Chicago's Ballet 5:8 to Perform in Atlanta with Bluebird Uncaged on Compassion

Chicago's Ballet 5:8 to Perform in Atlanta with Bluebird Uncaged on Compassion

Ballet 5:8 will visit the Atlanta area for the first time in March with Compass Project, a collection of one-act ballets on navigating cultural tension with compassion. The performance, which stretches across time and space to explore some of the most pressing topics of our day, will feature both Ballet 5:8 and local Atlanta dance collective Bluebird Uncaged. Ballet 5:8, a 12-member professional company based just outside Chicago, is dedicated to engaging communities in conversation of life and faith through innovative storytelling and breathtaking dance. Bluebird Uncaged, a dance collective, is dedicated to bringing hope and dignity through dance via artist development, workshops, live performances, international adventures, and multimedia.

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Chicago's Ballet 5:8 to Perform in Memphis on Navigating Cultural Tension with Compassion

Chicago's Ballet 5:8 to Perform in Memphis on Navigating Cultural Tension with Compassion

Known for its commitment to bringing innovative storytelling and breathtaking dance throughout the Midwest, Chicago’s Ballet 5:8 will visit the Memphis area for the first time in March with Compass, a collection of one-act ballets on navigating cultural tension with compassion. In Chicago, Ballet 5:8’s work has been called “exceptionally well done” and “these are serious, talented dancers.”

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Chicago's Ballet 5:8 to Perform in Urbana on Navigating Cultural Tension with Compassion

Chicago's Ballet 5:8 to Perform in Urbana on Navigating Cultural Tension with Compassion

Known for its commitment to bringing innovative storytelling and breathtaking dance throughout the Midwest, Chicago’s Ballet 5:8 will visit the Champaign/Urbana area for the first time in March with Compass, a collection of one-act ballets on navigating cultural tension with compassion. In Chicago, Ballet 5:8’s work has been called “exceptionally well done” and “these are serious, talented dancers.”

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Ballet 5:8 "Compass" Chicago Encore Partners with World Relief to Inspire Compassion

CHICAGO – Ballet 5:8 will close out its Sixth Performing Season this April with an encore performance based on the company’s popular 2017 premiere Compass. The April engagement, scheduled as part of Chicago Dance Month, features all four works from the original program on the topic of navigating cultural tension with compassion. The performance will be presented as Compass Project, with a portion of each ticket sold donated to World Relief. World Relief is a national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago and Aurora, IL. The nonprofit stands with refugees and immigrants and partners with local churches to end the cycle of suffering, transform lives and build sustainable communities. Ballet 5:8’s single Chicago performance of Compass Project will be held on Saturday, April 28 at 7:00pm at Moody Bible Institute - Solheim Center, 930 N Wells St., Chicago, IL. Attendees are additionally invited to attend a post-performance Q&A with artists and choreographers from the performance. Tickets are $20 general admission, and $10 for college students and children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased online at ballet58.org or by calling 312-725-4752. Performance information is available at ballet58.org/compass-project-chicago.

Compass Project uses contemporary ballet and storytelling to consider the pressing issues of the day - not in a political or divisive sense, but simply through the lens of compassion. The four ballets in the program (originally premiered as “Compass” 2017) include works inspired by the poems of African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist, Sojourner Truth, and Pulitzer Prize author and Chicagoan, Gwendolyn Brooks. Reviewer Kristi Licera of Dancermusic.com called Compass in Chicago “an evening of inspired choreography and thought-provoking performance.” Ken Norris, of WKTV Journal, reviewed Ballet 5:8’s Grand Rapids performance and noted the “on-stage presence and prowess of solo dancers Stephanie Joe and especially Antonio Rosario” in All God’s Children, as well as the “the sparse, incredibly emotional The Mother, and the dancing perfection of lead dancer Lorianne Barclay.”

