CONTEMPORARY BALLET ANNOUNCES NEW FRONTIER SERIES
All New Production Debuts at WaterFire Arts Center with Two
World Premiere Works (Providence, RI) Newport Contemporary
Ballet (NCB) (formerly known as Island Moving Co) today
announced details for Catch Fire! the Company’s new Frontier
The series runs May 18-20 at the WaterFire Arts Center in
Providence. All performances start at 7:30 pm. Information
and tickets are available now at
Catch Fire! is
curated by NCB Artistic Director, Danielle Genest and
features two world premiere works. Working with fire as a
central theme, the program includes an all-new FIREBIRD
choreographed and staged by Genest, and a new work entitled
ASHES by visiting guest choreographer Tristian Griffin.
“The company is excited to return to Providence and the
WaterFire Arts Center this spring with our inaugural
Frontier Series production-- Catch Fire!
True to its name, NCB’s Frontier Series engages our artists
to push past familiar boundaries and explore new
perspectives and approaches to dancemaking.” said Newport
Contemporary Ballet (NCB) Executive Director, Peter Bramante.
NCB’s Artistic Director, Danielle Genest said “My idea for
Catch Fire! started with FIREBIRD, which will be a unique
blend of classical and contemporary ballet.
I wanted to have a strong piece of contemporary dance on the
program to create balance and, once again, highlight the
broad spectrum of work that Newport Contemporary Ballet
does. Tristian Griffin immediately came to mind … his
choreography is full of power and originality, and I knew he
would have a beautiful way of connecting to the theme.”
The Firebird is one of the world’s most well-known ballets
and musical compositions, and a favorite ballet of Genest.
Finding inspiration from the beloved tale, Genest set out to
create a new interpretation of the classic ballet set to
Stravinsky’s captivating score.
The original score was written in 1910 and was commissioned
by Sergei Diaghilev, founder of Ballet Russe for the Paris
Opera House and choreographed by Michel Fokine.
The successful premiere of the Firebird in 1910 was the
start of an 18-year collaborative partnership between
Stravinsky and Diaghilev, resulting in other famous ballets,
including Petrushka (1911), The Rite of Spring (1913), and
“This is a ballet that I loved performing and have always
wanted to choreograph. FIREBIRD explores themes of good,
evil, and magic at the intersection of the human and
mythological worlds. I am intrigued by the concept, inspired
by the music, and excited to bring this folk tale forward in
a fresh, dynamic way.” said Genest.
Local artist/sculptor Shawndavid Berry is collaborating with
Genest to provide scenic design and set pieces for FIREBIRD.
Berry is a sculptor and painter working to express movement
and evoke emotion through his mediums.
He describes his process for creating set and scenic design
elements for Genest’s FIREBIRD as “Connecting matter from
fluid, vapor to solid and metaphysical, hoping to provide a
cohesive balance between dancers and scenery.”
Newport Contemporary Ballet’s Resident Costume Designer,
Eileen Stoops, will design the costumes. Choreographer
Tristian Griffin is excited to work with Newport
Contemporary Ballet (NCB) again.
“This will be my second work for the company, I am looking
forward to collaborating with the dancers as well as pushing
myself as a creator and choreographer.”
Griffin goes on to describe his new dance, ASHES, as a work
about the flame that resides in each and every person.
Composer, Michael Wall and Costume Designer, Naomi Tanioka
contributed to the vision of Griffin’s new work.
“I’ve been thinking how the life of the flame represents the evolution of
the soul as it progresses during ourlifetime. A life starts
off with a spark, similar to kindling a fire. And the last
breath we draw is like a flame being blown out.”
A native of Kansas City, MO., Griffin danced with Garth
Fagan Dance and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Over the
past year, he taught full-time at the University of Kansas
as a Visiting Professor of Practice. Currently, Tristian is
in his second year as an Artist-in-Residence at Lawrence
As part of the Company’s community engagement work, NCB will
host a FREE Creative Conversation entitled: PROCESS &
INSPIRATION, to be held at 5:30pm on Wednesday, May 10th,
Providence Public Library, Mural Room, 150 Empire Street.
The conversation will provide a closer look at NCB Artistic
Director, Danielle Genest’s personal history with the
Firebird, her sources of inspiration, and vision for
bringing this work forward for a new generation. NCB Company
Dancer, Margot Aknin will share her process of working
alongside Danielle to realize her vision, and to bring a new
FIREBIRD to life.
The event is free and will be moderated by conversationalist
and humanities scholar Christina Bevilacqua.
Pre-registration for the Creative Conversation is available
and is encouraged.
Attendees of the conversation will receive a voucher for a
15% discount on performance tickets for Catch Fire!
Information and Tickets for Catch Fire! are available at the
NCB Box Office.
Or, call 401.847.4470. Follow Newport Contemporary Ballet on
FaceBook, Instagram, and/or sign up for the company’s
e-newsletter on the website. ## About Newport Contemporary
Ballet NCB is a non-profit, professional contemporary ballet
company founded in 1982 with a long history of enriching the
cultural fabric of communities throughout Rhode Island and
NCB serves as a cultural attraction, creative catalyst, and
educational resource for residents of Newport County, and is
accessible to all Rhode Islanders. Under the Executive
Leadership Team of Artistic Director, Danielle Genest and
Executive Director, Peter Bramante, the Company creates and
presents relevant, visceral, and engaging dance works by a
diverse group of the worlds’ leading choreographers and
In addition to its mainstage and Family Series productions,
NCB is widely known for its unique approach to experiential
and site-specific performances.
The Company employs 13 professional dancers, two apprentice
members, and three trainees by invitation. NCB also runs The
Academy at Newport Contemporary Ballet, a pre-professional
school, and provides an in-school, arts-integrated le