Compass is a collection of one-act ballets on navigating cultural tension with compassion.
Compass stretches across time and space to explore some of the most pressing topics in our country and in our cities today. At times witty and satirical, and at times deeply emotional, the program is full of athleticism, power and poetry.
In the Program
"...when these charged topics are approached through Julianna’s choreographic lens of compassion, it is clear that the purpose of the program is not political at all. Its true purpose is to inspire empathy and kindness, and all artists involved in Compass deserve congratulations for successfully emoting and delivering this message with grace."
Music, painting, sculpture, dance are the media through which we share the stories that shape our hearts, explaining the unexplainable, conveying the inconceivable. In Strangers and Angels, Ballet 5:8 carefully arrange refugees’ longings and fears, torments and victories and gently impress them on our souls in a way that leaves us distinctly richer for the experience.”
-John Barcanic, Executive Director, World Relief Chicago
You can join the conversation.
Following each performance, audience members are invited to attend a TalkBack panel discussion. During this informal Q&A, you'll have the opportunity to talk with Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director Julianna Rubio Slager and Artists of the Company about your experience during the performance. What did you see? What did the performance make you feel or think? What questions do you have? All comments and questions are welcome.
Discover More About Compass
"I have found the musicality and movement dynamic natural for me, as I enjoy the music and find the choreography fits into it effortlessly. The challenging part has been finding how to clearly show the full spectrum of emotions, as written in Psalms, through dance." - Company Artist Samuel Opsal
"[Strangers and Angels] connects directly with the work we do at World Relief because every day we ask our volunteers and partner churches to put themselves in refugees’ shoes by meeting them, listening to their stories, and learning from their experiences... Our vision is to see churches and individuals responding to the refugee crisis with compassionate action as their eyes are opened to our shared humanity." - Tabitha McDuffee, World Relief
"Shades of Refrain doesn't really have characters specifically since it is based off of the book of Psalms, however I love portraying my specific "character" based off of Psalm 1 - specifically verses 2-3..." - Lead Artist Brette Benedict
"I enjoy that in every rehearsal and every performance this ballet continues to feel new and fresh! You can always push your movement further, find richer musicality, and gain greater connection with your fellow dancers within this piece. I love the story of this ballet and the unique way it is presented. " - Company Apprentice Jessica Lohr
"The most rewarding thing about Shades of Refrain is the feeling of freedom every time we perform it. Of course there is the technical nature of the piece we must always stick to, but the music has such breath to it that it makes you feel lighter as you dance." - Company Apprentice Emily Ratkos
"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." - Senior Apprentice Laura Peterman
"There is something so breathtaking about the moment when the two time periods collide in the work. I feel like it shows how history has repeated and cries out for a break in the cycle of heartache that has occurred. " - Company Artist Olivia Kruse
"Strangers and Angels uses movements taken from real life and accents them with dynamic change. Walking, running and falling are used in conjunction with contemporary dance phrases to create the visceral movement vocabulary of the piece." - Company Artist Samuel Opsal
"I would describe Shades of Refrain as the book of Psalms put into motion. Shades takes the beautiful voice of the Psalms and the art of ballet into one beautiful piece." - Company Apprentice Morgan Kelly