Another of the ballets in the program, Strangers & Angels, is inspired by the 1917 Armenian refugee crisis - which in the ballet, is juxtaposed with the Syrian refugee crisis of our present day. The ballet is the basis of Ballet 5:8’s collaboration with nonprofit World Relief for the April 28th performance. World Relief offices in Aurora, IL, and Chicago will benefit from Compass Project ticket sales and will also participate in the post-performance Q&A. The nonprofit organization serves both refugees and immigrants, providing them with the services they need to successfully integrate into life in their new communities. World Relief offers English classes, an early childhood program, after-school tutoring for youth, summer youth clubs, job referral services and job readiness classes, counseling services, case management, and more.

“When Ballet 5:8 approached us about collaborating on this performance of Compass,” says Tabitha McDuffee of World Relief Aurora/DuPage, “we jumped at the opportunity. The message of Compass - navigating cultural tension with compassion - complements perfectly World Relief’s mission of welcoming refugees and immigrants. We don’t deny the tension that can result when people from different countries and cultures live together in one community. However, World Relief does maintain that the Bible commands us to love and welcome the stranger. We hope that Compass, and especially the final ballet, Strangers & Angels, will give people a new and unique look at refugees and stir them to act compassionately toward them.” McDuffee also says that World Relief “has been blessed by the generosity of Ballet 5:8, their commitment to excellence in their art, and their desire to facilitate challenging conversations.”

Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer, Julianna Rubio Slager, is co-founder of the six-year old company and brings a wealth of experience to her work. Slager’s choreography has been performed at festivals and events across the Midwest: Dance Chicago, Project Dance, Chicago International Arts Festival, Detroit City Dance Festival. Beginning in 2014, Ballet 5:8 began touring nationally, bringing Slager's critically acclaimed ballets such as Scarlet, The Stor(ies) of You and Me, and Compass to audiences across the nation. Slager is also a groundbreaking figure within the field, as one of the few female Artistic Directors and Resident Choreographers of professional ballet companies in the world. As a woman with Hispanic heritage, she hopes that her leadership and creative work at Ballet 5:8 will pave the way for other women and minorities in professional ballet.

Ballet 5:8 Collaborates on Navigating Cultural Tensions with Compassion

CHICAGO – Ballet 5:8 will return to the Mark O’Donnell Theater at the Actors Fund Arts Center in Brooklyn this April with the New York premiere of its collaborative program Compass Project. The two performances feature a range of original dance performances by Ballet 5:8 and guest companies Vivid Ballet (Hartford, CT) and Emma Elliott Dance (New York, NY) on the topic of navigating cultural tension with compassion. Compass Project 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. The two performances (which are not identical) will be held on Saturday, April 7 at 7:30pm and Sunday, April 8 at 2:00pm at the Mark O’Donnell Theater at the Actors Fund Arts Center, 160 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Attendees are additionally invited to attend a post-performance Q&A with artists and choreographers from the performance. Tickets are $28 for adults, $24 for students and seniors, and $15 for children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased online at ballet58.org or by calling 312-725-4752. Performance information is available at ballet58.org/compass-project.

A unique 12-dancer professional company, Ballet 5:8’s mission is shaped by a desire to engage audiences in conversation through innovative storytelling and breathtaking dance. Compass Project is based on the theme “navigating cultural tension with compassion” and is inspired by a desire to consider the pressing issues of the day - not in a political or divisive sense, but simply through the lens of compassion.

The four ballets in Ballet 5:8’s original Compass program (premiered in Chicago in November, 2017) include works inspired by the poems of African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist, Sojourner Truth, and Pulitzer Prize author and Chicagoan, Gwendolyn Brooks, as well as one inspired by the 1917 Armenian refugee crisis, juxtaposed with the Syrian refugee crisis of our present day. Reviewer Kristi Licera of Dancermusic.com called Compass in Chicago “an evening of inspired choreography and thought-provoking performance.” Ken Norris, of WKTV Journal, reviewed Ballet 5:8’s 2017 Grand Rapids performance and noted the “on-stage presence and prowess of solo dancers Stephanie Joe and especially Antonio Rosario” in All God’s Children, as well as the “the sparse, incredibly emotional The Mother, and the dancing perfection of lead dancer Lorianne Barclay.”

