Festival Ballet Providence
November 11 & 12 and 18 & 19, 2006 Posted November 11, 2006
Dancing with chairs from Misha Djuric's Soledad
Photo: Thomas Nola-Rion


Festival Ballet Providence's award-winning series, Up CLOSE, on HOPE, will present the season's first program of the season for two weekends in November.

The program will include 7 different pieces, representing a broad span of choreographic talent. Up CLOSE on HOPE performances offer the chance to see thrilling, original contemporary dance in close proximity, to meet the dancers, and to mingle with the choreographers. Critics are in complete agreement: Up CLOSE on HOPE is a great way for audiences to see dance!

Performances will take place November 11, 12, 18 & 19 at the company's East Side studios at 825 Hope Street on Saturdays at 7:30 pm and on Sundays at 6:00 pm. in the Grand Studio black box theater, for a limited audience of 90.

The success of Up CLOSE, on HOPE is largely due to the intimacy of the theater and the repertory chosen by Festival Ballet Providence Artistic Director Mihailo Djuric. The program spans a broad spectrum of styles and is intended to expand the audience's taste for different dance styles, to showcase established and rising choreographers, and to provide numerous challenging roles to the dancers in the company.

This program will include the revival of company member Mark Harootian's stunning duet, Let it go for a While. Gianni Di Marco is staging Gracias a la Vida, a duet he created two years ago for himself and his wife, Adriana Suarez, to celebrate and acknowledge the joys of sharing a life together. He set the piece to South American folkloric music.

Luis Fuente, a former principal dancer at Joffrey Ballet, choreographed the first Rhode Island premiere in the program, Mujeres. Mr. Fuente hails from Spain, resides in Warwick, and is currently on the faculty of the Dance Department at Boston Conservatory. Set to a powerful flamenco score, this ballet features five women dancing in an empassioned percussive style, en pointe.

Viktor Plotnikov will create a world premiere for 8 dancers, to the opening section of Mozart's Symphonie # 40. Mr. Plotnikov has created numerous ballet's for the company's VMA season, including The Widow's Broom, Carmen, and Loof and Let Dime. This is the first work Mr. Plotnikov will create for the Up CLOSE on HOPE series.

New company member, Ilya Burov, will dance the thrilling Gopak variation from the ballet, Taras Bulba.

Mr. Djuric will present the Rhode Island premiere of a work that premiered in June as part of the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, at the Festival's Ritz Carleton gala. Set to one of Bach's solo works for cello, Playing by Ear features Jennifer Ricci and Gleb Lyamenkoff in an intense and physically demanding duet.

Mr. Djuric revives one of his most evocative ballets, Soledad to close the program. Set to a sultry score by Astor Piazzola, this work portrays a woman's solitude and reminiscence in the midst of a vibrant cafe society. Featured at the core of the ballet is a duet, when the woman is visited by the vision of her lost love. This piece will be featured in Festival Ballet Providence's 3-city tour to Venezuela coming up later this month.

Program Order

Playing by Ear (2006) choreography by Mihailo Djuric, RI premiere
Jennifer Ricci, Gleb Lyamenkoff

Soledad, (1996) choreography by Mihailo Djuric
Leticia Guerrero & Alexander Akulov
Vilia Putrius, Carolyn Delinger, Erica Chipp, Lauren Kennedy, Mark Harootian, Ilya Burov, Henry Montilla, Maxime Podshevalenko


World premiere; choreography by Viktor Plotnikov
Jennifer Ricci, Heather O'Halloran, Vilia Putrius Alexander Akulov, Davide Vittorino, Gleb Lyamenkoff

Gopak, from Taras Bulba, choreography by Rotislav Zakharov, RI Premiere
Ilya Burov

Let it Go for a While (2005), choreography by Mark Harootian
Erica Chipp & Mark Harootian

Gracias a la Vida, (2005) choreography by Gianni Di Marco, RI premiere
Leticia Guerrero & Gleb Lyamenkoff (Nov 11, 12)
Heather O'Halloran & Alexander Akulov (Nov 18, 19)

Mujeres, choreography by Luis Fuente, RI Premiere
Carolyn Dellinger
Erica Chipp, Courtney Fraga, Lauren Kennedy, Lauren Menger

Tentative Addition: George Balanchine's Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, with Carolyn Dellinger and Alexander Akulov.

Audience members will have the opportunity to further explore the bounty offered on Hope Street with hors d'oeuvres and wine intermissions sponsored by neighboring East Side restaurants. The intermission sponsors of our November performances are Chez Pascal, Seven Stars Bakery, Not Just Snacks, Pizzico, and Gourmet Take and Bake, accompanied by wines courtesy of Laurine Ryan Perry and the Martignetti Companies of Rhode Island.

