A visual conversation “At the Edge”
Sep23

A visual conversation “At the Edge”

Over the past few weeks, Living Fort Wayne has been profiling the people of Fort Wayne Ballet in the lead-up to the company’s fall performance At the Edge. Just what is At the Edge all about? We caught up with four people working hard to make it all come together. “A potpourri of dance.” That is how some people have described the upcoming At the Edge performances to Fort Wayne Ballet Executive/Artistic Director Karen Gibbons-Brown. “It’s small vignettes of different pieces, which is really quite wonderful,” said Gibbons-Brown. There will be three main pieces in the performances at 7:30 pm on Friday, September 26 and 2:30 pm on Sunday, September 28: “Mazurkas,” a classical modern dance piece, is set to music by Frédéric Chopin “Se Kommatia,” a contemporary dance piece by Fort Wayne Ballet’s David Ingram, and “Confetti,” a higher energy ballet piece. “It’s exciting to be able to put on shows that have a variety of different styles and choreography and music, because it’s a little more exciting for the audience in a way, said HannahLeah Oedding, who is performing in her third fall performance for Fort Wayne Ballet. There will be about 30 dancers performing in the pieces from the professional company, which also includes trainees and apprentices. Students from upper-level classes, called performing levels, are also being incorporated into the performances in some way. As a repertory performance, there is no story line, but that does not mean there is not a conversation between the dancers on stage and the audience in their seats. “That is the main focus of the relationship from the person giving information and the person receiving information, and when you have a medium like dance, there is no vocal communication most of the time,” said David Ingram, who is incorporating many contrasting elements into the free movement piece he is choreographing. “I’m searching for bits of humanity. I think that’s my goal, as I guess all artists are,” said Ingram. Ingram is influenced by the work of American music composer John Cage and his theories on how perceiving sound influences how humans can perceive each other. “In a sense, music is subject to just vibration and our response to that – in a neurological and a sensory awareness way, said Ingram. “I feel like that is something I really try to tap into as far as movement – what moves a human.” Fort Wayne Ballet has to meet high standards to perform “Mazurkas” and “Confetti,” which are protected by trusts. “The people who run the trusts have to approve the organization to make sure that it has the quality and the integrity,...

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Fort Wayne Ballet Spotlight – Meet Ernesto!
Jul30

Fort Wayne Ballet Spotlight – Meet Ernesto!

This is first spotlight in our series focusing on the dancers of Fort Wayne Ballet. Did you know that Fort Wayne Ballet attracts professional dancers from around the world? Meet Ernesto M. Lea Place from Buenos Aires, Argentina, a company member with Fort Wayne Ballet and faculty member at the Auer Academy of Fort Wayne Ballet. After hearing positive things about Fort Wayne Ballet from a friend, who was performing with the company, Lea Place decided that it was the right fit for him. He has been in Fort Wayne for about a year. Living Fort Wayne contacted Lea Place to get a feel for what moves him. Selected questions are below.   What are the most challenging aspects of performing ballet professionally? There are a lot of sacrifices and endless amounts of work. This profession asks a lot from you so if you are not willing to fulfill expectations, you won’t be able to do it. I love performing, being on stage, and communicating/connecting with the audiences. But in order to have that joy and comfort while performing and on stage, you have to accomplish the physical aspect [of ballet]. What are some of your hopes for the future? I hope I will keep growing as an artist and as a person. I do feel very grateful to be able to do what I love for a living. In the near future, I would like to attend a university. I am interested in psychology as my major. I was always really good at school, and I hope it’ll continue to be that way. I really enjoy working with children, and we do a lot here at the Academy of Fort Wayne Ballet. What artistic performance have you been the most proud of in your career as a dancer? As a child I did a lot of acting and theatre. It wasn’t until later in life that I entered the dance world. With some roles, you [have] more character development than others. Having the opportunity to play Romeo in Romeo & Juliet was probably the most fun I had on stage. There was such a high demand, as an actor, a technician, and an artist that I felt nervous about doing a good job. In the end, I believe I did the best I could do at the time, and, who knows, I might have a chance to [do it again] and see how it comes out then! What will you be doing to prepare for Fort Wayne Ballet’s At the Edge performance on September 26 and 28? I am currently resting. As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot sacrifices and...

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