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St. Bonaventure to welcome Rochester City Ballet as part of the Martine Performing Arts Series

Sep 27, 2017 |

Chris Collins and Jessica Tretter of Rochester City Ballet.Rochester City Ballet returns to St. Bonaventure University on Wednesday, Oct. 4, for a 4:30 p.m. public demonstration/performance blending dance and jazz, the third offering in the university’s 2017-18 Martine Performing Arts Series.

Artistic Director David Palmer and ballet mistress Beth Bartholomew will lead a contingent of 21 dancers to campus for the hour-long event at Rigas Family Theater in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. 

The troupe will present “Bach de Trois,” a traditional ballet performed to jazz renditions of Bach, as well as a ballet performed to Big Band music, featuring all 21 dancers.

“It promises to be a great performance, as they’ve been rehearsing all month for their ‘All That Jazz’ show (Sept. 29-Oct. 2) in Rochester,” said Dr. Leslie Sabina, director of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at St. Bonaventure and coordinator of the performing arts series.

There was a narrow window of opportunity for bringing the dancers to St. Bonaventure, said Sabina.

“We feel very fortunate to be able to include RCB as part of the Martine series because not only were they in rehearsal all of September, but immediately after our show they start work on ‘The Nutcracker,’ so Oct. 4 was truly the only date they could come to St. Bonaventure,” he said.

The ballet has been a regular visitor to campus over the years, said Sabina, noting Dr. Oleg Bychkov, professor of theology, frequently invited them to campus for ballet demonstrations and mini performances of classic and contemporary works for an Arts & Literature course he taught.

“This is their first visit since 2013, and we’re excited to welcome them back,” said Sabina. “The demonstration and performance should appeal not only to our campus community, but to Olean-area residents as well, particularly dance teachers and their students, who we highly encourage to attend.”

Palmer has been the ballet’s artistic director since 2015. He previously served as associate artistic director of The Washington Ballet and has been considered a force in the world of ballet for more than 30 years as a director, choreographer and dancer. He was a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet.

A winner of the Choo-San Goh Award for choreography, he led his own company, Maximum Dance Company, for nine years. His production of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” with The Washington Ballet and Imagination Stage received five Helen Hayes Award nominations and won awards for Best Ensemble and Best Children’s Musical.

Palmer has garnered accolades for his work “Bound for Brubeck,” which interprets the music of renowned pianist and band leader Dave Brubeck.

Ballet mistress Bartholomew, a native of Rochester, is a former dancer with the Joffrey Ballet in New York City and The Washington Ballet, where she danced solo and principal roles. She danced in Europe for 12 years with Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. She is on the staff at the Timothy M. Draper Center for Dance Education, the official school of the Rochester City Ballet.

The demonstration/performance is free for SBU students, faculty and staff. For all others, tickets are $5. For ticket information, call the Quick Center box office at (716) 375-2494.

The Martine Performing Arts Series, presented by St. Bonaventure’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts, is funded by a grant from the university’s James J. Martine Faculty Development Endowment.

Performances will continue through the 2017-18 academic year. Next up is a performance of Shakespeare’s “Othello” by National Players, an outreach program of Olney Theatre Center, a Helen Hayes award-winning theater in suburban Washington, D.C., and the longest-running touring theater in America.

The performance is set for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30, in Rigas Family Theater of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at SBU. 

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About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things.  St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. 

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