In Ballet 5:8’s 2018 reimagining of the bill as Compass Project for New York City, collaborating companies Vivid Ballet and Emma Elliott Dance will also be contributing works and conversation in the post-performance Q&A. “I am excited to see all of our work on stage creating a meaningful show about navigating cultural tension with compassion,” says Emma Elliott, Artistic Director of Emma Elliott Dance. “The timing of this performance could not be more needed by our society and community in New York City.” The performance, as she describes it, “is about real issues, real stories, and navigating through our lives with honor, integrity, and compassion.”

Emma Elliott Dance will be performing three original works during the two performances. One, To the Least, deals with the topic of homelessness in New York City. Another, All of a Sudden, looks at the twists and turns of life. “When we feel we have nothing left,” says Elliott about the work, “there is always hope and redemption.” Vivid Ballet, under the direction of Elizabeth McMillan, will be contributing two works to the bill. One of these, Image of the Invisible, also explores themes of brokenness, vitality and redemption.

Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer Julianna Rubio Slager is co-founder of the six-year old company and brings a wealth of experience to her work. Slager’s choreography has been performed at festivals and events across the Midwest: Dance Chicago, Project Dance, Chicago International Arts Festival, Detroit City Dance Festival. Beginning in 2014, Ballet 5:8 began touring nationally, bringing Slager's critically acclaimed ballets such as Scarlet, The Stor(ies) of You and Me, and Compass to audiences across the nation. Slager is also a groundbreaking figure within the field, as one of the few female Artistic Directors and Resident Choreographers of professional ballet companies in the world. As a woman with Hispanic heritage, she hopes that her leadership and creative work at Ballet 5:8 will pave the way for other women and minorities in professional ballet.

Ballet 5:8 at Athenaeum on Navigating Cultural Tension with Compassion

CHICAGO – Celebrating its sixth performance season, Ballet 5:8 will return to the Athenaeum Theatre this November with the Chicago premiere of Compass, presented by Dance Chicago. Ballet 5:8’s Compass features four one-act ballets inspired by the challenges of navigating cultural tension in the present day. From an alien society to 1970’s Chicago, Compass stretches across time and space to explore some of our country’s most pressing topics. At times witty and satirical, and at times deeply emotional, Compass is full of athleticism, power and poetry. A single performance will be held on Friday, November 10 at 7:30pm at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 North Southport Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for students and seniors, and $15 for children. Tickets can be purchased at athenaeumtheatre.org or by calling 773-935-6875. Performance information is available at ballet58.org/compass.

A unique professional company, Ballet 5:8’s mission is shaped by a desire to engage audiences in meaningful discussion through innovative storytelling and the beauty and power of professional dance. Compass is based on the theme “navigating cultural tension with compassion” and is inspired by a desire to consider the pressing issues of the day through the lense of compassion. The four original ballets in the Compass program include works inspired by poems authored by African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist, Sojourner Truth, and Pulitzer Prize author and Chicagoan, Gwendolyn Brooks. After the performance, audience members are invited to stay for a Ballet 5:8 tradition, the Talk Back. During this panel discussion, Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director Julianna Slager and artists of the company discuss questions, comments and feedback on the performance with audience members.

Ballet 5:8’s return to the Athenaeum Theatre this November follows the March 2017 world premiere of the company’s groundbreaking dance/film production Scarlet, also at the Athenaeum. Audience members at the premiere described Scarlet, which is inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s American classic novel The Scarlet Letter, as “well done,” “spectacular,” and “brilliantly choreographed.” Veteran Ballet 5:8 dancer Brette Benedict received her promotion to Lead Artist following the Scarlet premiere and will make her Chicago debut as Lead Artist during Compass on November 10th.

