To me, there are few things more inspiring than those brave enough to take risks and share their talents with the community. When it comes in pairs, it’s all the better.
Last Friday night, I was lucky to see Son et Lumière, an innovative dance-and-music collaboration between Sarah Longoria, founder of Municipal Ballet Co. (and a longtime friend of mine – lucky me!) and Beaux Underwood, the director of local music group, St. Boheme.
Forget tutus and pointe shoes – this performance was beautifully paired down. Dancers wore the same airy ensembles throughout– flowing floral dresses for the gals, and button-ups for the guys — and casually sat right in the audience between their numbers, taking in the show along with us. They floated onto the main floor to dance, laughing and smiling as if it were all part of a lovely afternoon conversation. St. Boheme delivered the kind of hypnotic, happy music I could spend an entire Sunday with, and with their accordion and orchestral-driven sound as the backdrop, the entire performance was ethereal. And really, just pretty rad.
If you’re not yet familiar with Municipal Ballet Co., you should be. Longoria started the company in 2012 as a project for her graduate studies in Ballet at the University of Utah. Her vision was this: strip away the stereotype of ballet as a stuffy art form and bring its beauty into the mainstream. The company has previously performed at Craft Lake City in both 2012 and 2013 and had their inaugural full-length show at the Sugar Space Center for the Arts last Spring. As part of a recent interview with SLUG magazine, she said:
“I think that classical ballet has a bit of a reputation for being boring, elitist, or something that only little girls like. I want to present ballet as an art form, in smaller venues, in the streets and public spaces, using local dancers, musicians, and artists collaborating to create something for all of the people in our community.”
Mission accomplished. Here’s to hoping we see a lot more of them in the near future!