Shades of Refrain: Laura Peterman

Ballet 5:8's program Compass returns to the stage this spring in cities across the nation. Made up of four individual one-act ballets, one of the great things about Compass is its variety - both for the audience and the dancers! The works in Compass represent a wide range of movement styles, emotion and stories told, so there is truly something for everyone watching. Throughout this 2017/18 Season, we'll be checking in with the dancers to hear about their experiences preparing for and performing Compass: Navigating Cultural Tension with Compassion.

Laura Peterman (Center, kneeling) with artists of the company rehearsing  Shades of Refrain .

Laura Peterman (Center, kneeling) with artists of the company rehearsing Shades of Refrain.

Senior Apprentice Laura Peterman

Q.How would you describe Shades of Refrain?

A. Shades of Refrain is an absolutely beautiful piece to dance. One way to describe it is as a prayer or the book of Psalms, but physicalized through movement. 

Q. What role(s) have you been dancing?


A. I am part of the corps de ballet.

Q. Describe the movement. What has been easy to capture and perform? Challenging?

A. The movement style is very musical and lyrical, making it an absolute joy to dance. Its classical base means I will always be working on technical things (including several challenging turns), but the 21st century approach to classicism also challenges me to push the boundaries of my movement and articulation. Though it definitely is tiring (resulting in very sweaty heap of dancers by the end!) the beauty of the piece causes me to forget about my fatigue while I’m dancing.

Q. What do you most enjoy about the work?

A. I most enjoy dancing this piece. Every time we finish, I feel so full of joy. When we rehearse, and especially when we perform it, I often recite the Psalms or a prayer in my head while dancing; it truly feels like dancing in praise to the Lord. 

Q. Why see Shades of Refrain?

A. There is something special about watching a dancer who has a light, a joy behind their eyes; watching a whole stage of dancers with this quality, all praising God through beautiful movement, technique, and sets/costumes, is moving. You'll leave this piece feeling uplifted.