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24th Annual Dance Salad Festival

Now celebrating the 24th anniversary in Houston and the 27th season since its inception in Brussels, Belgium, Dance Salad Festival promises another gathering of world-class performers. Famous in their own countries, classical and contemporary dancers share the Dance Salad Festival stage to form a mix of movement and compelling choreography.

PERFORMANCES: April 18, 19 & 20, 7:30 PM at the Wortham Center, Cullen Theater, 501 Texas Ave. Houston, TX, 77002.

For updates, photos, videos and to buy tickets, $25-$59, go to: www.dancesalad.org. Arrive early for downtown parking.

Press Contact: Christina Levin, PR/Marketing Manager and Assistant to Director, Dance Salad Festival dsfassist@aol.com, 832.533.4826. www.dancesalad.org

CHOREOGRAPHERS’ FORUM: April 17, 2019, 7:00 PM @ Museum of Fine Arts Houston, will feature the dance art and choreography of Irish choreographer, Marguerite Donlon of Donlon Dance Collective Berlin (Germany); Susanna Leinonen of Susanna Leinonen Company (Helsinki, Finland); and Kristian Lever, whose work will be performed by dancers of the Royal Danish Ballet (Copenhagen). Featured choreographers will share insights into their creative process and show video excerpts of their works. The program will also include a section from a dance film Ingmar Bergman Through the Choreographer’s Eye depicting choreography and solo dance by renowned Swedish choreographer, Alexander Ekman who dedicated this section to the legendary Swedish director, Ingmar Bergman, with images of Faro and Bergman’s home Hammars. Discussion panel and Q/A will be moderated by dance writer Maggie Foyer, from London, UK. Free Event.

USA PREMIERE PERFORMANCES marked with **, Houston Premieres marked with *

1. Dancers from the Royal Danish Ballet, Copenhagen, will perform a curated version of Marcos Morau’s Carmen**, set to music by George Bizet, which premiered in Copenhagen on September 28, 2018; Unravel **by choreographer Kristian Lever, set to music by Maurice Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante défunte to be performed with the live music accompaniment of “Walentin & McKenzie,” premiered at the Royal Danish Opera house in August, 2018 in the “Kammerballett” festival.

In the choreographic work, Carmen, the celebrated Spanish choreographer Marcos Morau uses the original novel by Prosper Mérimée in which the man is unable to give freedom to his beloved and he thence initiates a dramatic descent into hell driven by the most profound instincts of passion and vengeance. Morau has his own distinctive style. He reframes the narrative and changes the course of events, which is witnessed by the audience. Reality, gender and fiction can be affected when we take control ourselves.” kglteater.dk

Choreographer Kristian Lever’s Unravel is inspired by a conversation between two individuals, dealing with their relationship late at night, behind closed doors. As the conversation goes on, further unexpected topics and emotions unfold and reveal themselves. The difficulty to find calmness and harmony with each other, yet not being able to let go.

2. New York City Ballet principal dancers, Ashley Bouder and recently retired Joaquin De Luz will perform a beautiful Pas de Deux De Triana a Sevilla* choreographed by prominent Spanish choreographer, Victor Ullate, set to music by Manolo Sanlucar.

Bouder was named an apprentice with New York City Ballet in June 2000 and became a member of the corps de ballet that October. She was promoted to the rank of soloist in February 2004, and in January 2005, was promoted to principal dancer. Bouder has danced in ballet galas around the world and guest starred in companies including the Paris Opera Ballet, Rome Opera Ballet, and the Mariinsky Ballet. As a professional her awards include the Janice Levin Honoree from the New York City Ballet, the Miss Expressivity for 2011 and the Miss Virtuosity for 2013 from the Dance Open Gala, and a 2014 Benois de la Danse nomination. As a choreographer, using the arts collaborative she founded, The Ashley Bouder Project as an outlet for her work, Ms. Bouder hopes to promote other female choreographers.

