Louisville Ky presents unprecedented arts collaboration

ballet

Louisville Ballet Louisville Orchestra present
Spring Collaboration

Orchestra and Ballet join forces for a true partnership to create new works.

Louisville, KY (January 3, 2016)…. In an unprecedented collaboration, on March 4 and 5 the Louisville Orchestra joins forces with Louisville Ballet for Spring Collaboration, which marks their first full co-production together. Comprising three fully-staged ballets, all with original choreography by Award-winner Adam Hougland, the program showcases the world premiere of Hougland’s reinvention of Stravinsky’s seminal ballet Petrouchka, alongside his Cold Virtues, set to the music of Philip Glass, and a world premiere ballet, Union, with original music, Unified Field, by Teddy Abrams, the Louisville Orchestra’s Music Director.

The three performances of Spring Collaboration are Friday, March 4 at 8pmwith two performances on Saturday, March 5 at 2pm and 8pm. Single tickets range from $100 – $28 and are available by calling 502-584-7777 or by visiting the Kentucky Center website here: http://www.kentuckycenter.org/all-shows/spring-collaboration

Although the Louisville Orchestra has frequently accompanied Louisville Ballet productions, the two have never previously joined forces in equal partnership. When Abrams and Robert Curran first met, there was, Curran recalls, “a true meeting of the minds from the beginning.” As he explains:

“We both agreed instantly that artistic collaboration, both locally and nationally, is critical to growing all art forms. I knew almost as soon as I arrived in Louisville, that the company should engage with the orchestra in a true partnership, and how lucky for us all that Teddy came to the table with the same idea. This groundbreaking production is really an amazing way to start.”

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The program begins with Adam Hougland’s Cold Virtues (2003), a Louisville Ballet commission that the San Francisco Chronicle calls “engrossing to the end.” It is set to Philip Glass’ Violin Concerto, which will be heard in an arrangement for alto saxophone that was approved by the composer himself. The adaptation is the work of two-timeGrammy-nominee Amy Dickson, who made history as the first saxophonist and the first Australian to win a Classic Brit Award, and who joins the Louisville Orchestra as saxophone soloist.

Amy Dickson

As Abrams says, “Amy is an extraordinary musician and has created this arrangement for the saxophone. There aren’t a lot of sax players who can pull it off. Glass’ signature for this Violin Concerto is that driving, perpetual motion. A violinist doesn’t need to stop the bow, but a sax player would typically need to pause to draw a breath. Amy is able to achieve that through an advanced technique called ‘circular breathing.’ Like a string player, she is able to be continuous, never stopping the sound. And how often do you get to see a saxophone concerto?”

Adam Houghland

Next up on the program is Adam Hougland’s world-premiere ballet, Union, with a new music by Teddy Abrams, Unified Field. This is Abrams’ first ballet score, and as he explains:

“The new ballet that I’ve composed, Unified Field, is essentially a short symphony. The title reflects the philosophy that, like the theoretical concept of all of nature’s fundamental forces being interconnected, music has an inherent universality that allows for communication regardless of its style or provenance. The piece transitions from neo-Romanticism to funk to blues to bluegrass using core motives that attempt to unify and bind the work together. The short movements use structures that Bach or Mozart commonly employed: sonata form, dances, rondos, and even a passacaglia. I hope this work demonstrates this broad and inclusive philosophy – an approach that we embrace each day at the Louisville Orchestra.”

The program culminates with a reimagined version of Petrouchka. Requiring such grand-scale forces that regional companies only rarely attempt to produce it in its entirety, Petrouchka – one of the three early ballets that first catapulted Stravinsky to fame – was perfect for their purposes. Created expressly for the upcoming collaboration, Hougland’s new choreography offers an original take on the Russian master’s rhythmically propulsive, folk-imbued masterpiece.

Adam Hougland is the Principle Choreographer for Louisville Ballet and has created seven critically acclaimed original works for the company includingRite of Spring with special guest artist Wendy Whelan. He has won The Princess Grace Award for Choreography, The Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography, and was named one Dance Magazine’s 25 to watch for 2011. For a full bio click here. || Click here to see a video of Cold Virtues.

Teddy Abrams

Teddy Abrams, the Louisville Orchestra’s multi-talented Music Director. Dubbed “a triple threat and then some in the classical music world” (San Francisco Chronicle), in addition to conducting, curating, and performing, the Music Director is also an award-winning composer whose music has been showcased by the New World Symphony, the Britt Festival and Louisville Orchestra. Now in the second season of his tenure, it was Abrams whose galvanizing leadership jumpstarted the orchestra’s current creative resurgence; as the young conductor puts it, “We want people to sit up and say, ‘Look what they are doing in Louisville!’” For a full bio click here. || Click herefor Music Makes A City Now webisodes.

Grammy Nominated, Amy Dickson is an internationally celebrated saxophonist who has recorded six critically acclaimed albums with Sony Classical. It was the second album, Glass, Tavener, Nyman recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra that includes her own transcriptions of Phillip Glass’ Violin Concerto No. 1. Dickson’s repertoire is strongly influenced by her passion for new music. She is deeply committed and has made a substantial contribution to the development of new repertoire for the saxophone. She has premiered new works for saxophone and orchestra or chamber ensemble and is a regular collaborator with today’s leading composers. For a full bio clickhere. || Click here to see a video of Amy Dickson performing Glass’ Violin Concerto.

Founded in 1952, Louisville Ballet is one of the nation’s leading regional ballet companies. With a repertoire of more than 150 works and more than 70 world premieres to date, its productions are attended by more than 100,000 people each season. Under new leadership since last season’s appointment of former Australian Ballet principal dancer Robert Curran as Artistic and Executive Director, Louisville Ballet is now, like the orchestra, enjoying a period of artistic and economic renewal. For more about the Louisville Ballet’s 2015-16 Season visit their website at LouisvilleBallet.org.

Founded in 1937 under the leadership of Robert Whitney, The Louisville Orchestra performs over 125 concerts each season throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana. The Louisville Orchestra’s rich history included a deep dedication to contemporary music, and started commissioning new works in 1948. By 1950 the LO’s First Edition Recordings were distributed globally, sharing the music of celebrated composers such as Aaron Copland, Dimitri Shostakovich and even Duke Ellington. With the insight and energy of the new Music Director, Teddy Abrams, the LO is and expanding connections between musicians and music lovers once again by commissioning and performing world premieres. For more information about the Louisville Orchestra visit

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