Ballet 5:8 in Grand Rapids on Navigating Cultural Tension with Compassion

CHICAGO – Celebrating its sixth performance season, Ballet 5:8 will make a debut in Grand Rapids this October after performing in Jackson for the past four seasons. Ballet 5:8’s Compass features four one-act ballets inspired by the challenges of navigating cultural tension in the present day. From an alien society to 1970’s Chicago, Compass stretches across time and space to explore some of our country’s most pressing topics. At times witty and satirical, and at times deeply emotional, Compass is full of athleticism, power and poetry. A single performance will be held on Saturday, October 28 at 7:00pm at the Devos Center for Arts and Worship, 2300 Plymouth Avenue Southeast, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for students and seniors, and $15 for children. Tickets can be purchased at ballet58.org or by calling 312-725-4752. Performance information is available at ballet58.org/compass.

A unique professional company, Ballet 5:8’s mission is shaped by a desire to engage audiences in meaningful discussion through innovative storytelling and the beauty and power of professional dance. Compass is based on the theme “navigating cultural tension with compassion” and is inspired by a desire to consider the pressing issues of the day through the lense of compassion. The four original ballets in the Compass program include works inspired by poems authored by African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist, Sojourner Truth, and Pulitzer Prize author and Chicagoan, Gwendolyn Brooks. After the performance, audience members are invited to stay for a Ballet 5:8 tradition, the Talk Back. During this panel discussion, Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director Julianna Slager and artists of the company discuss questions, comments and feedback on the performance with audience members.

 

Ballet 5:8 Presents Four New Ballets on Navigating Cultural Tension with Compassion

CHICAGO – This October, Ballet 5:8 returns to the Quad Cities, hometown of Ballet 5:8 Co-founder & Executive Director, Amy Kozol Sanderson, for the third time since the company’s founding in 2012. Ballet 5:8’s Compass features four one-act ballets inspired by the challenges of navigating cultural tension in the present day. From an alien society to 1970’s Chicago, Compass stretches across time and space to explore some of our country’s most pressing topics. At times witty and satirical, and at times deeply emotional, Compass is full of athleticism, power and poetry. A single performance will be held on Saturday, October 7 at 7:00pm at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 1800 7th Ave, Moline, Illinois. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for students and seniors, and $15 for children. Tickets can be purchased at ballet58.org or by calling 312-725-4752. Performance information is available at ballet58.org/compass.

A unique professional company, Ballet 5:8’s mission is shaped by a desire to engage audiences in meaningful discussion through innovative storytelling and the beauty and power of professional dance. Compass is based on the theme “navigating cultural tension with compassion” and is inspired by a desire to consider the pressing issues of the day through the lense of compassion. The four original ballets in the Compass program include works inspired by poems authored by African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist, Sojourner Truth, and Pulitzer Prize author and Chicagoan, Gwendolyn Brooks. After the performance, audience members are invited to stay for a Ballet 5:8 tradition, the Talk Back. During this panel discussion, Ballet 5:8 Artistic Director Julianna Slager and artists of the company discuss questions, comments and feedback on the performance with audience members.

A childhood native of Eldridge, Iowa, Ballet 5:8 Executive Director Amy Kozol Sanderson fell in love with ballet at an early age and received her classical ballet training at Ballet Quad Cities School of Dance under former Artistic Director Johanne Jakhelln Constant. After studying as a trainee with the Ballet Quad Cities professional company for three years and with Ballet Magnificat in Jackson, MS, Amy later moved to Chicago and worked in the administrative offices at the Joffrey Academy of Dance. She went on to become one of the co-founders of Ballet 5:8 in 2012 and performed with Ballet 5:8 for three seasons before retiring to full-time administrative work. Amy currently lives in Chicago with her husband Clayton and their one-year-old daughter.