Joaquin De Luz was born in Madrid, Spain. He received his training at the Victor Ullate School of Ballet in Madrid and danced with Victor Ullate Ballet Company from 1992 to 1995. In 1996, De Luz won the Gold Medal at the Second Nureyev International Ballet Competition in Budapest, and in August of that year, he joined the Pennsylvania Ballet as a soloist. In 1997, De Luz joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet and was promoted to soloist in 1998. He joined NYCB as a soloist in 2003, and was promoted to principal dancer in 2005. During his career at NYCB, De Luz has danced featured roles in a variety of works including ballets by George Balanchine, August Bournonville, Peter Martins, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Jerome Robbins, and Christopher Wheeldon. He is the recipient of the 1997 Rising Star prize by Seven Arts Magazine, the 2009 Benois de la Danse award for best male performance for his role in Prodigal Son, and, most recently, the 2016 National Dance Award by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports.

3. Semperoper Ballett Dresden, Germany, makes its 6th appearance at Dance Salad Festival with a solo dance by Principal dancer Courtney Richardson and a film excerpt from the highly entertaining ballet COW choreographed by internationally sought after choreographer Alexander Ekman, set to music by Mikael Karlsson. “Following the success of Cacti, the enfant terrible of the Nordic dance world returns to Dresden for the current season to take a fresh look at a classic work, offer a premiere and develop an installation. Whether flooding the stage with water for Swan Lake or filling Stockholm’s Royal Opera House with hay, Ekman’s huge range of brilliantly crazy works always attracts an enthusiastic audience. Surprise, timing and the pure joy of dance are only three of the ingredients in his choreographic cookbook.” semperoper.de. Cow was awarded prestigious German theatre award “Der Faust” in 2016.

Alexander Ekman is known for producing entertaining works within the contemporary and classical dance world as well as unique live performances that integrate different artistic disciplines including theater, film, opera houses, pop music and museums just to name a few. Ekman has created and collaborated with around 45 dance companies worldwide including the Royal Swedish Ballet, Cullberg Ballet, Compañia Nacional de Danza, Goteborg Ballet, Iceland Dance Company, Bern Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Dance, Ballet de l’Opéra du Rhin, The Norwegian National Ballet, Boston Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Sydney Dance Company, The Royal Ballet of Denmark and Vienna Ballet. He has also created for festivals the French Europa Danse and the Athens International Dance Festival.

During 2011 Ekman also worked as a teacher/choreographer at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City. Ekman’s 2010 work Cacti has become a worldwide hit and has been performed by 15 dance companies including Sydney Dance Company. The work was nominated for the Dutch Zwaan dance prize in 2010, the National Dance Award (UK) in 2012, and also for the prestigious British Olivier Award. In 2009 Ekman created the dance film 40 Meters Under for Cullberg Ballet, which was broadcasted on national Swedish television. Same year he collaborated with the renowned Swedish

choreographer Mats Ek on video projections for Ek’s play HallPlats.

4. Spellbound Contemporary Ballet, Rome, Italy, will return to Dance Salad Festival for the 5th time with a curated version of Full Moon*, a recently created work for nine dancers by the company’s founder and Artistic Director, Mauro Astolfi, set to music by various artists including Riuky Sakamoto, Dave Porter,Jed Kurzel, The Netherldand Quartet Ter Veldhuis Suites of Lux and Max Richter among others.

The sight of a full moon showers the observer with a sense of completeness, a closed, perfect circle. But it also can cause anxiety, light sleep, and strange instincts which are sometimes difficult to control…But when examined closely, something happens within and we feel different. Waiting for the new cycle to take shape once again is truly worth it. It’s the only other “world” which we see distinctly in the sky. The full moon reminds us that every day might bring about some small change. (spellboundance.com)

5. Maria Kochetkova, guest Principal dancer with companies around the world including Norwegian National Ballet (Oslo), Staatsballett Berlin, and others, and Sebastian Kloborg, guest dancer and choreographer with the Royal Danish Ballet (Copenhagen) will perform in Houston a pas de deux from a collection of earlier works by William Forsythe, called New Suite. Maria and Sebastian will dance a pas de deux set to music by J. S. Bach. They will also debut in Houston with Closer choreographed by Benjamin Millepied set to music by Philip Glass, which will be played live by Alexander McKenzie (Copenhagen). Premiered in 2006 at The Joyce Theater, New York City, Millepied’s exquisitely fluid, and at moments melancholic choreography deftly reels the audience into the couple’s voluptuous connection…”

