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Since Wingrove has created more than 100 dances, no single program can encompass her full range of expression. She finds raw creative material in a vast range of music, literary sources and the visual arts. One of the “Heart on Fire” premieres, “Moments,” is set mainly to Glazunov’s “5 Novelettes for String Quartet” and was inspired by the verse of award-winning Chinese-American poet Li-Young Lee. The earliest work in “Heart on Fire” is 1990’s “Dark Edges,” a piece for three dancers set to a score by Lou Harrison. Among the most recent is “Janis,” a piece Wingrove started working on before the national PBS broadcast of the documentary “Janis: Little Girl Blue” rekindled interest in Janis Joplin.
Set to the songs “Me & Bobby McGee,” “Move Over” and “Little Girl Blue,” the dance features Lori Seymour, “who’s an actor as well as well as a fine dancer,” Wingrove says, “She also did a piece about Sylvia Plath for me years ago and was so expressive, When you hear Janis’s voice, you can’t help but be moved by it.”, When Wingrove talks about dancers, her voice takes on an affectionate, almost reverent tone, Clearly energized by the collaborative process, she doesn’t come to a new piece with requirements for pointe shoes every step mapped in detail, She’s more interested in discovering with dancers what they can say within the framework she has devised..
Leonard Bernstein’s “On the Town,” about three sailors who land in New York City for a 24-hour leave before shipping out to fight in World War II, will be presented in a new semi-staged production May 25-29 at Davies Symphony Hall. With music direction by Michael Tilson Thomas, stage direction by James Darrah and a stellar cast that includes members of the musical’s recent Broadway revival, these performances promise a first-rate look at an American classic. “It’s such a great show, and we’re so excited to be doing it in San Francisco,” says actor-singer-dancer Clyde Alves, who, as Ozzie, is reuniting with Tony Yazbeck (Gabey) and Jay Armstrong Johnson (Chip) from the 2014 Broadway production. “There’s been a lot of texting going on between us, and the energy is really building.” Joining the three principals, also reprising their Broadway roles, are Megan Fairchild as Ivy and Alysha Umphress as Hildy. Operatic mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard joins the cast as Claire. Rounding out the ensemble are Shuler Hensley as Pitkin, San Francisco Opera Center director Sheri Greenawald as Madame Dilly and, as Narrators, stage and screen star David Garrison and Tony-nominated lyricist and composer Amanda Green, who is the daughter of “On the Town” co-lyricist Adolph Green.
Alves, who earned rave reviews as the ebullient Ozzie, said these performances give the New York artists a rare opportunity to revisit the show, “It’s a special thing,” he said, “As a musical theater actor, you’re constantly doing new shows, meeting new people, You get used to being with casts for a short time and then saying goodbye, So we’re glad to be coming back together in a new scenario —–and doing this score at such a high musical level with the Symphony orchestra.” “On the Town,” composed by a then 25-year-old Bernstein, had its first performance in December, 1944, The musical was drawn from the composer’s score for the Jerome Robbins ballet “Fancy Free” (which premiered earlier that year.) With lyrics by Betty Comden requirements for pointe shoes and Green, the new show was an instant hit, Bernstein’s songs cover a range of styles, from the jazzy “I Can Cook, Too” to the reflective “Lonely Town” and the grand “Coney Island Ballet” — and, of course, the indelible “New York, New York (it’s a helluva town!)”, Tilson Thomas, a champion of Bernstein’s music, performed the score with the Symphony in 1996, his inaugural year as music director, The most recent Symphony performances were in 2008..
“It’s not the easiest show to get right,” says Alves. “It works on a few different levels, from the classical style, to jazz and swing elements and the almost vaudevillian comedy. But I think the most difficult to nail is the underlying tone, the seriousness of our situation as three sailors who have one day in New York before they go off to World War II. Unfortunately, that’s still part of our life today — every day, people are leaving their loved ones and going off to war.”.
Ozzie, Gabey and Chip requirements for pointe shoes arrive in New York looking for the most beautiful girls they can find, But romance carries the day, “As crazy as our characters are, when it comes down to it, it’s all about finding love,” says Alves, Dance is an integral part of “Our Town,” and Alves — a Fred Astaire Award winner whose Broadway credits also include “The Music Man,” “Hairspray” and “A Chorus Line” — says there will be a fair amount of choreography from the Broadway production in the Symphony performances, “At first I thought this was just a concert,” he says, “But we’re going a few steps further than that, From what I’m told, we’re doing it all.”..
Senior Nutrition Program: Must be 60 years or older and a resident of Santa Clara County. Monday-Friday; live dance music at 9:30 a.m.; lunch at 11 a.m. First United Methodist Church, 535 Old San Francisco Road, Sunnyvale. sunnyvaleumc.org/mission/seniornutrition.html. Santa Clara Chorale: The choir pairs Mozart’s Requiem with the West Coast premiere of “Ashes of Roses,” a requiem by composer Jocelyn Hagen. The concert also features Symphony Silicon Valley and the combined choirs of Santa Clara University. May 13, 8 p.m. Mission Santa Clara de Asis, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara. $5-$32. scc.org.
Spring Ballet Concert: Students in Foothill College’s ballet courses will team up requirements for pointe shoes with dancers from San Jose Dance Theatre for a program including Foothill dance instructor Linda Hurkmans’ original choreography of Chopin’s Etudes and “44,” featuring original choreography by the Cincinnati Ballet’s Jake Casey, who will also perform the piece, May 14-15, 1 p.m, Smithwick Theatre, Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, $15-$25, 800-838-3006, sjdtbrownpaperbag.com..