Variations on Virtuosity

A gala performance with the stars of The Ballez

Variations on Virtuosity

A gala performance with the stars of The Ballez

Variations on Virtuosity

A gala performance with the stars of The Ballez

The Ballez celebrates the virtuosity of complexly gendered people by choosing the grandiose container of ballet for its presentation. The company celebrates a lineage of dykes and post-modern performance by telling queer/dyke histories inside the framework of classical ballet narratives. Following this tradition, the stars of The Ballez present Variations on Virtuosity, a Gala Performance of excerpts from the Ballez repertoire, followed by a champagne toast.

excerpts from:
photos by Ian Douglas

The Firebird, a Ballez

Music: Stavinsky’s The Firebird
Princes: Ariel Federow, Londs Reuter, Marian Ekweogwu, Sam Greenleaf Miller, Lou Henry Hoover, Janet Werther, Nyx Zierhut, & Lollo Romanski
Lesbian Princess: Evvie Alison
Firebird: Jules Skloot
Sorceress: Katy Pyle

The Dying Swan

Music: Camille Saint-Saens Le Cygne
Swan:
Michael Helland

Club Duets

Music: JD Samson
Bluebirds: Lindsay Reuter & Sam Greenleaf Miller
Cinderella & Prince Charming: Evvie Alison & Will Davis
Little Red & the Grey Wolf: Janet Werther & Ariel Federow
Sleeping Beauty & the Beast: Katy Pyle & Jules Skloot

VARIATIONS ON VIRTUOSITY HAS RECEIVED CREATIVE SUPPORT FROM BROOKLYN ARTS EXCHANGE, DANSPACE PROJECT IN COLLABORATION WITH THE JEROME FOUNDATION, MOUNT TREMPER ARTS, ROCKBRIDGE ARTIST’S EXCHANGE, AND THE 259 KICKSTARTER SUPPORTERS WHO PRODUCED THE FIREBIRD, A BALLEZ.

“Contemporary ballet, by and large, makes my eyes glaze over. I just can’t get into it much or much of it. But this isn’t contemporary ballet. With the exception of the Club Suite duets, it’s classical ballet for contemporary people living in a real world, and it has got my full attention.

The Ballez doesn’t satirize ballet; it rewrites the rules of who can dance and how they must present themselves.

It appropriates technique, stories and characters for all the right reasons. It makes us look closely, in the interactions between and among dancers, to witness utmost care and delicacy of touch as well as power in the fluidity of physical and emotional roles. Dance lives here and will never flame out.

This troupe could sell out–I’m not talking about seats–and part of me would be very happy for Pyle and her collaborators. They have developed a thrilling sophistication in their teamwork and bring something a wider American audience needs to see.”

-Eva Yaa Asantewaa, InfiniteBody, January 11, 2015

PHOTOS BY IAN DOUGLAS, COURTESY AMERICAN REALNESS