Photo by Quinn Wharton. Featuring Anissa Bailis.

Ballet Idaho’s Anthology

Feb 7, 2023

As dancers, we are only as good as the pieces we dance and it is a gift for a dancer to be challenged. In fact, if the work were easy or predicable, we probably wouldn’t love it so much. This program will certainly put our artists to the test in a collection of works that demonstrate technical virtuosity and artistic depth, both elements experienced to greater impact within the intimate setting of the SPEC theater.

The choreography of Danielle Rowe will return to open this program, with the crisply neoclassical Chaminade set to the music of French composer and pianist Cécile Chaminade. Since her first work for Ballet Idaho in 2018, Rowe’s choreography has been in high demand. Yet little is known about this composer. While very popular in her time, by the second part of the 20th century, Chaminade’s music was largely forgotten. I am thrilled to have pianist Del Parkinson with us to remind us of its brilliance for these performances. Created for Milwaukee Ballet in 2019, this work is an assemblage of small groupings and lush duets that simultaneously embody Danielle’s sense of classicism and invention.

Two new works will be featured in this program as well, which is such an exciting unknown. Guest choreographer Jonathan Fredrickson and our own Daniel Ojeda will create on smaller casts, investigating the intersection of movement and narrative the way only dance can. While only nascent dramaturgical ideas for these works exist at the time of writing this description, I am thrilled to see ideas come into physical form with these two talented creators. Ojeda revels in the conceptual and enjoys knowing and stretching the abilities of his colleagues. Jonathan’s work is propelled by his searching curiosity, coupled with a mirthful sense of intellectual and physical exploration.

Closing this program is Christopher Stowell’s Eyes On You. Set to the songs of Cole Porter and performed live by Del Parkinson and vocalist Leta Neustaedter, this ballet was created for Oregon Ballet Theatre in 2006 and we are thrilled to revive it for our company. Inspired by classic cinema, specifically mad cap movie musicals and the gorgeous costume designs of the era, Stowell’s dances glide through a series of scenes that peer into the interior lives of the characters, all of them classic archetypes of the genre: secretary, bellhop, ingenue, handsome man, an elegant couple. This piece reminds us that ballet can be lovely and impressive without taking itself too seriously.

– Garrett Anderson, Ballet Idaho Artistic Director


This article was written by Garrett Anderson and first published via the Ballet Idaho Anniversary Season Guide. It is published here courtesy of Ballet Idaho. Click here to learn more about Ballet Idaho and here to explore the entire publication.
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