Silhouettes: Harvard Ballet Company Shapes Classical and Contemporary Lines

by Victoria Aschheim

On April 16 at 8pm and April 17 at 3pm and 8pm, the Harvard Ballet Company will present its spring recital "Silhouettes" at the Harvard Dance Center. Three members of the company, cutting fanciful figures outside the Science Center while passing out flyers, spoke with me about the vision behind "Silhouettes" and their impressions of Harvard's dance program.

"Silhouettes," directed by Samantha Cohen and Alexandra Ortega, unites classical and contemporary ballet idioms -- or, to quote recent Pulitzer Prize-winner, Sarah Kaufman, ballet's "vintage glory and its present promise" -- through the professional choreography of Owen David and Serena Mackool. The dancers agreed that the fall production of "Momentum" propelled the Harvard community to an even higher level of interest in the work of the Ballet Company, and "Silhouettes" strives to take up that energy. Ali Berman '13 (far left) and Courtney Singleton '12 (far right) said the Ballet Company consists of dancers with years of rigorous and pre-professional training in ballet, but also with experience in modern dance and jazz. These three threads will be interwoven in "Silhouettes" to provide "something for everyone." Courtney thinks Harvard has a "great dance program," with "a lot of companies," many of which are "easily accessible for anyone to join." The classes on campus are fantastic, she told me, and have a true sense of openness to the community.

Edward Villella, one of the country's most celebrated dancers and choreographers, has said, "What's so wonderful about ballet is that it's mind-driven physicality. It's almost a Greek ideal of body, mind, and form." So come support the beauty and brains of the Harvard Ballet Company and their path-breaking year of dance by attending "Silhouettes" today and tomorrow!