Smuin ballet debuts at Yerba Buena Center


Image by laobc via openclipart


Smuin ballet opened its spring program called “Unlaced Dance Series” on Friday night at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

This season, the company showcases four choreographies, among them, Petal, Rome & Juliet Pas de Deux and the world premiere Ask Me. The styles of these choreographies range from contemporary ballet, classical ballet, and jazz.

The first dance of the program was Petal. Ellen Pickett, a choreographer from San Diego, first choreographed this piece for the Atlanta Ballet. At the beginning of the dance, the stage was illuminated with yellow lights, giving the appearance that dancers were performing in a yellow box. Smuin dancers executed this piece with strength and precise technique. Movements included sliding on the floor, lifts and fast turns. Female dancers wore yellow leotards and male dancers wore blue pants without shirts.

The second choreography of the program was Romeo and Juliet Balcony Pas de Deux interpreted by dancers Erin Yarbrough and Jonathan Powell. This piece was created in 1976 by the founder of the Smuin company, Michael Smuin, who passed away in 2007. Dancer Yarbrough, who has been dancing with the company since 2003, said that this is a special performance.

“I was dancing with my fiancé,” said Yarbrough. “I get to express my feeling of love for my partner.”

The last choreography was Ask Me, a world premiere choreographed by Adam Hougland. The music was a fusion of jazz and retro-soul and the choreography was  energetic.

Susan Morenstein, attendee, came to see the Smuin ballet for the first time.

“All the pieces were very different from each other, so it gave me as a person in the audience a broad spectrum of dance,” she said.

The coming performances of Smuin ballet, “Unlaced Dance Series,” will be held in Walnut Creek, Caramel and Mountain View. For more information, check the Smuin Ballet website.