Born in Moscow, Russia, Maria Kochetkova trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School for eight years before dancing with The Royal Ballet and English National Ballet in London. She joined the San Francisco Ballet as a Principal Dancer in 2007 and has performed as a guest artist with the Bolshoi and Stanislavsky Theaters in Moscow, the Mariinsky and Mikhailovsky Theaters in St. Petersburg, ABT in New York, Rome Opera and the Tokyo Ballet. Her classical repertoire includes the title role in Giselle, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Kitri in Don Quixote, Juliet in Romeo & Juliet, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, and Tatiana in John Cranko’s Onegin, among many others. She has also performed in Balanchine’s Coppelia (as Swanilda), Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and Artifact Suite, MacMillan’s Winter Dreams, Ashton’s Symphonic Variations and Voices of Spring, McGregor’s Chroma, Lifar’s Suite en Blanc and ballets by David Dawson, Derek Deane, Jorma Elo, Mark Morris, Yuri Possokhov, Alexei Ratmansky, Jerome Robbins, Helgi Tomasson, Christopher Wheeldon and Hans Van Manen.

Kochetkova’s prizes and awards include the Isadora Duncan Award for the role of Giselle and medals at the International Ballet Competitions in Seoul (Gold, 2005), Rome (Gold, 2005), Riety (Gold, 2005), Luxembourg (Gold, 2003), Varna (Silver and the Press Jury Prize, 2002), Moscow (Bronze, 2001). She is also a winner of the Prix de Lausanne (2002) and was nominated for the best dancer award in the Benois de la Dance (2013) and National Dance Awards (2014).

Sebastian Kloborg, was born in Copenhagen and trained at the Danish Ballet School. He danced in the full repertory of the Royal Danish Ballet and took part in creations of the world renowned choreographers.In 2012 he joined Gauthier Dance//Theaterhaus Stuttgart, Germany, under the direction of Eric Gauthier where he ventured into more neoclassical and modern works. Besides his dancing career Sebastian Kloborg also co-directs the group Dancers of The Royal Danish Ballet. He started creating his own choreographic works in 2011 and worked with such companies as the Royal Danish Ballet, Copenhagen; Premio Positano, Italy; the English National Ballet, London; Beijing Dance Academy, China and the German National Youth Ballet, among others. Since 2017 he has been a choreographic fellow with Danish Dance Theatre.

6. Susanna Leinonen Company, Helsinki, Finland will mark its 2nd appearance in DSF and will premiere in the USA Shame/less created especially for Dance Salad Festival by choreographer Susanna Leinonen, based on her very successful work Nasty, set to music of various composers including Arvo Pärt and Max Richter. Original choreography Nasty premiered in September 2018 at Stoa, Helsinki. Leinonen’s work Trickle Green Oak was first presented by the Finish National Ballet in Dance Salad Festival in 2004, followed by Romeo and Juliet and Touch of Gravity which came to Dance Salad Festival in 2017.

Shame/less is a strikingly topical work that centers on the expectations, limitations and attacks targeted at female bodies. The piece presents an unvarnished vision of our world, where evil hides in the structures of the society but also in ourselves: we pass along the injustice and cruelty we have experienced. Leinonen’s choreography doesn’t revel in violence and corporality, but rather spells out the everyday viciousness we direct at ourselves and at others. Harsh words take their place on the surfaces of the space and on the skin of the dancers as an unstoppable stream of information and opinions. Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s delicate and expressive music contrast and completes this stark vision the world. (susannaleinonen.com)

7. Donlon Dance Collective Berlin, Germany, will present Strokes Through the Tail* choreographed by Marguerite Donlon, set to music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Marguerite Donlon found inspiration in Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 and the dancers’ personalities to create a work that combines virtuosic dancing with a delightful hint of irreverence. Intrigued by Mozart’s style of musical notation, Donlon reveals a tightly knit work in which the dancers personify the structural patterns of musical notes on a page and balletic details to capture the composer’s ingenious wit and humor.

