Smuin Contemporary Ballet’s Virtual Fall Dance Series began earlier this month and is scheduled to run through Nov. 29.
The series showcases new works choreographed and performed by its company artists in scenic outdoor settings and landmarks unique to the Bay Area, along with a variety of “Smuin Songbook” favorite works by founder Michael Smuin set to music by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley and the Beatles.
Programs vary with a new selection of works offered weekly, presented online Wednesdays and Sundays.
Following six months of sheltering in place due to COVID-19, Smuin artists returned to the studio earlier this fall and began working in small “pods” on solos and duets, with physical contact restricted to dancers within the same household. The Smuin company includes several couples and roommates among its members, allowing performers to safely work in select pairings. Several of the company’s artists also created brand-new pieces with fellow dancers within their pods, which were rehearsed and filmed outdoors at familiar Bay Area locations – from oceanside at Fort Funston to the Point Reyes Shipwreck.
Each Virtual Fall Dance Series presentation opens with an introduction from Smuin artistic director Celia Fushille, followed by each week’s program of new works and classics from the “Smuin Songbook.” Audience members can interact with Fushille and the dancers in a Q&A session following the performances.
The next program, slated to be shown 7:30 p.m. today and 4 p.m. Sunday, includes Smuin artists Tessa Barbour, Mengjun Chen, Ricardo Dyer, Lauren Pschirrer and Brennan Wall. It features the premiere of “Collective Concertos,” created by Barbour and Wall, set to the music of Antonio Vivaldi and Antonin Dvorak. Other works to be presented include selections from Michael Smuin’s repertory archive set to the music of the Beatles and Elvis Presley.
The final program, slated to be shown 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25 and 4 p.m. Nov. 29, is a hodgepodge: Instead of a performance in a fixed space, artists filmed their performances live throughout the Bay Area – from San Francisco to Inverness to Woodside – and the program features ever-changing scenery and dancers from all three pods.
Streaming-access tickets to each performance are $25.
For tickets and more information, visit smuinballet.org.