VOL. 25 - NO. 47
NOV 29 - 6, 2020
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OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

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TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Smuin Ballet Announces Free Streaming of Rex Wheeler’s Dave Brubeck Tribute “Take Five”

May 22, 2020
Smuin Contemporary Ballet has announced choreographer/former Smuin dancer Rex Wheeler’s exuberant “Take Five” as the next installment of its ‘Hump Day Ballets’ series, which aims to brighten mid-week spirits with free video streaming of a ballet from the company’s archives. This delightfully witty work, set to the jazzy beat of Dave Brubeck, made its mainstage premiere last fall just in time for the celebrated musician’s centennial in 2020. “Take Five” will be offered beginning Wednesday, May 27, 2020, accompanied by video introductions by both Wheeler and current Smuin dancer Maggie Carey, who danced in the world premiere last September. The recorded performance will be available for 48 hours only, with streaming instructions announced through Smuin’s email list or via Smuin’s Facebook and Instagram.

An exuberant tribute to Brubeck, “Take Five” offers a charming and colorful set of surprising movements to match the irrepressible and iconic jazz tunes. Called “bright and breezy” by the San Francisco Chronicle, the vignettes of saucy balletic movements showcase Wheeler’s inventive choreography. Outfitted in neon brights by Kaori Higashiyama, Smuin’s athletic artists prance playfully under vivid lighting by Michael Oesch to the Brubeck classics “Take Five,” “I’m in a Dancing Mood,” “Camptown Races,” “Unsquare Dance,” and “Blue Rondo à la Turk.”

Smuin’s ‘Hump Day Ballets’ series was created to share inspiring art and enable the Company to stay connected with its community during the Shelter-in-Place order. Every Wednesday a different ballet from Smuin's repertoire, introduced by a current Company dancer or guest artist, is released to the public. The sharing of these productions is made possible by the generous support of Smuin's partners—the choreographers, unions, designers, and composers providing permission outside of standard contracts to share these creations with the community.

For more information the public may visit smuinballet.org.

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Photo caption: Take Five: The Smuin Company in Rex Wheeler's “Take Five,” offered for free streaming as part of Smuin's ‘Hump Day Ballets’ series May 27-29. (Photo credit: Chris Hardy)


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