Ballet has a way of transporting us from our everyday life. In every movement, there’s a story: a fantastical world of beauty in bloom.
That's what we can expect from the Bakersfield City Ballet’s Ethereal Visions, coming to the Historic Fox Theater March 11th. Artistic Director of the Bakersfield City Ballet, Erica Ueberroth joined 23ABC’s Kristin Vartan live on 23ABC Weekend Morning News at 8:30 a.m. to talk about the show.
KV: It feels like yesterday you and I were chatting at the Nutcracker Ballet, even though it was a couple months ago. That was your first company's first performance back on a stage in front of a live audience. During the pandemic, you were doing curbside ballets. How does it feel to get to continue live performances on stage after so long?
EU: “It’s been amazing being able to bring back the live performing. That’s what we spend all of the hours in the studio rehearsing and taking class for: the chance to get on stage and share that with a live audience.”
KV: You mentioned all those hours of hard work to refine your repertoire. What can we expect from Ethereal Visions?
EU: “We are showing you August Bournonville’s Flower Festival in Genzano and La Ventana and also the FlowerFestival Logenzano. These are extremely old, classical ballets, where a lot of that original choreography has been lost, but this section that you’ll see in our show, is a part of the choreography that has been preserved over those several hundred years. We also are featuring two contemporary works: one I choreographed called “Splendor in Misery,” and one our resident choreographer, Alicia Angelini choreographed called, “Tin-pan Alley.”
KV: You mentioned the eclecticism of contemporary and classical pieces. How do you make the performance your own, for the ballet company?
EU: When it comes to some of that classical repertoire, you try to keep it as pure as possible and not make many changes. That can be very special for ballet dancers, to have that rite of passage: to perform works that have been danced by former greats in the industry. In terms of the contemporary works, that is where we get to put our own personal influence and experience. That is also fun and feels very unique.
KV: While in rehearsals, I’m sure the excitement of the show has already begun amongst you and the dancers. You have been a dancer in the company yourself, and now you are the artistic director. What are some of your favorite moments during dance rehearsals?
EU: [There’s something about] getting to witness dancers working together on a particular set of steps, in sets of twos or threes, working on arm work and lifts. Seeing those pieces come together, where it all clicks and works, you see this sort of abandonment in the freedom and the way the dancers move. That confidence, watching all that happen is indescribable: to watch them work, struggle, then succeed is thrilling. I’m very proud of all their hard work and excited for the community to see all that they’ve been working on.
The show will feature a combination of classic and contemporary works, to the sounds of a live string quartet. Tickets are now on sale, and can be found here.