Ballet ensemble headlines Spring Break weekend

An ensemble display of elegant entertainment is scheduled this weekend, as the U’s ballet department premieres its Spring Dances, an engagement to be held March 10-12 at the U’s Marriott Center for Dance.

For the performance, artistic director for the U’s ballet department, Conrad Ludlow, chose six pieces to be performed by the U’s Ballet Ensemble.

The dance pieces will be accompanied by musical selections by Chopin, John Philip Sousa, Philip Glass and even the U’s own faculty, associate professor Steve Rasmussen.

Of particularly special interest will be the original work “Vuela Conmigo” (Fly with Me), brought together for the U by guest choreographer Eloy Barragan, of Mexico City.

Upon returning to the states after a recent trip to Costa Rica and Panama, Barragan came to the U fully intending to simply piece together sections of work he had developed in the past.

Once he met the ballet department’s dancers, however, he quickly scrapped that idea, deciding instead to draw on the inspiration he felt during his recent journey into the beautiful, natural environments of Panama and Costa Rica. The result is a fresh spring piece dedicated to the exotic birds of those countries.

“It’s a very difficult piece,” Barragan said. “But the dancers were able to pull it together in 22 hours.”

Come witness what Barragan calls “the new movement of ballet,” at the Marriott Center for Dance as an up-and-coming younger generation of dancers build on their mastery of classical technique, helping to bridge the generational gap of dance and connect more appropriately to modern audiences.

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Spring Dances Ballet Ensemble March 10, 11, 12 7:30 p.m. March 12, matinee 2 p.m.