Floraison celebrated artistry unfolding within our ranks with a world premiere by Michael Lowe & Sarah-Jane Measor to the music of Philip Glass, a new contemporary work by company dancers Stefanie Maughan and Ali McKeon, spirited performances by aspiring young dancers, and the return of Ms. Measor’s powerfully poignant Portraits.
Tribute celebrated world premieres, a classical jewel and a signature company work.
in this world premiere performance of After Hours, Michael Lowe weaves a mysterious tale of romance and comedy as the colorful waitstaff of a stylish Shanghai nightclub ring in the New Year
Portraits honors the spirit and accomplishments of women from history who have touched the world with courage and creativity. Portraits marks the professional choreographic debut of Associate Artistic Director Sarah-Jane Measor.
Dance icon Dennis Nahat returns to Menlowe Ballet with his staging of the rapturous classical Le Corsaire Pas de Deux with this Company premiere.
With unique conception and dazzling execution, Lowe's Tribute captures the company's spirited dancing and the electrifying pulse of Ravel's Bolero.
Collage brought together three remarkable choreographers to create three distinct new works — premieres by Val Caniparoli of San Francisco Ballet, Gregory Dawson of dawsondancesf, and Menlowe Ballet's own Artistic Director, Michael Lowe.
As a leading dancer and choreographer with San Francisco Ballet, Val Caniparoli's versatility has made him one of the most sought after choreographers in the world. He set his new work for Menlowe Ballet to the stunning Baroque music of Johann Paul Westhoff.
In terms of raw energy and visceral movement, there is no choreographer quite like Gregory Dawson. Founder and Artistic Director of dawsondancesf, Gregory paired daring physicality of movement with an original score, that left audiences perched on the edge of their seats.
Our own Artistic Director, Michael Lowe, brought poignancy, humor, and his unique cultural touch to Jin Ji (Beautiful Little Things). In a series of vignettes, Lowe's ballet journeyed through the haunting melody of a unique musical instrument, a young man's encounter with his own imagination, and the qualities of elements found in nature.
Rapture featured excerpts from Michael Lowe's Playing Love, the return of Legend of the Seven Suns, and Guest Choreographer Reginald Ray-Savage's, Bru's Sweet.
Lowe's, Playing Love, is an alluring, romantic neo-classical work that explores human relationships and the facets of love. For Legend of the Seven Suns Lowe travelled to Mongolia to research his retelling of a traditional folktale featuring gods, mortals, and a menagerie of engaging animals set against the backdrop of Mongolia’s vast, rugged landscape.
Savage created Bru’s Sweet for Menlowe Ballet with "the intention of celebrating all that is jazz. The work is sensual, classy, sweet, sexy and sweaty, and Menlowe’s dancers are incredible. They dance the ballet with passion, energy and technique that is quite thrilling.”
Legend features contemporary, classical and cultural ballets including Artistic Director Michael Lowe’s Plague and the world premier of Legend of the Seven Suns.
Inspired by a Mongolian folktale, characters in Legend of the Seven Suns include gods, mortals, a menagerie of engaging animals, and Mongolia’s vast, rugged landscape. Says Lowe, “Mongolia has a rich heritage of tales related to humans and their relationship to the natural world. These stories gave me the fuel I needed to tell a great fable through dance.”
Guest Choreographer Dennis Nahat’s In Concert is a pastiche of classical divertissements celebrating French, Russian, Italian and American styles of ballet set to the music of Guiseppe Verdi and Charles Gounod.
Menlowe Ballet's 2014 Spring Season includes the premiere of Michael Lowe's Transcendence, the return of Tribute, and Guest Choreographer Dennis Nahat's Pas de Cinq.
With Transcendence, Lowe sought to explore "tragic human weakness and its consequences, contrasting it with that which calls upon us to transcend our human failings and limitations.”
Pas de Cinq is excerpted from Nahat's full-length Swan Lake that he created in the 1980's. In his version, the Queen has just introduced four Princesses to her son, Prince Siegfried, at a party celebrating his coming of age, and it is expected that afterwards, he will choose one as his bride.
Lineage features Artistic Director Michael Lowe's Serei and Tribute, and Guest Choreographer Ronn Guidi's Trois Gymnopédies and Romeo and Juliet Pas de Deux, ballets representing both ends of his choreographic spectrum.
From the late 1970s through the ‘90s, Ronn Guidi’s Oakland Ballet rose to prominence for its meticulously and lovingly-crafted reconstructions of rare Ballet Russes masterpieces and Americana classics. Lowe participated in each re-creation, dancing leading roles in many. Says Lowe, “Our season, Lineage, reflects my fascination with the tradition of passing dance down one generation to the next — artist to artist.”
Tribute, a world premiere honors Lowe’s participation in two seminal productions of Ravel’s Bolero. First in 1974, as an original cast member in Marc Wilde’s Bolero, and again in 1995 when Oakland staged Bronislava Nijinska’s 1928 version. In Tribute, Lowe references both works, weaving in his own choreographic voice, and exploring Ravel’s original musical intentions.
Reverie features Sweet Sadness by Guest Choreographer Viktor Kabaniaev along with Chuntian and Surfside, both choreographed by Menlowe Ballet Artistic Director Michael Lowe.
For Menlowe Ballet, Kabaniaev set Sweet Sadness to the music of Jean Sebalius. "Sibelius Violin Concerto in D Minor evokes in me a looking back to experiences from my years living in Russia and Germany. Sweet Sadness is an abstract expression of memories that live within me as pictures from the past."
Lowe's cultural jewel, Chuntian, evokes a Chinese watercolor painting come to life, while Surfside, pays homage to vintage surf music and includes a live musical performance by Paul Stinson and Jason Fessel of The Radishes.