Cincinnati Business Courier: With Covid-19 protocols in place, Cincinnati Ballet returns joyously to the stage
By Janelle Gelfand
24 September 2020
This weekend, Cincinnati Ballet will be one of the first dance companies in the nation to return to the stage since the Covid-19 lockdown. Three performances, the first in more than six months, sold out in an hour. An added fourth show sold out in five minutes.
It’s a cautious return – outdoors at Sawyer Point’s P&G Pavilion before a socially distanced audience and with myriad precautions for the dancers.
Each performance is free and will seat about 350 people, in circles from the same household.
Artistic director Victoria Morgan and two of her leading dancers – principal dancer Melissa Gelfin De-Poli and soloist David Morse – couldn’t contain their joy about returning to the studio and the stage.
“It’s a relief, it’s a joy, it just feels so right,” Morgan said. “Even though you sweat and you pant and you’re in a mask, I haven’t heard a single complaint. The dancers are really ready to take it on again. We’re desperate just to be there with our audiences and to feel that energy.”
For the past few weeks, Cincinnati Ballet dancers have been back in the studio, preparing for a fall season that most other companies have abandoned due to the coronavirus. Preparations have been complex, to say the least. They are rehearsing an art form with a large amount of personal contact. For that reason, the “Ballet in the Park” program will consist mainly of solos and pas de deux.
It is a mixture of new works and company favorites such as excerpts from “The Wizard of Oz,” “Don Quixote” and Morgan’s own “Black Coffee,” which Morgan choreographed to the music of k.d. lang.
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