Surprised by Joy: Summer Smith

Ballet 5:8's program The Stor(ies) of You and Me returns to the stage this spring in cities across the nation. One of the great things about a repertory program is the variety - both for the audience and the dancers! With five different works presented in Stor(ies), there is truly something for everyone watching. There is also quite the depth of experience available - the works represent a wide range of movement styles, emotion and stories told. 

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Company Artist Summer Smith

Q. Based on your experience so far, how would you describe Surprised by Joy?

A. Surprised by Joy is a light, hopeful ballet filled with a lot of countercultural ideas about  encountering tragedy.

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

A. I am a member of the corps de ballet which, in this work, portrays joy and its effects on the main character. In the poem Surprised by Joy, the author talks about joy being like wind, so the corps has a sparkling, lively demeanor. 

Q. Describe the movement. Any surprises?

A. In some ways it is light and airy, but in others it's very poignant and moving. I was surprised by how difficult it is to portray such lightness in movement.

Q. How do you relate to the work? 

A. I relate to the work in the same way anyone who has lost someone might, I've attempted to develop coping mechanisms to deal with such change but in reality the only thing that can provide comfort is the joy found in God. This ballet displays an ethereal look at the emotional and spiritual process we may go through.

Q. Why see Surprised by Joy?

A. Because it is encouraging, lovely, and comforting.