For the first time in two years, the North Star Ballet is performing live and in-person this week. The North Star Ballet opted to cancel its performances during the height of the pandemic last year, but as Covid-19 lingers on and the stress that comes along with it persists, they decided that this year dance need to be made available to the community again.
The ballerinas have been practicing hard to perfect a performance that will sweep the audience off their feet, and they’re all itching to finally share it with the community.
“We’ve been working on this for a while,” said Artistic Director Courtland Weaver. “All of these dances are ones that we’ve worked on since last spring that we couldn’t present.”
“An Evening of Dance” features unique original dances, a few of which have yet to be seen by the public.
“We have a new piece that was choreographed by Katheryn Alter, she’s from Juneau originally but she has family in Fairbanks, she comes up here in the summer and she’s taught for us,” Weaver said. “She’s currently the associate director of the Limón Institute, which is a huge institute in New York that highlights the work of Jose Limón, so when she was here she choreographed a piece for a trio for us.”
Alter’s original piece is titled “Winnowed” and will be performed to music written and sung by Iva Bittová, a talented Czech violinist. Alter’s choreography challenges the ballerinas by pushing them to work with the heaviness of their body instead of the lightness that classical ballet demands.
North Star Ballet Mistress Wendy Walker’s choreographed piece “Skinned”, which was released as a dance film earlier this year, will be performed to a philosophical soundtrack by Alan Watts. “Skinned” features graceful and relaxing dancing that tells a story as you listen to Watts’s voice.
The ballerinas will also be performing “Quatres Vignettes”, which was choreographed by Robert Barnett, a ballet director with over 30 years of experience.
“It’s a sort of homage to a performance that was done in 1845 in London with four of the greatest ballerinas that existed at that point,” Weaver states regarding Barnett’s piece.
Weaver is proud to present an original dance that he has been working on for over 20 years. Weaver titles it “Excerpts from the ‘Messiah,” as it features classical ballet danced to different selections of G.F. Handel’s “Messiah.”
“An Evening of Dance” is 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, at the North Pole High School Auditorium. Tickets to the performance can be purchased at the North Star Ballet’s website nsbfairbanks.org for $20. Tickets for children age 12 and under are half off, and students, seniors, or veterans can purchase tickets for only $15.