Arts and Entertainment

VAA dancers strut their stuff in world premiere of ‘The Black Gloves’

Clarissa Boyajian dances in the premiere of “The Black Gloves.” - Courtesy photo
Clarissa Boyajian dances in the premiere of “The Black Gloves.”
— image credit: Courtesy photo


Vashon Allied Arts New Works Series is gearing up to present the world premiere of an original contemporary ballet, “The Black Gloves,” choreographed by Christine Juarez and composed by Seattle musician David O’Suna.

Two performances are slated for 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, at the Vashon High School theater.

The ballet, featuring an ensemble of graduating seniors from the Blue Heron dance company, is being billed as a story of “hope, romance and intrigue” set in Spain in 1842.

Juarez conceived the project as a way to highlight the skills of dancers who have been taking part in Blue Heron programs since they were children.

“It’s really a celebration of our time together and a way to honor the seniors,” she said.

The other attraction, she said, was to explore a different movement style and pull away from classical lines to choreograph a contemporary dance piece.

“This is not traditional, romantic ballet,” she explained. “There’s more jumping and floor work, no pointe. I’m taking stylistic license, incorporating modern movements, making it sharp and angular.”

Costume designer Kate Guinnee, with Juarez’s vision, has created abstract lines in black, gray, crimson and orange. Characters will be defined by minimal costume pieces. Artist Jeffrey Zheutlin will paint the abstract style set.

The cast will include Clarissa Boyajian, Shannon Hennessey, Molly Crosby, Sophie Pawlowski, Chelsea Clark, Sami Ressler, Amorita Juarez and Sarah Balcom.

They will be joined by advanced ballet students Camille Kappelman, Madeline Morser, Clare Engelhard, Trudy Soriano, Danielle Richardson and Meg Sayre. Woody Waits, Tucker Lazare and Michael Kappelman will also perform.

Tickets are $12 and $14 and are available now at Blue Heron and Heron’s Nest. Call 463-5131 to reserve by phone.

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