On Monday, the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA, in collaboration with Ballet Next and with support from Bed-Vyne Wine and The Wright Group, presented "Life's Impressions," a rousing classical and modern ballet performance at Long Island University's Kumble Theater, to benefit excellence in art as a foundation for life.
Ballet Next is a classical ballet company newly formed by co-artistic directors Michele Wiles, former principal dancer with American Ballet Theater and Charles Askegard, former principal dancer with New York City Ballet. Ballet Next offers a progressive environment for collaboration among leading dancers, choreographers and musicans.
"Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA is proud to collaborate with Ballet Next in bringing the arts and education to Brooklyn," said Dordy Jordain, executive director for the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA. "This is a wonderful collaboration, the first of its kind to give our young people exposure to ballet, to classical music, just broadening their horizons. Hopefully this will inspire some future ballerinas and dancers."
Both veteran classical theater-goers along with several dozen young residents of Bed-Stuy got a chance to see a very rousing and emotional ballet performance by one of the newest contemporary and innovative ballet companies to emerge out of New York City.
Under the artistic direction of Wiles and Askegard, internationally acclaimed classical dancers from the U.S. and Europe, including Askegard, Wiles, Lily Nicole Balogh, Gonzalo Garcia, Kristie Latham, Georgina Pazcoguin and Ana Sophia Scheller donated an impactful performance.
For the first half, the company performed two classical Pas de Deux pieces choreographed by Marius Petipa and George Blanchine and music by Tchaikovsky performed live by the Ballet Next Ensemble under the musical direction of Elad Kabilio.
For the second half, the dance company performed original and new works-- a preview of dances it will perform for its world debut performance at the Joyce Theatre beginning October 23, 2012.
For many of the young audience members, it was the first time they attended a live ballet performance. However, probably, the most enjoyable moments of the evening came from the juvenile "ooohs," "aaahs," and gasps of surprise evoked by the dancers' battements, pirouettes and deboulés. It couldn't help but give the older audience members the silent giggles and the feeling of extreme pleasure from knowing how much the children genuinely enjoyed the show.