Springloaded (Reimagined) is a virtual rendition of our annual spring performance.
Premiered on Saturday, June 20th at 7pm on Youtube.
This performance is a celebration of "home." Despite the physical separation that we've experienced these past few months, we recognize that New Ballet is a family and we're grateful for the technology that allows us to remain close even from a distance. While we dance from home for now, we look forward to our eventual reunion in our home away from home.
SPRINGLOADED REVIEW, Katie Smythe, CEO and Artistic Director
Dear Springloaded Performer:
Congratulations on your first virtual performance in Springloaded (now seen by over 300 people and growing)! You and your families became filmmakers in the process, and did a great job! The following is my review of the production, and I'd like to lift up the efforts of your production team led by Ms. Noelia, and including Maxx Reed (Editor) , Tomisha Edwards, Chloé Slade, Briana Brown, London Bruce, Kempton Daniels and Travis Butler (Choreographers) and Mary Gunning. Our Alum piece was exceptional and they DO have experience in school and as dancers at NBE in their years of putting projects up collaboratively.
The performance opens with the Alumni performance, and they chose the wonderful hopeful message of Ernest Withers' "Lovely Day". Clearly, they are beautiful dancers, and even those who aren't dancing as much as others at the moment still dance so well and look amazing! The years of hard work to which New Ballet students have committed remain embedded in the dancer's code. It is there when we call it up - - even when time has lapsed away from classes. Right now, that is a particularly relevant message given the anxiety felt by dancers around the world (and certainly here at home) who are sorrowful for a number of reasons, including because we cannot move through space together, in a studio or on a stage and, that as society's open wounds call on all of us to act, we are dealing with different emotions, pain, while balancing love and caring for one another. Our ingrained technique does not go away!
"Lovely Day" was perfectly placed in the show order by Ms Noelia. Personally, I felt memories flooding back, a re-acquaintance and connection with the beautiful young women and men of New Ballet and gratitude that in the midst of the struggles of a nation and a people, our common ground remains intact. The smiles at the end were the icing on the cake! Great dancing and great heart!
As the performance moved on, we were struck by the beauty of the youngest children dancing such a sophisticated dance, choreographed by Noelia Garcia Carmona, as a right of passage. Through this work, we saw a reminder of where the older dancers had come from, an innocence and awakening into deeper awareness, artistry and physical structure. It was simply beautiful to see the Level Four dancers begin to embody the Spanish aesthetic so beautifully and gracefully. All of the ballet work with Ms. Chloé is evident, long necks, shoulders held, elbows lifted. Bravo!
Simply put, I feel like the Hip Hop class segment could be a knock out music video! You guys rocked! Maxx did a super job on this and it held our interest the entire time. It was professional, human, and the dancing was really, really good! Your energy and performance quality was of pre-professional quality.
Level Five began with Phoebe emerging from a wall and a zoom in on her as she walked forward. Paired with her intensity and focus, it was very moving. Although the piece was short, it highlighted the growth of the Level Five dancers and their increasing abilities. I loved the touches of William Forsythe arms and style, perfectly suited for this medium when pirouettes might be risky to perform. Good job all around from Ms Chloé to the dancers to video editing.
"Forward" was enchanting. As an audience member, I felt that I was getting to know the dancers in a new way. Lunges were deep, legs were high, balances were held, and at the same time the emerging dancer was suddenly human, seen outside with no makeup or artifice, no staging or lighting, the humanity is what I was struck with, and I can't help but think that this is what Ms. Briana intended. It was powerful and moving.
Finally, The Level 6 dancers and Ms.Tomisha brought us "Home Is Where The Heart Is" where we saw the dancers in the context of family. As we sat with our families and friends, we saw the importance of a support network influence on student artists. There were exquisite moments of technique combined with a very personal intimacy as we were invited into the life of a dancer, the home away from home or actual home where dancers await a re-entry to the life of the studio and theater, something we all look forward to! It was beautiful.
I can't wait to watch it again and to share with friends and colleagues, friends of New Ballet like Susan, Kevin and Michael (Nut Remix backstage friends), donors and more of our master teachers. General Hmabrick already viewed it and was moved to tears. He wants to share the performance with the TN Governor's School!
Keep working and keep believing. You are growing through this time.
“During times of darkness, the arts illuminate our shared humanity,” said Mellon Foundation president Elizabeth Alexander, in a statement. “When we’re socially distant and facing adversity, the arts bind us all together. They deliver a sense of community at a time when we’ve never been farther apart.”