Surprised by Joy
Premiere: October, 2016
Choreography: Julianna Slager
Costumes: Lorianne Barclay
What does joy actually look like? Julianna Slager's Surprised by Joy, inspired by the poem by William Wordsworth, looks at the kind of joy that can be experienced even in the midst of tragedy, loss, disappointment and pain. The work paints a picture of an experience unlike anything else, an experience that can only be described as supernatural, a power that transcends even the grave. "Surprised by joy - impatient as the wind..." The experience may only be for a moment, but it transports us away from this world, catching us up in a joy that far transcends human emotions. This must find its source in the One who conquered death.
"Surprised by Joy presents the audience with a wide range of emotions. The piece ends with a high-energy sequence with a stage full of dancers that is not to be missed. " - Samuel Opsal
"Surprised by Joy has multiple layers of beauty. The music is grand and inspiring. The choreography is innovative and breathtaking. The story is moving and triumphant. This ballet has a contagious energy about it that leaves audiences invigorated and wanting more." -Lauren Pulkstenis
"Whatever circumstance you find yourself in, Surprised by Joy will give you hope when the world would tell you otherwise." - Solo Artist Lorianne Barclay
"Joy can come in so many shapes and sizes, I think the joy in this piece is rare and challenges many common conceptions. It's is quite liberating to watch." - Christine Janak
"Surprised by Joy is a hopeful and uplifting piece even during times of great grief and distress. It gives the hopeful message that even when things seem irreparable and dreadful, there is always redemption and assurance to be found in God." - Company Artist Bethany Patterson
" Surprised by Joy has been challenging, intricate in its details, and fast-paced; but it has given us all a sense of accomplishment I think. It is a story of finding hope in the darkest and saddest of times." - Laura Peterman
"Surprised by Joy is a dynamic piece of choreography, it is beautiful to watch, and it explores loss and tragedy in a way that it is not often explored...." - Lauren Ader-Cumpston
"This joy is something deeper than a lighthearted fleeting moment of happiness and instead comes from a genuine, generous spirit of hope." - Stephanie Joe on Surprised by Joy.
"Surprised by Joy is a light, hopeful ballet filled with a lot of countercultural ideas about encountering tragedy...." - Ballet 5:8 Company Artist Summer Smith
"A journey in accepting what has past and knowing that whatever comes your way, you can approach it with joy. Surprised by Joy is living in the 'now' and not later." - Company Artist Antonio Fernandez