All this week, the artist-athletes at the Louisville Ballet have showcased their talents in “Studio Connections,” in the intimate space of the Ballet’s rehearsal hall at 315 East Main Street. Four different ballets are presented, and while we’re enthralled with the dancing and technique, we’re also following the development of the dance itself, from Imperial Russia in the 19th century into the twenty-first century.

This picture, of Erica de la O, is of Saudade Amore by Amanda Diehl. The drama and poise the dancers show, not to mention the incredible strength and fluidity of their bodies, are phenomenal. Artistic Director Bruce Simpson speaks before and between the pieces, and his comments allow us to focus on movement and pose, encourage us to really look at what we’re seeing.

This photo is of Natasha Ashikhmina in Act Three of Raymonda, choreographed by Marius Petipa. This classical ballet shows the origin of the dance, directly from Imperial Russia. As the incredibly talented artist-athletes of the Louisville Ballet continue their performances, however, the audience is drawn forward through time to the present day.

Artistic Director Bruce Simpson presents briefly before each dance, educating us on how ballet has changed, and how it’s still evolving almost two hundred years later. With his guidance, we learn to look closely at each motion, each step; to find one pose carried through every piece.

I found myself watching the dancers’ feet and hands even more than usual. I really focused on tracing the overall line – diagonal or curved, single dancer or many. It was fascinating and as always, a fabulous performance and wonderful experience!

Unfortunately there are only two more opportunities to visit the Studio and enjoy this incredible program. Please plan to attend either tonight or Saturday night at 7:00 PM, for a suggested donation of $10.00 per person. You won’t be disappointed!

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