Intermission sponsors for Up CLOSE on HOPE are: November 11 Chez Pascal
November 12 Seven Stars Bakery & Not Just Spices
November 18 Gourmet Take & Bake Tentative
November 19 Pizzico

Wines for the intermissions will be provided courtesy of the Martignetti Companies of Rhode Island and Laurine Ryan Perry.

Artistic Director & Choreographer

Misha Djuric
Mr. Djuric is a former first soloist with the National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. His training and experience encompass ballet, jazz, modern, folk dance and musical theater. During his ballet career he has worked with Ana Roje, Natalia Dudinskaya, Constantin Sergeyev, Svetlana Afanasieva, Maryon Lane and Norman Dixon.

As a choreographer, he has been recognized with numerous awards including gold and bronze medals at the Yugoslavian choreographers' competition. Besides Yugoslavia (and its former six republics) and the United States, his work has been performed in Russia, Switzerland, Malta, Romania, and Italy.

In 1991, Mr. Djuric was appointed Artistic Director at Ballet New England. Under his direction, Ballet New England's Company and School dramatically increased its programs and visibility, becoming the leader of New Hampshire's dance community. In 1993 and again in 1998, Mr. Djuric was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts (NHSCA). He was commissioned as a choreographer by the Council to create an original ballet for the 1997 Governor's Awards in the Arts Ceremony.

In January 1998, he co-founded Ballet Theatre Workshop and the Children's Repertory Ballet in Portsmouth, NH. In 1999, as part of a collaboration with digital installation artist Harry Umen and the North Country Chamber Players, he received one of two Millennium Grants from the NHSCA to choreograph to Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time.

In July, 1998, Mr. Djuric joined Festival Ballet Providence as Artistic Director, where he is responsible for managing the Company, Junior Company and the Festival Ballet Center for Dance Education. During his tenure, the organization has grown into one of the most exciting and accomplished cultural organizations in Rhode Island.

Festival Ballet Providence was named the 2002 Outstanding Arts Organization by the Arts and Business Council of Rhode Island. This award is presented to an organization that demonstrates "unwavering commitment to excellence, significant impact on the community, and strong organizational development".

In 2004, he received WaterFire's Aphrodite Award recognizing beauty and seduction, on behalf of Festival Ballet Providence, for "reaching new heights in bringing brilliant ballet to Rhode Island and in reaching out to introduce new audiences to dance." During his tenure, Festival ballet's budget has quintupled in growth and gained renewed stature in the arts community.

Guest Choreographers

Luis Fuente
Luis Fuente has had a distinguished career as principal dancer, director and choreographer, teacher and ballet master. A principal dancer with Joffrey Ballet, Mr. Fuente also performed with National Ballet of Washington, National Ballet of Holland, London Festival Ballet, National Ballet of Spain, Ballet Luis Fuente, and Ballets Clasicos y Contemporaneos de Madrid.

At Joffrey Ballet he danced an extensive repertoire with ballets created for him by Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey and also danced leading roles in classical repertory, including Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Coppelia, and also performed in works by Balanchine, Ashton, Tudor and Cranko. At Joffrey Mr. Fuente also worked with Frederick Franklin, Ben Stevenson, Andre Eglevsky, Igor Youskevitch, Margot Fonteyn, Edward Villela, Melissa Hayden, Rudi Van Dantzig and Hans Van Manen.

A native of Madrid, Spain, Mr. Fuente directed and choreographed for his own company in that city. He also codirected and was resident choreographer for the National Ballet of Spain and created works for numerous companies throughout Europe and the United States.

Besides teaching at his own school, Mr. Fuente has taught extensively at numerous universities and conservatories. He also served as ballet master at the National Ballet of Spain and with Joffrey Ballet of Chicago.

Gianni Di Marco
Gianni Di Marco, a native of Venezuela, began his dance training in 1981, in the Professional Division of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School in Canada. He has also studied with The National Ballet of Canada, the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, and in Banff under the direction of Laura Alonso. After becoming a member of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in 1988, Di Marco was the first recipient of the Arnold Spohr Scholarship.

At Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Gianni was promoted to second soloist in 1990 and then first soloist the following year. He danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens before 1995, when he joined Boston Ballet (1995-2005). In 1997, Di Marco took a leave of absence from Boston Ballet to dance with Germany's Oper Leipzig Ballet under the direction of Uwe Scholz. He danced in many of Scholz's new works.

