Next, the ballet’s production features “Berceuse,” choreographed by resident choreographer Penny Saunders. Initially created in 2011 for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, “Berceuse” is a sweeping and intricate duet set to Benjamin Godard’s gorgeous piece of the same name. “Berceuse,” meaning ‘lullaby’ in French, explores the nuanced line between classical and contemporary movement and zooms in on a relationship, amplifying its twists and turns as it falls through time.
Following “Berceuse”, patrons can enjoy Donald McKayle’s (1930-2018) work titled “Spirit of Women.” A memorable, towering figure in American modern dance, Donald McKayle’s work can be intense, joyful, powerful, and dramatic. During his career, he did not shy away from contemporary social and political injustice issues. “Spirit of Women” is, in a sense, a world premiere, for this is the first time these three solos (excerpted from larger works) have been put together into one suite of dances. Stephanie Powell, stager of McKayle’s works, spent two weeks with the dancers of GRB, delving into the character and stories of these three spirited women. “‘The Spirit of Women’ solos offer the dancers a rich opportunity to delve deeply within oneself to uncover the truth behind their femininity, vulnerability, and power as a unique woman,” says Powell. “In Donald McKayle’s work, each artist was given a voice with which she contributed personal experiences, research, and emotion that will transform the approach to her artistry for a lifetime.”