artists Maggie Carey, Ian Buchanan, Lauren Pschirrer and Mengjun Chen (the “Poppy” pod), featuring three superb solos by Michael Smuin“The Tempest” by , as well as classic dances from “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Sueños Latinos”. Artists Smuin Carey, Buchanan and Brennan Wall will present new creations.

4 p.m. show:

With Smuin artists Cassidy Isaacson, Brandon Alexander, Dean Terez Orr and John Speed ​​Orr (the “Peony” module), this program includes the premiere of new dances created by Dean Orr, Speed ​​Orr and Isaacson. A new pas de deux from Smuin alumnus Rex Wheeler, a moving duet by the acclaimed choreographer Trey McIntyre“Blue Until June” and a sassy solo by Michael SmuinThe “Sueños Latinos” from will also be performed, in addition to a collection of surprises from Smuin’s repertoire.

The performance will also feature Smuin artists Maggie Carey, Ian Buchanan, Lauren Pschirrer and Mengjun Chen (the “Poppy” pod), featuring three superb solos by Michael Smuin“The Tempest” by , as well as classic dances from “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Sueños Latinos”. Artists Smuin Carey, Buchanan and Brennan Wall will present new creations.

Performances of Smuin al Fresco at Bruns Amphitheater will adhere to all current COVID-19 protocols. Upon arrival, all participants over the age of 12 must present a copy of their vaccination record or a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of the event. Masks must be worn at all times and no consumption of food or drink (except bottled water) is permitted in the amphitheater. All seats will adhere to current physical distancing guidelines mandated by the CDC. Places will be allocated in advance according to the size of each group. For specific information, including details on ADA seating, customers should email [email protected].

San Francisco audiences will have the opportunity to see the Smuin al Fresco program danced live at the Smuin Center for Dance May 14-28. Audiences will also be able to enjoy a filmed version of the program from the comfort of their home, streaming online May 6-30. For more information on all upcoming live and virtual performances, audiences can visit www.smuinballet.org.