Award Winning Choreographers Create World Premieres for Utah Ballet

10 January 2017 Published in News and Announcements


Visiting Guest Artists Gabrielle Lamb and Katie Sherman, both honored with Princess Grace Awards for Dance and Choreography, will premiere new works on the Utah Ballet dancers at the University of Utah. Additionally, two premieres from faculty members Jennifer Weber and Melissa Bobick, as well as reimagined and restaged excerpts from Marius Petipa’s masterwork, Raymonda will be showcased on the program February 2-4, 2017. The Classic/Contemporary Mix performance will highlight the broad range of ballet, from Raymonda, originally choreographed in 1898 to contemporary ballet works created in 2017. The program promises to delight, entertain and inspire with five unique approaches to the art of Ballet.

New York City-based Gabrielle Lamb, winner of a Princess Grace Award for Choreography, redefines the essentials of ballet technique---precision, flow, and the defiance of gravity---as she searches for new intersections of the organic and the surprising. Dance Magazine notes, “ The commissions keep coming for Gabrielle Lamb, a dancer of stunning clarity who illuminates the smallest details—qualities she brings to the dances she makes, too.”

Ms. Lamb, who began choreographing in 2005, has won the National Choreographic Competition of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2009 as well as, in 2013, First Prizes in Milwaukee Ballet’s Genesis International Choreographic Competition and Western Michigan University’s National Choreographic Competition. She was named winner of the Banff Centre’s 2014-15 Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award; and in 2014 she was honored with a New York City Center Choreography Fellowship.

Katie Scherman, who is originally from California, performed with Houston Ballet II, The Washington Ballet Studio Company, Trey McIntyre, Hubbard Street 2, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Central California Ballet, Terpsicorps Dance Theatre and BodyVox to name a few, graduated from Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet/Dominican University with a BFA in Dance and received her MFA in Dance from the University of Oregon. In 2008 she was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Award for Best Ensemble, and in 2009, she was honored with a Princess Grace Award in Dance.

Ms. Scherman eloquently describes the journey of her choreographic process as, “My work comes from a place of curiosity; whether that be personal or through a greater scope. I am actively creating work to elicit questions and considerations regarding time; memories, possibility vs. doubt, present self-talk(dialogue), juxtaposition of musical/rhythmic choices, and the ever-fleeting moment and how transformation occurs. I often use vulnerability as a gateway for movement inspiration. With my background in both classical and contemporary dance, I notice a theme of molding in and out of the two, and how they exist together.”

Legacy, a new work by Visiting Assistant Professor Melissa Bobick, uses a fusion of the classical ballet vernacular and narrative storytelling to acknowledge the efforts of the women who have come before us, so that we might recognize and honor their sacrifices and therein find our inspiration to continue their legacy.

Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Melissa Bobick graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in ballet and nutrition from Indiana University in Bloomington and received her Master of Fine Arts degree in choreography from Purchase College Conservatory of Dance in New York. Melissa is also an ABT® Certified Teacher and earned the status of Affiliate Teacher while teaching in New York City. As a performer, Melissa danced for six seasons with The Eugene Ballet Company and Ballet Idaho where she was featured in many classical roles and numerous contemporary works. After moving to New York City, Melissa performed for the National Choreographer’s Initiative and was one of four dancers engaged by New York City Opera for their new production of Massenet’s Cendrillon. As a choreographer, Melissa was commissioned to choreograph three new works for Ballet Idaho, receiving grants from the Idaho Commission on the Arts in support of these projects. Recently, she created new works for the ballet majors of both Belhaven College and the Bucknell Dance Company and returned to Eugene to create a new Apollon Musagète for the Eugene Ballet Company.

Jennifer Weber brings to the stage a new work focused on the concept of ‘difference,’ which all too often can lead to violence and chaos throughout the world; her work embraces the other side of the spectrum – focusing on the richness that difference can bring to us all. Her choreography is an abstraction ofthe acknowledgement, honoring, and acceptance of difference and diversity on all levels and the true celebration that can be found using this approach.

Ms. Weber performed internationally at the Shizuoka Ballet Festival in Japan. She joined the ranks of Omaha Theater Company’s professional company and danced with them for three seasons while simultaneously completing her BA in mathematics, graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Jennifer danced many lead roles and was featured in many works in Omaha and with Ballet Quad Cities.She danced with Ballet Quad Cities for six seasons.

Excerpts from Marius Petipa’s masterwork Raymonda have been restaged by faculty member James Ady for the performance. Reimagined from Marius Petipa’s original choreography from 1898 set to Alexander Glazunov’s expansive score, the University of Utah dancers bring history to life before our eyes. Originally performed at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg with a Moscow premiere at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1900, the work is currently performed by numerous ballet companies around the globe.

The Alice Sheets Marriott Center for Dance – Marriott Center for Dance – University of Utah
$12 Adults, $8 Students, Faculty, and Seniors. FREE with a University of Utah Student ID
Show Dates
February 2 at 5:30 pm
February 3 at 7:30 pm
February 4 at 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm

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