Like the flower in this haiku by Frances Spencer, Ventura County Ballet and performers everywhere have been waiting for the darkness of Covid to lift to again share their art.
Ventura County Ballet has joined with a diverse selection of local artists to create two free streaming programs – one classical and one contemporary – now available to watch online anytime. The Classics and Dance Through a Contemporary Lens came to life through a unique collaboration of dancers, choreographers, musicians, visual artists and filmmakers as a gift to Ventura County and the world at large.
Both programs may be viewed online without charge.
Kathleen Noblin, Executive Director of Ventura County Ballet, explained, “With the pandemic largely behind us, Ventura County Ballet is ready to emerge. We feel our community, as well as those beyond our borders, need an infusion of beauty into their lives. We were pleased to be able to collaborate with Namba Performing Arts Space to offer these two performances to show that dance has stayed alive through these difficult times.”
Staged at the Namba Performing Arts Space, Ventura County Ballet presents both beloved classical repertoire and new works by local choreographers Marina Fliagina and Emi Pool. Local musicians Rob Allen (guitar), Mikaela Telesforo (violin) and Anya Hess (harp) accompany several pieces live on stage. Allen and Telesforo play The Swan by Saint-Saëns to accompany solo dancer Greta Pankratz.
In addition to the advanced dancers showcased, Ventura County Ballet offers a look at the future of dance. The “L’ Aurore” and “La Travail” variations from Delibes’ classic Coppelia are danced by Sylvie Watts, 12, and Abigail Steiner, 13, students of Ballet Academy Ventura, official school of Ventura County Ballet.
The eclectic program also includes award-winning Ventura visual artist, playwright and poet Frances Spencer. A member of Working Artists Ventura, Spencer shares a sample of her works across a variety of media.
Noblin added that the program was a true collaboration both onstage and backstage. Saint Pierre, local musician and founder of MusicAndArtsForYouth, assisted in staging the programs and donated backdrops.