Smuin Ballet’s 2016 Choreography Showcase just concluded its run at ODC Theater January 29-30. Featuring 11 works from eight Smuin dancers, the performance offered a variety of musical choices, choreographic styles, and costume designs. The music ranged from Debussy to Missy Elliott to Bon Iver, while several pieces featured original costumes by Company member Susan Roemer.
Artistic Director Celia Fushille noted the incredible importance of providing Smuin Company members the opportunity to create and present their work: “The dancers gain tremendous knowledge from handling the myriad details involved in the process of creating a piece of choreography. Like any craft, it must be practiced in order to be successful and effective.”
This year’s choreographers were very grateful for the opportunity to create and present their work in such a supportive environment.
In her third year of choreographing work for the showcase, dancer Nicole Haskins created Merely Players, a 10-minute contemporary ballet exploration of joy set to three pop songs. She commented, “Smuin’s Choreography Showcase is invaluable to becoming a choreographer—you can’t become a choreographer without practicing choreography. I don’t know of another company in San Francisco that allows all of its dancers this kind of opportunity.”
Dancer Rex Wheeler created two works for the Choreography Showcase: Sinfonietta, a lively classical ballet work for four couples, and Take Me With You, an intimate duet about a long-distance relationship. Rex said, “The Showcase is exciting because it’s so unfettered, and not curated as a normal performance would be. Each artist is putting their statement out there, and it’s intriguing to see how the individual works are different or cohesive.”
Audiences were delighted and impressed with the performances. First-time Showcase attendees Dan and Allyn said: “We had no idea that so many of the dancers are extremely talented choreographers. The diversity of the program was memorable from the classical ballet to Abbott and Costello’s Who’s on First? To sum up the evening: distinctive, beautiful, humorous, exhilarating, and infectious.”
Couldn’t make it to the Choreography Showcase this year? A selection of works from this year’s Showcase will be performed at our annual Gala on March 6. Tickets are available here.