Arts and Humanities
1:04 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Louisville Native John Keen Moves African American Dance Company Back Home

Keen Dance Theater Louisville members before a performance at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.
Credit Submitted photo

When John Keen moved to New York City to dance eleven years ago, he wanted to see more work by African American choreographers, like the storied Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, than he found on stage. So in 2008, the Louisville native started his own contemporary and modern dance company, Keen Dance Theater, as a vehicle for teaching African American performers how to tell stories through dance.

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Arts and Humanities
4:36 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Louisville Ballet Artistic Director Bruce Simpson Programs One Last Season Before Retiring

The Louisville Ballet last staged "Giselle" in 2010.
Credit Louisville Ballet

Louisville Ballet artistic director Bruce Simpson, who retires in July, will leave behind a new season for his successor. The 2014-15 season opens in September with one of the most popular cornerstones of the classical repertoire. “Giselle” (Sept. 12-13) is a Romantic ballet about a village girl who dies of a broken heart, then is raised from the dead to seek revenge on her beloved, whom she saves instead.

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Arts and Humanities
1:20 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

REVIEW | Louisville Ballet Dancers Flex Choreography Muscles

Natalia Ashikhmina in Rob Morrow's “Paranoia Prima” in the Louisville Ballet's 2014 Choreographers' Showcase.
Credit David Toczko / Louisville Ballet

  The 2014 Louisville Ballet Choreographers' Showcase is this week at the ballet's headquarters on Main Street. This year's Showcase brought together a smorgasbord of seventeen short pieces choreographed by company members and trainees, with almost half of the complete company represented as choreographers. Some pieces were choreographed by familiar names, while others contributed an original piece to the Showcase for the first time. 

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Deceptive Cadence
9:58 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Then The Curtain Opened: The Bracing Impact Of Stravinsky's 'Rite'

An image from the 2013 production of Le Sacre du Printemps by the Joffrey Ballet, Chicago, reflects the hard jumps and stamps of Vaslav Nijinsky's original choreography.
Herbert Migdoll Joffrey Ballet

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

One hundred years ago this week, a ballet premiered that changed the art world. Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du PrintempsThe Rite of Spring — was first seen by the public on May 29, 1913, in Paris. As the orchestra played The Rite's swirling introduction, the audience at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées began to murmur. Then the curtain opened.

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Arts and Humanities
3:40 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Helen Starr: Ballet Gives You a Body Language

Helen Starr

As a soloist with the Royal Ballet and a principal dancer with the London Ballet Festival, Helen Starr danced many of the lead roles in classical ballets. But she didn’t dance the role of Juliet to Sergei Prokofiev’s score until 1985 when her husband Alun Jones, then artistic director, choreographed his version of the ballet in Louisville.

Now retired from the company, Jones and Starr return every five or six years to stage the version of Shakespeare’s tragic love story that they created together. They open another production this weekend in the Kentucky Center's Whitney Hall.

Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Thu January 10, 2013

The Big Break: Stretching in New Roles

Week 14 of The Big Break

On our audio diary series The Big Break, two of our artists stretch their artistic muscles in rehearsal this week. Louisville Ballet trainee Claire Horrocks finds the most difficult work in her upcoming Choreographer Showcase is a contemporary dance, because she has focused so intently on ballet movements since she started college. Actors Theatre of Louisville apprentice Samantha Beach takes to the air in rehearsals for the Humana Festival apprentice showcase "Sleep Rock Thy Brain," a collection of one-act plays that all feature flying—as in, strap the actors into harnesses, hoist them high and let them act in mid-air—as a metaphor for sleep. 

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Arts and Humanities
4:12 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Dance Theatre of Harlem Company Reborn, Launches New Tour in Louisville

Company member Ashley Murphy
Rachel Neville Dance Theatre of Harlem

After an eight-year hiatus, the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company is back on the road, and its first stop is Louisville.

Founded in New York City in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell, Dance Theatre of Harlem is a rigorous ballet training program with an internationally-acclaimed professional dance company committed to racial diversity in ballet. The organization struggled financially in the years after September 11, 2001, and suspended its company in 2004. 

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