Festival Ballet’s ‘Up Close On Hope’ is dazzling dance experience


We have been fans of Festival Ballet’s unique “Up Close On Hope” for years, repeatedly amazed by the dazzling dance experience.

“Up Close” means up close, as you sit in one of 80 chairs facing the rehearsal studio, while the talented dancers perform so close that you can hear them breathing.

The Spring Program offers six world premieres among the 10 brief presentations, with an intermission for you and the dancers to catch your breath and enjoy some wine, light snacks and an art exhibit. The dances vary from classical works to modern, with a spirited bluesy number danced by Louisa Chapman to the music of Eric Clapton.

There are two Pas de Deux, showing the talents of Eugenia Zinovieva and Toleu Mukanov, and in the second segment Vilia Putrius and Mindaugas Bauzys. If the names seem a bit foreign to you (my spell-check went crazy), it is because they are. Festival’s Artistic Director, Misha Djoric, has recruited some of the finest dancers from around the globe, making for a truly international flavor.

If you don’t like one of the numbers (we liked them all), another will soon follow, as Djuric mixes up the program, keeping the audience and dancers on their toes (pun intended).

You can catch “Up Close on Hope” this weekend (April 5 and 6) and next (April 12 and 13), Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. at 825 Hope Street on Providence’s East Side. For reservations call 353-1129. Tickets are $50 and most evenings sell out quickly.


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