Getting ‘up close’ to festival dancers


On the heels of their fantastic Plotnikov dance concert at Vets, Festival Ballet presents their equally fantastic “Up Close at Hope” series at their Black Box Theatre on Hope St. in Providence.

We have been enjoying the series for the past 10 years and have always been impressed by the quality of the dancers, which can be enjoyed fully in the intimate surroundings.

The spring program will be repeated this Friday, April 11 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. Twelve short works will be presented, including four world premieres and four company premieres.

“This particular program emphasizes the wide-range of choreographic talent that the company has to offer, Artistic Director Mihailo “Misha” Djuric told the sold-out audience last week.

Djuric choreographed the abstract, contemporary “Extremes,” which pushes the boundaries of art and artistry.

There is a most poignant piece in the program, “Two Sisters,” honoring former Festival dancer Jaclyn Ricci, who passed away in January, and danced by her sister, Jennifer Ricci, and others.

On a lighter note, we enjoyed the exquisitely danced “Toreador” and the world premier of “Out of the Box,” with dancers literally dancing in and out of cardboard boxes.

The joy of “Up Close at Hope” is the variety of the dances, ranging from the familiar solo “Dyaing Swan” to Pas de Deux, and from traditional to modern. The setting is intimate. Misha is always his charming self and easily accessible for chats during a brief intermission, where you will enjoy a glass of wine and hors d’ oeuvres.

Tickets are $50. Call 353-1129 and hope you can grab one for this weekend. The theatre is at 825 Hope St. on Providence’s East Side.


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