Native of Ireland, multi-awarded, an innovative, contemporary choreographer and performer, Marguerite Donlon is known for her humor and profound creativity which thrills an unusually broad audience. With stylistic innovation, Irish wit and the combination of different art forms, Marguerite Donlon has pushed artistic limits to secure a place in the international dance scene.

Strokes Through the Tail was originally created for Hubbard Street Dance Company Chicago. It has also been performed by the National Ballet of Portugal, the State Ballet of Saarland and most recently by Bolshoi Theater dancers, with lead role for Prima Balerina, Svetlana Zacharova. Donlon has also created for companies such as the Nederlands Dans Theater 2 (NDT), the Stuttgart Ballet, Berlin Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Company in Chicago, Rambert Dance in London, the Companhia Nacional de Bailado (CNB) Portugal, Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz Munich, Visceral Dance Chicago, Musiktheater im Revier (MiR) Gelsenkirchen, Ballet X Philadelphia and The One Grand Show, Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin, among many others. In 2012, she launched a large scale environmental awareness project about the growing problem of plastic in our oceans, and created the highly acclaimed dance piece Blue. She also designed a large scale environmental sculpture which later opened the Eco Art festival in Frankfurt and

was then invited to Athens to help bring awareness to the increasingly damaging effect of plastic in our oceans. Her work Made in Love: Minutemade Act One was presented by Gartner Platz Theater, Munich, Germany, in Dance Salad Festival 2016.

8. Sokvannara Sar will debut in Houston with a solo work Mopey choreographed by Marco Goecke. Set to music by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and the 80’s rock band The Cramps, Mopey is an inwardly reflective yet volatile solo work—dark, moody and potentially unsettling. Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times called it “a tour de force” and “a touching piece of alienation,” while Laura Shapiro of New York Magazine praised Suozzi’s interpretation as “riveting in a portrait of madness so eloquent it looked like Shakespeare without words.” In addition to performances by Pacific Northwest Ballet, Mopey has been performed at the Jacob’s Pillow Festival, at the Biennale in Venice and at the 2004 Pina Bausch Festival in Wuppertal, pnb.org

Sokvannara (Sy) Sar was born in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where he studied traditional Khmer dance from the age of 10 at the Wat Bo School. At the age of 16, he was invited to come to New York to study at the School of American Ballet. Late to begin ballet training, Mr. Sar was coached by the renowned teacher Olga Kostritzky. He has originated roles in Benjamin Millepied’s On the Other Side, 28 Variations of a Theme by Paganini, and 3 Movements. In July, 2008, Sar performed On the Other Side, accompanied by Philip Glass, for the opening night of the Vail International Dance Festival. In addition, he has danced featured roles in George Balanchine’s La Sonnambula, William Forsythe’s One Flat Thing, reproduced, Kent Stowell’s The Nutcracker, Twyla Tharp’s Waterbabies Bagatelle, and Marco Goecke’s Mopey. In May, 2011, Sar joined Carolina Ballet as a soloist and performed principal roles in Balanchine’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon), Prodigal Son, Tarantella, Valse Fantasie, Attila Bognar’s An Invisible Story, Lynne Taylor Corbett’s Carmina Burana, Code of Silence, The Little Mermaid among others.

Marco Goecke, born in Wuppertal, Germany, he trained as a dancer at the Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung in Munich as well as at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and worked at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater Berlin and Theatre Hagen. Marco Goecke became Choreographer in Residence at Stuttgart Ballet in 2005 where his interpretation of the ballet classic The Nutcracker (2006) was met with high acclaim as well as his works Alben (2008), Fancy Goods (2009), Orlando (2010), in sensu (2011), Black Breath (2012), Dancer in the Dark(2012) and On Velvet (2013).

He has also created works for The Hamburg Ballet, Leipziger Ballett, Nederlands Dans Theater, Norwegian National Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, The Berlin State Ballet, Sao Paulo Companhia de Dança and Ballet Zurich. After having worked with Scapino Ballet Rotterdam for more than seven years as Choreographer in Residence, Marco Goecke accepted the position of Associate Choreographer with Nederlands Dans Theater in 2013.

Please check www.dancesalad.org for updates!