After months of anticipation, the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group will finally make its debut in Seaside this May. Hosted by the merchants of Seaside, the performance is set for Saturday, May 2, at 6:30 p.m. at the Seaside Amphitheatre. Admission is free and open to the public.
“I’m very excited to be coming to Seaside for our performances,” says Davis Robertson, artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group. “We know it’s going to be a lovely time of year in a lovely city, in a lovely venue, and we are bringing a lovely dance to it. We can’t wait to be a part of such a fantastic scene.”
The concert group, the performance company of the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, will perform a 90-minute show with 30 Joffrey dancers. “We will be performing Balanchine’s ‘Serenade,’ which I think will bring a gorgeous soft beauty to things,” Robertson says. “Eclecticism,” a new work by Robertson, merges contemporary music set to classical instruments. “And Arpino’s ‘LightRain,’ a beautiful Joffrey standard,” he adds. “I think it’s going to be a great program for your audience.”
In addition, Robertson will have a three-day workshop April 30-May 2 in Seaside, in which he will train selected local dancers who will perform in Seaside at a later date. The workshop provides the opportunity for local dancers to train under a professional whom they may not normally meet, unless they flew to New York City, says Seleta Hayes Howard, Seaside’s “Nutcracker” ballet mistress and ballet teacher of the Dance Academy of Seaside Neighborhood School. “Typically the New York workshops have many, many dancers,” she says. “The beautiful thing about our Seaside workshop is that our group is smaller, therefore dancers receive more one-on-one training with Mr. Robertson. The other unique aspect of our workshop is that our dancers will work with the Joffrey Concert Group dancers in the workshop, who will be there demonstrating and assisting for Mr. Robertson. It’s an all around amazing training opportunity.”
The concert group has recently completed multiple tours in the United States to rave reviews and opened the Florence Dance Festival in Italy last summer, confirming Joffrey Ballet School’s world-renowned reputation as a premier institution of American dance.
And while local dancers benefit from the highest caliber of tutelage, the community of Seaside benefits from a stellar performing arts culture. Plans for future performances and collaborations between the concert group and Seaside are in the works. “We’re hopeful to continue our work with the Joffrey Concert Group,” Hayes Howard says. “Mr. Robertson is a dynamic and compassionate teacher who has much experience and knowledge to share with dancers. His class is demanding, yet keeps the dancer totally engaged and smiling. Despite traveling the world, training young professionals, and working with names such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mr. Robertson has a passion for working with all levels of dancers. I love his inclusive attitude, it helps expand and build our ballet world, which is very needed today.”