Elements Presents Fully Improvised Full-Length Ballet / by Joseph Caruana

Elements Ballet announces its Winter Program, SOAKED | SURFACE. A two-night world-premiere, this event promises and exciting new twist to contemporary ballet while paying homage to Chicago’s longstanding history of improvised comedy and theatre.

Presented over Valentine’s Day on Thursday, February 14th and Friday, February 15th at 7:30 PM, audiences for SOAKED | SURFACE will be able to experience Chicago’s first full-length, entirely improvised ballet. Held at the Hamlin Park Fieldhouse at 3035 N Hoyne Ave, SOAKED | SURFACE will showcase Elements’ signature style and philosophy of movement – an unconventional, yet compelling aesthetic that emphasizes the form and rigorous training of classical ballet through the freedom and expressiveness of contemporary dance. This particular program is designed to be danced without any pre-rehearsed or set choreography. True to its name, it will all be improvised in the moment by Artists of Elements Ballet.

Improvisation has been a pillar in the Elements Ballet repertoire since its inception; the company regularly incorporates improvised dance into its class/rehearsal process and has previously presented works featuring improvised components. Artistic Director Mike Gosney encourages dancers to inspire and be inspired through the liberties they are allowed through improvising movement. Without the restrictions of classical dance, new lines, patterns, and connections are formed on stage that allow for spontaneity and more authentic artistry. SOAKED | SURFACE will present this while staying true to the signature style of contemporary dance that has made Elements Chicago’s premiere contemporary ballet company for 12 years.

SOAKED | SURFACE will be performed to live music by ALEXA GRÆ, who will be improvising the score to the movement in real time. ALEXA GRÆ has extensive classical vocal training that when combined with electronic instrumentation, creates an auditory aesthetic that has allowed for creation and performance across a myriad of genres including opera, hip-hop, pop, and electronic dance music. ALEXA GRÆ’s blend of rigorous musical training and boundless experimentation mirrors Elements’ own artistic approach: grounded in classical ballet, but heavily encourages the use of artistic experimentation. Elements and ALEXA GRÆ have collaborated as recently as October and are looking forward to creating together in a space with so few constraints and so many artistic possibilities.

Tickets for SOAKED | SURFACE are $25 and can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com. Those interested in a full season subscription package to Elements Ballet’s 2019 event series can learn more at https://www.elementsballet.org/subscription-series-2018-2019/.

This program is part of The Chicago Moving Company Performance Project. The Chicago Moving Company is in residence at Hamlin Park through the Chicago Park District’s Arts Partners in Residence Program, which unites artists and communities in Chicago’s Parks. Improvements to the Hamlin Park Theater are supported in part by a generous Saints 2018 grant.