Sunday, August 30, 2, 4, & 6 p.m.
The Outing Club, 2109 Brady Street, Davenport IA
Delivering their first public performances since the March shutdown of theatres nationwide, the professional dancers of Ballet Quad Cities return with three August 30 presentations of Ballet on the Lawn, a collection of upbeat, genre-spanning dance vignettes being performed outdoors at the Davenport venue The Outing Club.
“Our dance school has been open all summer,” says Ballet Quad Cities' Joedy Cook. “We've had classes outside, we've had classes inside – and it's a really safe, fabulous environment inside because we open all the doors and windows, and we have a huge fan and lots of space. But this will be our first performance since The Nutcracker since we had to cancel Sleeping Beauty and Ballet Under the Stars. And it's going to be a stress-buster like no other.”
Describing the 2, 4, and 6 p.m. presentations' locale and the ready-made Charcuterie picnic boxes available for pre-order, Cook says, “It's gonna be awesome. You can bring your blankets, you can spread out on that spacious, beautiful green lawn, and you can just let us entertain you. Have a little wine, have a yummy picnic box … . It's just going to be the best thing for everyone.”
Artistic Director and choreographer Courtney Lyon, meanwhile, says that the Ballet on the Lawn program consists of “seven different pieces, and it runs a little bit under an hour, and it's all different kinds of dance: classical ballet, contemporary ballet, jazz, tap … . We're kind of all over the place with this one.
“But it's so fun,” she adds, “because our dancers are so theatrical and expressive, and they have so many skill sets that range beyond ballet. Of course, they're beautiful ballet dancers, but we like to showcase everything they can do.”
Although a few of the dance vignettes will be originals designed specifically for Ballet on the Lawn, Lyon says there will also be “some audience favorites that we're bringing back that we thought people would really enjoy while they were sitting outside.
“There is one piece I choreographed that we pulled out of a performance we did two years ago when we did Paris en Pointe, where we used the Figge Art Museum's artwork and paired it with French music. It's Debussy's piano music for 'Clair de Lune,' and people just loved it. The piece itself is set outside – it's intended for the dancers to be outside in the moonlight, in the woods, with the wind blowing – so I thought that one was a no-brainer to bring back for this program.
“And we're bringing back this really fun piece called 'On the Run' that Emily Kate Long choreographed maybe three years ago. That one is our closer, and what's fun about it is all the dancers have tennis shoes on and athletic clothes, and they're dancing with hula hoops, and there's a skateboard and a scooter … . It ends up being really fun and athletic – like dancers in a playground.”
Lyon continues, “We have a piece that's completely classical from the ballet Les Corsaire, which is from 1956 – it's the most classical thing we do. That'll be three women en pointe. And then there's a new piece I'm doing that's set to music from the musical On the Town, and that one's really, really fun and has this beautiful love story. The show is about three sailors who show up in Manhattan and have hijinks in the city, and that music is just begging for theatrical fun and merriment.
“It's all just really high-energy pieces with really fun music, and the dancers are happy to be creating art. I'm happy to be creating art. You know, you can only sit around and wait for so long for life to be 'normal.' You just need to roll with it and make something happen.
“So everything's pretty happy in our program, I can tell you that!” Lyon says with a laugh. “We don't have any drama!”
Ballet on the Lawn will be presented at Davenport's Outing Club at 2, 4, and 6 p.m. on August 30, and guests are asked to bring blankets and/or chairs for the outdoor performances. Charcuterie picnic boxes are available to order for $20, and there will be a cash bar accepting cash only – no cards. Tickets are $20-40 and must be purchased in advance – no tickets will be sold at the door – and more information and reservations are available by visiting BalletQuadCities.com.