Above: dancers Shoko Fujita and Da'Von Doane rehearsing for CONTINUUM Contemporary|Ballet's upcoming performance at Jacob's Pillow
Tuesday July 7th, 2015 - Donna Salgado, artistic director of CONTINUUM Contemporary|Ballet, has been commissioned by the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival to expand upon a piece she created at Princeton last year. Now enntitled Prismatic Abstractions, this jazz-infused dancework will be shown as part of the Pillow's Inside/Out series on Friday, July 10th, 2015.
The ballet is set to a collage of works by the celebrated jazzman Jon Batiste; Donna met Jon and his band one evening in October of 2011 when they serenaded her during her subway ride. They became friends, which has led to the current collaboration. (In September, Jon Batiste becomes music director for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert).
For Prismatic Abstractions, Batiste's setting of such diverse tunes as 'The Star Spangled Banner' and 'Moon River' are in the mix. The girls are on pointe, and Donna has brought in two handsome cavaliers to spice things up even more: Barton Cowperthwaite and Dance Theatre of Harlem's Da'Von Doane.
Today Donna invited me down to "Gibney South" to watch a rehearsal of her new creation...and there I ran into Gina Gibney, which is always a pleasure. Gina's done a spectacular renovation job with the old Dance New Amsterdam space and I am so thankful that this wonderful dance center is thriving anew.
I took a few photos during the hour I was at Donna's studio: most of the movement was too fast for me to capture, but whenever the dancers paused momentarily I snapped away:
Vanessa Salgado, Barton Cowperthwaite
Barton Cowperthwaite, Da'Von Doane
Barton Cowperthwaite in an improv-solo passage
Da'Von and Vanessa...I love Da'Von's tee-shirt!