One of my favorite culinary experiences at a restaurant is ordering many appetizers and sampling all the different tastes on the menu.
I think that is why I always look forward to SNB’s annual Brew Brats and Ballet (BBB) program each Spring. BBB offers the experience of sampling brand new short choreographic works by several different choreographers and combines it with some brats and beer for a real fun and intimate experience. Each work is very different and is introduced by the choreographer talking about their individual creative process. Last year (because of COVID) the company was forced to cancel all live performances just prior to our annual performances of Brew, Brats and Ballet.
This year, despite challenging COVID restrictions, thanks to the City of Reno and our wonderful community filled with support for the arts, Sierra Nevada Ballet has been able to continue this BBB tradition which has become quite popular in Reno and Carson City.
This year SNB films an eclectic program of new choreography at the Reno Little Theater to be shown at the Brewery Arts Center’s Drive-In Movie on May 15 and 16 and shown virtually on the Reno Little Theater website on May 20, 21, 22, and 23.
The event is filled with exciting dance offerings introduced by the individual choreographer. Oliver Adams creates an electric, very fast-moving, athletic contemporary piece, Ricochet, to the wild musical sounds of Drehz, while Barbara Land presents a sinister, almost spooky piece to the eerie music of Peter Gundry, One of Her Kind.
Jennifer Boyle August contributes two very different yet very movingly dramatic pieces: the powerful Torn to the music of Nathan Lanier reminiscent of Tribal warriors and Lost Things to the music of Olafur Arnold. I found myself in tears watching this piece and asked Jen about it. “The piece is a personal reflection of my adoption,“ she told me. “It is a tribute to all the parts of me, the parts I know and the parts I don’t know, to the mother and father who adopted me and to the people who created me. It is a piece that I connect close with, expressing all my emotions about my adoption through movement.”
Ananda Bena-Weber created The Fool in 2019 as part of SNB’s 12th Night production as a very funny solo for SNB’s Carson Ford and it was an immediate audience favorite with its clever comic choreography to the mirthful music from the Third Man by Gertrude Huber.
In extreme contrast to this risible musical theater type of dance is the very classical Dance of the Wilis from the 2nd act of Giselle, complete with the very difficult and very well-known one-legged hops for the corps de ballet, affectionately known to dancers as the arabesque “chugs” .
My contribution to BBB is Ballango, dedicated to the Director of Reno’s month-long Artown Festival, Beth MacMilan. Beth introduced me to the Argentine Tango music of composer Astor Piazzolla about 18 years ago, and it was love at first listen for me, so I thought it appropriate to dedicate this Piazzolla piece, which combines the styles of ballet and tango, to Beth MacMillan who has done so much for the arts in our community through the Artown Festival.
The last piece on the BBB program is a delightful and quirky piece choreographed by SNB’s new Ballet Master/Choreographer In Residence, Alexander Biber. The music by Cosmo Sheldrake is addicting and humorously funky, and Biber’s choreography matches it perfectly. This piece, Come Along, invites the audience to remember a joyful time in the US when we were all together sharing the “good life” and the “good dream” together. The work is particularly meaningful at this time in our history as it promises that there is a better life to come for all of us.
Tell us about your favorite brat and brew on SNB’s Facebook Page and enjoy them when you come along and join SNB for a fun evening of Brew, Brats, and Ballet on May 15 and 16 at the Brewery Arts Center Drive-In and on May 20, 21, 22, and 23 on the Reno Little Theater’s website.