BalletMet’s Academy students train regularly in classical ballet and other techniques. Outside of the studio, their education continues through viewing live performance, where they see their hard work in a professional context. We asked students to write reflections on their experience at September’s performance of BalletMet at the Ohio. Excerpted below are their impressions of Artistic Director Edwaard Liang’s Murmuration and Tributary.
This was my very first time watching BalletMet perform. I was amazed with the beautiful partner work and eye-catching patterns in both pieces. The powerful pauses and slow moments choreographed by Edwaard Liang gave me a rush of emotions and made me tear up. Seeing the fluidity, precision, and cleanliness of the dancers during challenging movements was beyond impressive.
Katherine Saburova, Trainee
I loved the contrast between the two pieces because the dancers did such a good job of being versatile. Strong dancers should be well rounded at many forms of dance, not just classical ballet, so it was nice to see the company excel at both classical ballet and contemporary.
Jillian Savage, Level 7/8
I left feeling inspired and completely in awe of the dancers and Edwaard Liang’s choreography. In Murmuration, Caitlin Valentine and Miguel Anaya performed a mesmerizing pas de deux near the end that seemed effortless. This captivating adagio coupled with the delicate feathers falling in the background was simply beautiful. This calming scene was followed by a sharp and intense men’s section which was a great contrast. Murmuration takes the audience on a journey and never fails to capture your attention. Tributary, on the other hand, is a beautiful piece that highlights the technical side of classical ballet. The short movements keep the audience entertained while the dancers showed off their incredible talent. It was very entertaining and left the audience wanting more. The clean and precise choreography from Tributary mixed with the storytelling of Murmuration made for a phenomenal show.
Kirsten Smerud, Trainee
Murmuration was my favorite of the night. It seriously brought tears to my eyes. The music and movement complimented each other beautifully. The lighting created playful shadows behind the dancers, while feathers delicately floated down amidst the movement. You could feel the world stop still as the dancers left their heart and soul on the stage. Absolutely wonderful.
Lillian Register, Trainee
As I sat in the audience of the Ohio Theater in September of 2019, I was absolutely mesmerized by the beauty of Edwaard Liang’s Tributary. Watching the company perform a ballet filled with such grace and elegance was nothing less than inspiring. At this time, I was 14 years old and just beginning to think about my future as a dancer. Seeing this breathtaking work of art was a reminder to me of how ballet holds the biggest piece of my heart.
Three years later I walked back into the Ohio Theater on September 16th, 2022. I entered through the stage door, signed myself in, and began preparing for class before our dress rehearsal and opening night of BalletMet at the Ohio. As I was in my dressing room putting my costume on for our first show, I had the same feeling I had in 2019—I remembered why I loved ballet. The excitement of being backstage, the support from the other dancers and the audience, and the passion that constantly fills my heart all came back to me like déjà vu. I couldn’t help but think of the 14-year-old girl sitting in the audience three years ago watching Tributary, and how she would react if she knew she would be performing it today.
Performing this ballet was by far the best experience I’ve had in my 13 years of training at BalletMet. It has always been an honor to work with Mr. Liang, and I am more than privileged to perform such astonishing choreography by someone who takes such care into the final product of their repertoire. Having the opportunity to attend performances by BalletMet’s company has been something I’ve cherished since I was 5 years old. There are no words to express my gratitude for this blissful experience. Performing alongside the company that I grew up watching has been a dream that I have had for years now, and I am beyond grateful to have had that dream come true with such an emotionally moving ballet as Tributary.
Ava Williams, Trainee
And from Phoebe Congleton, Level 6:
I was so invested in the ballet that I dropped my box of M&M’s and didn’t even realize until after the show. I made sure to pick them all up.
We can’t wait to see our Academy students and Trainees on stage with the company later this season. For now, they get a break with October’s mature and sinister Dracula, but come winter they take the spotlight again with the holiday classic The Nutcracker and the whimsical Dorothy and the Prince of Oz.