Structured around the theme of New Ballet student programming, Three Shoes and Bare Feet, (conceived by Orff teacher, Lynne Turley), the program celebrates four different styles of dance through the very different shoes worn – or not worn – by the dancers, their “tools”.
Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, based on the famous poem by James Agee, presents a traditional story from early 20th century America through the lense of diversity, a multicultural gathering of friends and family that may not have been typical then, but is more like the world we know now. In this piece, the pointe shoe is worn. Classical ballet tradition often features the pointe shoe, elevating the women to their toes where they can spin, look as if they are flying and move more quickly, further from the floor. Other performers are in the ballet shoe in which dancers do not rise to their toes. Constructed originally in Europe by hand, artisans used cloth, glue and stitching to create the shoes. Pointe shoes are made much like paper maiché, going through a hardening process to allow the foot to be protected and supported on pointe. This piece is accompanied live with piano and soprano voice. Students will experience poetry, live music and storytelling in this work that follows a girl’s journey to young adulthood in the context of family.
The passionate art of Spanish Flamenco utilizes special shoes with short heels and nails in the soles that produce its percussive sound. NBE Artist Noelia Garcia Carmona has choreographed the work, Fuego, music by Manuel de Falla.
Hip-hop and Memphis Jookin’ require athletic sneakers to support the dancers' weight on pointe. Always presenting uniquely Memphis programming, New Ballet dances Isaac Hayes’ iconic Shaft and student artist, Jeremy Bowers, in New Ballet’s iconic Swan, originated by artist, Lil Buck to the music of Camille St. Saëns . In addition, NBE Hip Hop Students will perform a new work by NBE artist, Travis Butler, Stereotypes.
Finally, West African dance is performed in bare feet. Students will enjoy a lively performance showcasing NBE’s African Dance students and artists!