Above photo: Itzkan Barbosa and Anthony Hoyos in Dreamers I caught the dress rehearsal for Ballet Academy East’s Winter Performance a few weeks ago at New York Live Arts and posted a few photos on my website notmydayjobphotography.com. BAE was founded by Julia Dubno in 1979 with prominent alumni including New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Chase Finlay and Soloist Erica Periera, and ABT Corps members Puanani Brown and Hannah Marshall, along with dancers in major companies worldwide. The Pre-Professional Division faculty, led by Artistic Director and former NYCB dancer Darla Hoover, includes former and current dancers Charles Askegard, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Gonzalo Garcia, Wendy Whelan, and Cheryl Yeager.
While most ballet school performances stick to standard Petipa classics, BAE regularly presents Balanchine works and new material created specifically for the school. It must be exciting for the students to tackle new choreography. On the bill were Balanchine’s classic Walpurgisnacht Ballet, two new works by Jenna Lavin, In Spirit and La Valse Bleue, and new work, Dreamers, by New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Daniel Ulbricht. Jenna is a former Miami City Ballet Soloist teaching and choreographing works at BAE since 2003.
I couldn’t make the performance, but what I saw in dress rehearsal was dancers demonstrating a high level of advanced technique with expressive work, dramatic nuanced touches, and nicely synchronized corps work. Ulbricht’s jazz inspired work was fun and energetic, with the older students having a great time in this delightful piece.
BAE will present its Spring Performance May 31-June 2 at the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse.