Presented by Madison Ballet
Choreographers: Rachelle Fochs, Kia Smith, & Jacob Ashley
Filmmakers: Dave Alcorn, Jordan Biagomala, & John Urban
Three films will be released for free viewing on Madison Ballet’s YouTube with the dates as follows:
All films will close for viewing on May 16, 2021.
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Madison Ballet is taking ballet beyond the stage to create their first dance film series, Lift Every Voice. This project among invited artists from our community brings three new dance works to life in the form of three short films. Choreographers Rachelle Fochs, Kia Smith and Jacob Ashley are paired respectively with filmmakers Dave Alcorn, Jordan Biagomala and John Urban. Each choreographer and filmmaker collaborate with Madison Ballet’s dancers to form a new ballet. The three ballets in Lift Every Voice provide choreographers of color, filmmakers and dancers the opportunity to create, collaborate and share their experiences with one another — forging pathways for those artists who follow.
“This project reflects Madison Ballet’s commitment to dedicating its time, space and resources to bringing important new works by choreographers of color to life through its dancers and the film medium. Madison Ballet amplifies the shared vision of all those involved in this collaboration, as it presents Lift Every Voice to our audiences in the Madison community and beyond, and looks forward to continuing this initiative for years to come.” Sara Stewart Schumann, Artistic Director
Grounded in classical dance, these works only hint at the visions of Sugar Plums most of us think of when we hear the word “ballet.” The film medium gives the choreographers and dancers a wonderful collaborative tool, allowing them to bring imagination to life in a reality that, until now, could only be dreamed. These thought-provoking ballets remind us that dance – and the joy it brings – remain essential to our community. Following the release of the films, Madison Ballet hopes to present in-person “triple bill” viewings of the three films and facilitate conversations about the project’s goals for community growth.
For nearly 40 years, Madison Ballet has been an integral part of the vibrant Dane County arts community. Full scale productions of inspiring traditional ballets, innovative contemporary performances, and the timeless holiday tradition of “The Nutcracker” reach more than 13,000 people each year. The School of Madison Ballet empowers students of all ages and skill levels with the poise, confidence, discipline, and fundamental life skills intrinsic to the study of dance. Outreach programming, presented in partnership with dozens of local school and community groups, enriches thousands of young people’s lives by introducing them to the joy of dance.
Photo by Darren Lee