Ballet Memphis Returns to The Joyce Theater OCTOBER 27th TO NOVEMBER 1st

October 23rd, 2015

Ballet Memphis, under the artistic direction ofDorothy Gunther Pugh, will return to New York City’s Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Avenue) for the first time since 2007 for a limited run this October. Performances begin Tuesday, October 27th and run through Sunday, November 1st. Tickets start at $10. 

Ballet Memphis will present six original works in repertory during the run, all commissioned by and created on Ballet Memphis. These works will include Matthew Neenan’s The Darting Eyes (2014) and Water of the Flowery Mill (2011); Julia Adam’s Devil’s Fruit (2013); Gabrielle Lamb’s I Am A Woman: Moult (2015); Politics (2014) created by Ballet Memphis Company member Rafael Ferreras; and Confluence (2012) created by Ballet Memphis Artistic Associate and Company member Steven McMahon. 

Most of these works are from the company’s Memphis Project and River Project series. The Memphis Project works reflect and interpret the diverse culture of Memphis and the surrounding Mississippi Delta. The repertory employs classical and contemporary dance and explores a variety of themes and music–from a ballet based on Eudora Welty’s "Curtain of Green," subtly dealing with race and gender, to a classically-based work featuring Memphis jookin'. The Memphis Project often features the music of Memphis-area recording artists such as B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Aretha Franklin. The River Project is the first long-term series created on a single theme since Ballet Memphis' lauded Memphis Project. This three-installment series reflects the iconic cultural history along the Mississippi River and how it affects Memphis and the region. River Project includes nine commissioned works, and it touches on themes from cultural migration, river baptisms, flight, transportation, exploration, and flora and fauna. Many of these works are at the heart of Ballet Memphis' touring repertory. 

“All of the work we are presenting was created based on our commitment to broadening the conversation about our art form,”  said Dorothy Gunther Pugh. “We think it’s essential to demonstrate how dance and movement furthers inclusion, curiosity and delight." 

Ballet Memphis plays Tuesday & Wednesday at 7:30PM; Thursday & Friday at 8PM; Saturday at 2PM and 8PM and Sunday at 2PM. Tickets start at $10. Call Joyce Charge at 212-242-0800 for $10 tickets. All other tickets can be purchased online at www.joyce.org. The Joyce is located at 175 8th Avenue in New York City. 

Repertoire 

The Darting Eyes (choreography by Matthew Neenan) The piece is inspired by the beautifully haunting images Matthew has seen of Mississippi River baptisms, from all eras of history. The movement in the dance reflects one’s spiritual and physical journey in a lifetime; some of the Seven Deadly Sins and Virtues will serve as jumping-off points for the dancers’ characters. 

Water of the Flowery Mill (choreography by Matthew Neenan) Water of the Flowery Mill was inspired by the émigré painter Arshile Gorky. Gorky’s colorful work is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. 

Devil's Fruit (choreography by Julia Adam)This work was approached by looking at the mushroom in three distinct ways: the science, the pagan mythology, and the mind-altering power. Ms. Adam is amazed by the beauty and the power of the fungi kingdom and the piece uses digital images projected onto cyc with umbrellas.

I Am A Woman: Moult (choreography by Gabrielle Lamb, Princess Grace Foundation-USA fellow, 2014-15) This new work is based on the role of women in dance and in the larger world. It seeks to form an analogy with women’s struggle for voice in society with roles in dance. Lamb received a prestigious Princess Grace Foundation–USA fellowship to create and present this work with Ballet Memphis. I Am a Woman comes from Ballet Memphis’ seminal work that addressed equity, diversity and inclusion. 

Politics (choreography by Rafael Ferreras Jr.) Politics concerns how women relate to and how they approach each other. In an office setting, there are rules and politics in motion. In ballet as well as in hip-hop, women have particular ways to approach their footwork. Sometimes the rules become barriers to how one relates to each other, and that tension is what this work is about. This piece has 4 female jookers & uses live music sung by local Memphis artists from Hattiloo Theatre.

Confluence (choreography by Steven McMahon)The piece is about making a home somewhere and the journey towards building  of community that results. In many ways there are parallels which exist?between this journey and the river that moves alongside us. 

About Ballet Memphis 

 In its 29th season, Ballet Memphis serves as a creative resource to the nation through its innovative neoclassical and contemporary repertoire, as well as production and training of the highest caliber. Foundedby Dorothy Gunther Pugh in 1986, Ballet Memphis employs 28 dancers dancers with a $4.4 million operating budget and has performed around the world. The combined programs of Ballet Memphis–dance company, ballet school, educational enrichment and Pilates Centre–serve more than 80,000 people each year. (www.balletmemphis.org) 

About The Joyce Theater 

Founded in 1982, The Joyce Theater was created by dancers exclusively for the presentation of dance. It is considered to be one of dance’s premier performance venues and attracts an annual audience of more than 140,000. This elegant, intimate space was originally the Elgin Theater, a 1941 movie house. Today, The Joyce is a 472-seat theater with technical specifications to serve the needs of the small- and medium-sized dance companies it presents. About The Joyce Theater FoundationThe Joyce Theater Foundation, a nonprofit organization in New York City, has proudly served the dance community and its audiences for over three decades. Under the direction of founders Cora Cahan and Eliot Feld, Ballet Tech Foundation acquired and The Joyce Theater Foundation renovated the Elgin Theater in Chelsea. Opening as The Joyce Theater in 1982, it was named in honor of Joyce Mertz, beloved daughter of LuEsther T. Mertz. It was LuEsther’s clear, undaunted vision and abundant generosity that made it imaginable and ultimately possible to build the theater. One of the only theaters built by dancers for dance, The Joyce Theater has provided an intimate and elegant home for over 380 domestic and international companies. The Joyce has also commissioned over 150 new dances since 1992 and has provided special residency opportunities for 73 choreographers since 1998 to support the creation of new work. In 2009, The Joyce began operating Dance Art New York (DANY) Studios and making its nine studios available at affordable rates to choreographers, nonprofit dance companies, and the dance and theater communities for rehearsals, auditions, classes, and workshops. In 2012, The Joyce launched a presenting initiative at Lincoln Center’s Koch Theater to feature exceptional large-scale dance productions that would otherwise not be performed in New York City. Local students and teachers (K–12th grade) annually benefit from The Joyce’s Dance Education Program, and adult audiences get closer to dance through informative Dance Dialogues and post-performance   Curtain Chat discussions. The Joyce’s annual season includes approximately 48 weeks of dance with over 330 performances for audiences in excess of 135,000. For more information, please visit joyce.org, follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @TheJoyceTheater, subscribe at YouTube.com/joycetheater, and like us on Facebook: facebook.com/TheJoyceTheater. 

Listing Information:

Ballet Memphis plays Tuesday & Wednesday at 7:30PM; Thursday & Friday at 8PM; Saturday at 2PM and 8PM and Sunday at 2PM. Tickets start at $10. Call Joyce Charge at 212-242-0800 for $10 tickets. All other tickets can be purchased online at www.joyce.org. The Joyce is located at 175 8th Avenue in New York City. For more about Ballet Memphis, visit www.BalletMemphis.orgImages of Ballet Memphis are available here: bit.ly/1lsczx6 * * *