the impulse wants company: Troy Schumacher, BalletCollective & Ballet 6.0….
There is just something special about BalletCollective that goes beyond the exquisite dancers and the brilliant choreography of Troy Schumacher. There is a collective spirit, the joined endeavor of artists from different genres that come together and produce a work of shared vision. Founded in 2010 by Mr. Schumacher and the architect Kevin Draper, this collaborative idea is the heart of BalletCollective, the combined process.
On Aug. 14 and 15, as part of the Joyce Theater’s festival, Ballet 6.0, the BalletCollective’s newest work the impulse wants company was given its World Premiere. This new ballet was created via a collaborative process between Mr. Schumacher, composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone, poet Cynthia Zarin, and new music ensemble ACME.
Mr. Schumacher trained with the School of American Ballet (the official school of New York City Ballet) and he has danced with the New York City Ballet since 2005. Therefore it is with reason that Mr. Schumacher’s choreography is colored by the influences of George Balanchine and Peter Martins. Nothing is overt; you cannot say “Oh, this is a product of a NYCB trained dancer”. It is much more subtle than that, it is in his patterns, musical phrasing and choreographic choices where you see these influences.
When entering the theater you are handed a card that you’re instructed to read before the piece starts, it is a poem by Cynthia Zarin, the impulse wants company. The poem embodies the sight and sounds of a day spent on a sunny, summer beach. Breaking, curly waves, the wind’s breeze, the sand curling around your toes, the singing of whales.
Mr. Schumacher’s choreography reflects these images in his movement, seven dancers break apart as a wave would when hitting the shore. They sit around the stage, individual and in rows, and with a slight motion here, an arm adjusted there, you see a ripple move across water. Mr. Schumacher is not afraid to take chances, he is more than willing to bend or blend the classical vocabulary into his unique statement.
Kaitlyn Gilliland is first seen on stage, she assumes an attitude derrière and then an arabesque, her long majestic line is perfection seen. David Prottas, who I have long wanted to see dance, bounded on stage with a youthful exuberance. He is a dancer with a rare sense of lyricism, he does more than move across the stage, he flows through his movements with seamless transitions.
Taylor Stanley’s ending solo was a moment of such moving emotion. Mr. Stanley has the ability to portray both fragility and strength in the same moment. He dances with such tender emotion you are pulled into his performance. His solo became a conversation of intimacy between him and the audience. Bravo Mr. Stanley, indeed!
Mr. Schumacher and BalletCollective are creating new definitions as to what is ballet and in how ballet trained dancers can explore and redefine movement using the classical vocabulary.
BalletCollective and Mr. Schumacher’s the impulse wants company has become one of my favorite works seen this year. My only complaint, it ended too soon…..I could of sat there half the night in undeniable joy…
BalletCollective assembles artists, poets, composers, choreographers, and designers to collaborate as equals, exchanging ideas to absorb each others’ influence throughout the creation of distinctive works of art. Founded by Troy Schumacher in 2010 and originally known as Satellite Ballet and Collective, BalletCollective has produced the collaborative work of 27 artists.
At the heart of BalletCollective lies process. Artists from different genres come together and gather ideas that are important to them as a group, a collective encouraged to think outside of what it is they usually do. In multiple combinations a composer considers graphic art, a choreographer the structure of a poem, a photographer the rhythm of a piece of music.
Each collective work develops its own organic cross-pollination process as work goes forward on a piece, with each artist asked to contribute to the work of the others and physically and digitally share what they are doing as sketches, concepts, writings, ideas, movement or measures of music. The collective effort is combined and refined, and ultimately presented to audiences. Each work’s creative life does not end at performance, but continues to be re-conceived as long as the work remains performed.
the impulses wants company
Choreography: Troy Schumacher
Music: Ellis Ludwig-Leone
Poem: Cynthia Zarin
Lighting: Brandon Stirling Baker
Kaitlyn Gilliland, David Prottas, Ashley Laracey,
Meagan Mann, Lauren King, Harrison Coll, Taylor Stanley
Music Performed by ACME