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On the Radar: Harvard Ballet Company

By Cara B. Eisenpress, Contributing Writer

Thursday, April 21 and Friday, April 22. 13th Annual Spring Performance of the Harvard Ballet Company. 8 p.m., Rieman Center for the Performing Arts. $10; $6 students. Tickets available at Harvard Box Office.

To a purist’s dismay, perhaps, the 13th Annual Spring Performance of the Harvard Ballet Company (HBC), at the Rieman Center for the Performing Arts last night, contains almost as much modern choreography as classical. But, according to the show’s producers, this mélange should mean that no one will leave the center disappointed.

“The combination of different dance styles––contemporary, modern, traditional ballet––means that there is something for everyone,” says Ebonie D. Hazle ’06, the president of HBC.

The company’s own members were responsible for the choreography of about half of the performance’s pieces; and because of the diversity of styles included, they were able to build dances around their own personal preferences and inclinations.

David L. Blazer ’06, a choreographer for the performance, was inspired by the music of Philip Glass––in particular the song “Morning Passages”––to create his modern piece, “Something She Has to Do.”

“I had my music and a framework of what I wanted,” he says of the choreographic process. “It was my first time choreographing, so it was experimental.” Blazer was still planning small changes on his piece as of Monday’s technical rehearsal.

The remaining pieces come from a variety of professional choreographers. For some of the more prestigious, traditional pieces, HBC bought the rights to choreography from particular choreographers or companies. But one piece, however, comes from a more local source: the Cambridge-based company, Prometheus Dance, which will use HBC dancers to perform its original choreography.

“Everyone’s been in rehearsal for so long, it will be really exciting in the show for everyone to come together,” says Hazle. The dancers, who have been learning their roles since February, certainly seemed seemed to feel the momentum of the show’s approach building. Donning colorful, flowing skirts, recently pressed by the HBC members in charge of costume design, they took Rieman’s stage for their last few days of rehearsals, confident and apparently ready for Thursday’s opening night.

In HBC’s past Spring Performances, the approximately one hundred seats at Rieman have been filled by the time the curtain opens; the mix of choreographic styles in this year’s performance foretells a repeat of this success––especially when coupled with the boundless talent of HBC’s dancers.

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