For its Dance Series 02, Smuin Ballet has included a work by choreographer-in-residence Amy Seiwert, called Falling Up. It’s a restaging of a piece from 11 years ago that has plenty of emotion attached to it, because Seiwert was working on it when company founder Michael Smuin died. For its San Francisco performances, the dancers will be accompanied by a live pianist playing music of Brahms.
There’s more information about the performances in San Francisco, Walnut Creek, Mountain View, and Carmel at the Smuin Ballet website.
“Falling Up I actually made 11 years ago,” Seiwert says, “And it’s been really interesting to re-visit something after such a time gap. I have to resist the urge to go in and fix this and change it, and respect the choreographer I was 11 years ago, and what she wanted. And not what Amy today wants. But it’s really been a gift to be able to look back at where I was in process at that time.” She’s been choreographer-in-residence with the company for a decade, but that’s coming to an end when she becomes Artistic Director of Sacramento Ballet in July. She danced there before coming to San Francisco 19 years ago and beginning to dance with Smuin. Returning to her earlier work meant parsing the memories that go with it. “Every day I was aware of, like – ‘oh, I’m staging something that Michael saw.’ And then, ‘this is the point where we started after he was gone.’ So I actually had asked the dancers to bear with me while I was going through that process.” But she says, with the turnover in the company, only one dancer remains from that era. “To see them have this new interpretation, and to see what they bring to this process really breathes new life into everything. I’m no longer seeing in my head the original dancers who did the roles… You don’t notice when you get to that point in the process where it becomes a new thing, you just suddenly look back and you’re like, ‘Oh, OK, we’re there now.’”