Gianni has a great interest in choreography. He has done a number of works for a variety of institutions throughout the region, including many Boston Ballet fundraising galas, The Wang Theatre's 75th Anniversary Generations Gala performance, Dartmouth College, Boston Flute Association, and Dance on the Top Floor. He also has created dances at the Oper Liepzig Choreography Workshop and a new work for Alvin Ailey American Dance Center's Summer Dance Program.

He was assistant choreographer in productions such as Aida, La Traviata and Akhnaten for the Boston Lyric Opera, and the Huntington Theatre Company's The Mikado. Di Marco has created numerous new works for Raw Dance, cutting edge creations by Boston Ballet dancers. Di Marco teaches Boston Ballet's Adaptive Dance Program, created for children with Downs Syndrome.

In 2003 Mr. DiMarco's Killing Time was performed for Festival Ballet Providence's inaugural Up CLOSE, on HOPE program to rave reviews. Festival Ballet Providence has since commissioned two world premieres by Mr. DiMarco, Scheherazade which premiered in February of 2005, and Azucar which premiered in February 2006.

Viktor Plotnikov
Viktor was born in Kharkov City, Ukraine, and began his training at the age of 11 at the Kiev-Ukraine School and continued at the St. Petersburg Ballet Academy. From 1987 to 1990 he was a soloist with Donetsk Ballet Company in the Ukraine. In 1990 Viktor joined Ballet Mississippi as a principal dancer. Additionally he has appeared as a guest artist with Tulsa Ballet Theatre and Dance Inc, and has toured Russia and the US.

In 1993 he joined Boston Ballet as principal dancer, performing major roles in the company's classical and contemporary repertory including the title role in Onegin, Conrad in Le Corsaire, Albrecht in Giselle, Prince Desire in The Sleeping Beauty, Cavalier, Snow King and Dr. Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker, Solor in La Bayadere, Dracula in Dracula, and Tico-Tico in Paul Taylor's Company B.

He has created roles in the World Premieres of Tharp's Waterbaby Bagatelles, Spencer/Colton's Before Ever After, and Daniel Pelzig's Nine Lives: Songs of Lyle Lovett, The Princess and the Pea, and Flights and Fancy. His repertoire also includes Balanchine's. Divertimento No. 15, Theme and Variations and The Four Temperaments, Roland Petit's Le Jeune Homme et La Mort, Mark Morris' Maelstrom, Rudi van Dantzig's Four Last Songs, and Laszlo Berdo's Below Down Under.

Recently Plotnikov has created works specifically for Boston Ballet dancers and members of Boston Ballet II. He has choreographed a number of works for institutions throughout the region, including performances in Boston Ballet's Grand Studio, Dance on the Top Floor, Company performances in Nantucket, and Khachaturian's Centennial at Boston Conservatory. Plotinokov created solos and duets, performed at International Gala Performances.

His most recent creations include works for the 2002 International Ballet Competition in Jackson Mississippi. Plotnikov also created two one act ballet's, My Impressions, set to symphonic Pink Floyd and Short Stories for A Small Magazine for the Dancer's Resource Fund, and at the well received choreographic event Raw Dance in collaboration with Boston Ballet and Boston Center for the Arts. His original two-act ballet, Carmen, commissioned by Festival Ballet Providence, was premiered in October, 2003.

Mr. Plotnikov is married to Boston Ballet principal dancer Larissa Ponomarenko.

When, Where and How Much
Festival Ballet Providence - Black Box Theater - 825 Hope Street - Providence, RI
November 11, 12, 18, 19, 2006 - Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 6:00 pm

Tickets are available for $40 as general admission seating. Up CLOSE season subscribers purchasing tickets for both November and March programs ($75) receive preferred seating for each performance. Tickets are available by contacting Festival Ballet Providence, 401.353.1129.

For additional information about the production, visit www.festivalballet.com or send email inquiries to info@festivalballet.com.

Corporate Sponsors
The 2006-2007 Up CLOSE on HOPE series is made possible in part by Up CLOSE on HOPE sponsor GLAD WORKS, and additional support from NBC10, Acadia Consulting and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

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Performance Details

Festival Ballet Providence
Black Box Theater
825 Hope Street
Providence, RI

November 11, 12, 18, 19, 2006
Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 6:00 pm

$40, includes performance and intermission wine and hors d'oeuvres

Reservations: 401.353.1129
Website: http://www.festivalballet.com

Program Schedule

About the choreographers


Festival Ballet's 2006/2007 Season

Tough Love

Bill Gale's article on Festival Ballet published in the July 2006 issue of Dance Magazine

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