RIBT 2003



Performing Arts Center
Roger Williams University
One Old Ferry Road
Bristol RI
Times: 1 & 4pm
Price: $15.00
Information: 401-847-5301

Thanks to RIBT for providing this information.
Black belt karate is melded with classical dance in Rhode Island's Ballet Theatre's Roar of Thunder, Whisper of Wind, which choreographs the martial arts with ballet in a dramatic piece that is both soft and graceful (whisper of wind) and awesome in its power (roar of thunder).

Headlining the groundbreaking ballet will be Brian McDonough, a member of the United States National Kick Boxing Team and certified black belt instructor in Kenpo Karate. McDonough is a two time Gold Medal winner in the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) World Championship. He won his first gold medal in 1999 in Italy in the professional full contact division, which included combatants from 59 nations.

"Karate and ballet are very similar," says McDonough. "Both have very precise moves that require great strength, mental focus and years of training. I am very pleased to join Rhode Island's ballet theatre for this exciting performance."

Nancy McAuliffe, artistic director of Rhode Island's Ballet Theatre, says that the balletic nature of the katas (stylized karate movements) first caught her attention as similar to the barre exercises of ballet.

"From there the idea just grew of juxtaposing the grace (and violence) of the martial arts with the elegance of classical ballet," she says. "The two are remarkably synergistic."

McAuliffe notes that the performance is built around five movements, which include black belt alone, dancers alone and dancers and black belt together in a one-of-a-kind pas de trois. "Brian also uses weapons in the ballet which add considerably to the sense of danger," she says.

The entire piece is set to a pounding drum rhythm, which is another unique calling card of Roar of Thunder, Whisper of Wind. "When was the last time you saw a ballet choreographed to drums," she adds.

Roar of Thunder, Whisper of Wind will be presented at 1pm and 4pm on Sunday, January 19, 2003 at the Roger Williams University Performing Arts Center, Bristol. Also on the program will be Angels in Flight, a premiere performance of RIBT's new ballet honoring those who died in the tragic events of the recent past; Dream Catcher, an original ballet celebrating the Native American Spirit; and Sing, Sing, Sing, a lively Broadway dance number.

Reserved seating for the show is $15. Special Gold Circle seating in the first eight rows of center is available at $25. Call 401-847-5301 for information or visit

Photo - Sarah DeRuosi, Brian McDonough (two time world kick boxing champion) and Marcia Newbert prepare for Rhode Island's ballet theatre's Roar of Thunder, Whisper of Wind on January 19. Jim Egan - Photographer.

Deborah Nash at
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