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NEW Claudia Schreier Premier


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I have not been keeping up with most Covid-era digital ballet offerings, but saw something appealing tonight. Recently Atlanta Ballet posted two "live"  programs (shot live that is) performed at the Rialto Theater in Atlanta albeit in front of an empty auditorium. (The Rialto is attached to Georgia State and regularly features some dance in its rather eclectic programming--however it is not a usual venue for Atlanta Ballet.) The programs feature premiers choreographed by the Atlanta Ballet dancers themselves, most or all of whom are first-time choreographers. The second of the programs also includes a premier by Atlanta Ballet choreographer-in-residence Claudia Schreier. After her terrific premier for the company "First Impulse" -- which I saw at the last live ballet performance I attended pre-pandemic--the company hired her for a three year stint as choreographer in residence.

The new work is titled Pleiades Dances and is set to (quite wonderful) piano music by  Takashi Yoshimatsu. To my eyes the choreography seemed more eclectic/contemporary than First Impulse with modern dance technique and yoga poses melded together with ballet technique.  I'm a bit of a skeptic about this kind of blend, though I guess I had better come round since it is pervasive in the ballet world. What made Schreier's approach more interesting to me than similarly contemporary work was how often and how fluidly the dancers took unexpectedly curving and tilting but graceful shapes that made me think of art-deco ornaments and statues -- and, also, especially, the ballet's musicality. I've only watched Pleiades Dances once on video but I'd say that at this point I am more than interested in anything  Schreier does.

The work, by the way, was created initially via Zoom --which seems rather amazing to me given its group dynamics and its musical responsiveness--though the choreographer and dancers did come together in the studio for the final weeks of rehearsal.  It's still up on youtube. The Schreier piece begins with her saying a few words about it  25 minutes and 55 seconds into the video that I have linked below. (I haven't watched the rest of the program yet.)

Edited by Drew
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