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Leigh McBurnett 713-652-3938
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The Trilogy will feature Wolfgang for Webb performed by Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Amadeus for Anita performed by Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, and the Princess Grace award-winning Mozart performed by dancers from both companies. “For several years, I have laid the groundwork for a creation that pays homage to the works of Mozart. I find so much of his music both humorous and poignantly touching, and even sometimes intriguingly irreverent,” states Walsh. With stunning scenic design by Houston artist Libbie Masterson and distinctive costumes by Domenico Luciano, The Trilogy will transport you to a timeless netherworld.
For this project, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater will participate in an extraordinary exchange of ideas, artistic vocabulary, administrative capabilities, and resources with Sarasota Ballet of Florida. Walsh first met Iain Webb, now Artistic Director of Sarasota Ballet, in Japan when
Houston Premiere of Walsh’s Mozart Trilogy/Page 2
Walsh was dancing as a guest artist with New National Theatre, Tokyo and Webb was working with K-Ballet Company. When Webb took his post in Sarasota, he invited Walsh and his company to perform there. Webb then graciously invited Walsh to choreograph a new work for Sarasota Ballet in April 2008. The result was Wolfgang for Webb, the first work in Walsh’s Mozart trilogy. Wolfgang is set to piano sonatas, operatic works, and symphonies and features twelve dancers. Of the world premiere of the ballet, Bill Hutchinson for the Herald-Tribune said, “Wolfgang for Webb has some beautiful moments, in particular a stunning sequence in which the dancers emerge as body parts from a swirling sea of white silk.”
Walsh created the second installment of his trilogy, the 2007 Choo-San Goh Award winning Amadeus for Anita, for Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. After its world premiere in Houston in February 2008, the company toured the work to Sarasota, Florida and to New York’s Joyce SoHo. Amadeus is dedicated to an amazing woman who has been instrumental in the development of Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Anita Garten. “I am grateful for her guidance and generous patronage of the company and for her unwavering support of my artistic vision. Her passion for quality culture and her commitment to ensure that it continues to thrive is inspiring,” says Walsh.
Walsh will complete his three year journey through the varied compositions of Mozart by creating the final work of the trilogy on dancers from both Sarasota Ballet and Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. “What is unique about Mozart, and what I am most excited to explore, is creating a work that will blend the personalities, skills, and artistic abilities of dancers from two distinct companies. I feel there is a great deal that will be shared and enhanced by this exchange of qualities, thus providing a wonderfully wide canvas for me to reach new heights as a choreographer,” states Walsh. Walsh and his company will travel to Florida in March 2009 for the creation and rehearsal of Mozart, and Sarasota Ballet will present the Florida premiere of the complete trilogy on April 24-26, 2009. Then, both companies will travel to Houston where Dominic Walsh Dance Theater will present The Trilogy on April 30-May 2, 2009.
Houston Premiere of Walsh’s Mozart Trilogy/Page 3
“I am excited about the vocabulary of movement and the dance theater aspects that we will invent over our time creating Mozart together. It will be wonderful to have a group of such diverse dancers to explore new terrain," states Walsh.
Recognizing the importance of this project to Walsh’s development as a chorographer, the Princess Grace Foundation recently awarded him a prestigious Princess Grace Award to support the creation of Mozart. “I am grateful to the Princess Grace Foundation-USA for supporting this extraordinary exchange and also to Iain Webb for presenting this incredible opportunity to me,” says Walsh. This past fall, Walsh traveled to New York as a guest of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA for the black-tie awards gala held in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.
For Mozart, Walsh will collaborate once again with Houston visual artist Libbie Masterson on the set design. Upon seeing an exhibition of Masterson’s photographs of Antarctica several years ago, Walsh was immediately inspired by her aesthetic. “These images were so powerful for me and create feelings and ideas of open space, a clean coldness, solitude, loneliness, and something endangered like all of us,” says Walsh. For the first and second ballets of the trilogy, Masterson drew upon these photographs and created sculptures that are dramatically lit from within. They are reminiscent of icebergs and suggest an essence of time and space in a sea of solitude. DWDT company member Domenico Luciano who also designed the costumes for Wolfgang and Amadeus will design the costumes for Mozart. The costuming will suggest elements from the Baroque period and will evolve into a more danceable while still representational look – high collars, long sleeves, and stylized make-up and hair for the women. This abstract, yet theatrical design is congruent with the choreographic style of the trilogy.
With a variety of costumed looks integrated with Mozart’s sometimes strange and wonderful compositions, and inside the icy glaciers of Antarctica, Walsh’s The Trilogy: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will offer something unique and thought-provoking.
Houston Premiere of Walsh’s Mozart Trilogy/Page 4
“I am really enjoying taking this subject of Mozart, his life and his work, and developing the ideas over a period of a couple years, three works, and two dance companies, to really discover something through this immersion,” says Walsh.
Tickets for the Houston premiere of The Trilogy: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are available for $23.25, $36.25, and $48.25 through www.dwdt.org
or by calling 713-315-2525. A VIP Opening Night package, including priority seating and an exclusive post-show cocktail reception with the performers at Artista is available for $81.25. The performances will take place at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Zilkha Hall at 800 Bagby Street, Houston, Texas 77002 on April 30, May 1, and May 2, 2009 at 7:30 PM.
The Florida premiere of The Trilogy will take place at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts Theater on April 24, 2009 at 8:00 PM; April 25, 2009 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM; and April 26, 2009 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM. For tickets, visit www.sarasotaballet.org
or call the Box Office at 941-351-8000 or 800-361-8388.
*Photo credit: Top: DWDT Company Member Domenico Luciano in Amadeus for Anita. Photo by Amitava Sarkar, Photography InSight. Bottom right: Sarasota Ballet of Florida Company Members Carlos Martin and Lauren Strongin in Wolfgang for Webb. Photo by Frank Atura. Bottom left: DWDT Company Member Domenico Luciano in Amadeus for Anita. Photo by Gabriella Nissen Photography. To access high resolution images, visit “Press Room” at www.dwdt.org
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The goals of Dominic Walsh Dance Theater are: to present innovative, thought-provoking contemporary ballet in Houston and abroad; to expand the contemporary repertoire by supporting the creation of new works by choreographers from around the world; and to advance international dialogue by bringing the work of today’s iconic choreographers to Houston. Dominic Walsh, a world-renowned principal dancer and choreographer, created the company in 2002 to build upon and expand the vocabulary of the masters of contemporary dance. By bringing together the world’s greatest choreographers and the finest dancers, musicians and designers, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater inspires, challenges, and entertains audiences and artists alike with stimulating and visually stunning performances.