Capital Fringe 2014 Preview: ‘#albatross’

MOVEIUS Contemporary Ballet’s appearance at this month’s Capital Fringe Festival combines dance, electric guitar, and social media in its presentation of a brand-new work and two audience favorites.

Catherine Roth, Dustin Kimball, Rachael Bade, and Matthew Begin in 'The Lorelei, the Albatross, and the Pine Tree (2014) by Olivia Sabee. Photo by Sasha Fornari.
Catherine Roth, Dustin Kimball, Rachael Bade, and Matthew Begin in ‘The Lorelei, the Albatross, and the Pine Tree.’ (2014) by Olivia Sabee. Photo by Sasha Fornari.

The company’s world premiere, choreographed collaboratively by three of MOVEIUS’s dancers, Melissa Lineburg, Carrie Denyer, and Fringe veteran choreographer Shelley Siller, considers the opportunities and problems inherent in social media. In keeping with MOVEIUS’s mission, the work examines 21st-century issues through the most classical of art forms – ballet.

“We want our audiences to come away with a new understanding of ballet’s potential,” says Diana Movius, the company’s founding director. “Ballet has an elitist reputation, but there are so many ways to use its discipline and technique to explore new ideas.”

The wealth of themes developed in MOVEIUS’s Fringe program certainly pushes ballet’s boundaries, while maintaining the top-notch performance quality that has become the company’s calling card. Choreographer Olivia Sabee worked with music group Parallel Octave to create The Lorelei, the Albatross, and the Pine Tree, which reimagines several literary texts and poems – including “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” The quirky, high-energy work uses spoken word, unusual sound effects, and sections of improvisation by both dancers and musicians.

Carrie Denyer and Sarah Waldrop in 'Viduity' (2007) by Constantine Baecher. Photo by Sasha Fornari
Carrie Denyer and Sarah Waldrop in ‘Viduity’ (2007) by Constantine Baecher. Photo by Sasha Fornari.

In contrast, the program also includes former Royal Danish Ballet member Constantine Baecher’s Viduity, a deeply personal and heartfelt meditation on grief. The work’s quiet, sculptural depiction of the bonds between four bereaved women often brings audiences to tears.

“Fringe is such a great place to experience an art form for the first time,” Movius said. “Our longtime fans know they’ll get high-quality dance and plenty of food for thought at our shows. We hope new audiences will give ballet a try, too, and see how diverse and interesting it can be.”

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Lang Theatre at the ATLAS Performing Arts Center-1333 H St. NE, Washington, DC

Friday July 11th at 7:45 p.m.
Sunday July 13th at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday July 19th at 5 p.m.
Tuesday July 22nd at 6 p.m.
Friday July 25th at 9:30 p.m.

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PURCHASE TICKETS HERE, OR CALL (866) 811-4111.