Long Beach Ballet To Perform At the Aquarium
Fresh off their partnership with the Long Beach Opera, the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Long Beach Ballet (LBB) are collaborating for a three-performance showing of Guardians.
This is the company's first time experimenting in an alternative space, given they have usually performed—outside of the occasional outdoor stage—on proscenium stages such as the Carpenter Center and the Shrine Auditorium.
"Jerry Schubel, director of the Aquarium, and Charlotte Ginsburg, a board member of the Aquarium and supporter of the Long Beach Ballet, hatched the idea of doing a joint project," said LBB Artistic Director David Wilcox. "Jerry is very much interested in 'telling the story' of the ocean through art as it can reach the audience on a subliminal level. They first approached me a year ago and the work has been in development since then."
After having received an email from Schubel discussing the science of the ocean and Schubel's desire to express the concepts through dance, Wilcox was impressed with the succinct yet beautifully descriptive concepts Schubel had painted for him.
"The more ideas you can feed me the better," Wilcox responded back, "because my challenge is to create a production wherein the presence of human ballet dancers gracefully enhances the subliminal impulses that we want the audience to develop, rather than interfering with them.
"It isn't going to be easy."
Choreographed by Johnny Zhong and directed by Wilcox, the two-hour Guardians is a completely new piece of work that, following the pairing of Wilcox and Schubel, attempts to encapsulate the struggle and partnership of the human-versus-nature dynamic via multimedia dance drama. With a score that is "tremendous" (no hints, Wilcox said), the piece is both an expression of art as well as analysis of our role in the environment.
As Wilcox puts it, "It portrays man's journey from our emergence on the planet to the realization of our vital role as nature's guardians. The ocean, as the mother of all life on earth, plays the "leading role" in the ballet. The 30 dancers are continually surrounded by its grandeur, both by video projection and the venue."
The hopes are to have the event become an annual production.
Guardians will be performed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 5, 6, and 7, from 7PM to 9PM at the Aquarium of the Pacific, located at 100 Aquarium Way.
For more information, call 562-590-3100 or visit http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/long_beach_ballet/.