Bluegrass Youth Ballet (BYB) will present their 10th Anniversary gala on May 2nd at 7 PM and May 3rd at 2 PM at the Lexington Opera House. Director and Founder, Adalhi Aranda Corn, has created a new ballet, Art Rhapsody, and she is using the same formula that she’s used throughout the school’s ten-year-history: creating original ballets and collaborating with local arts organizations and artists.
Art Rhapsody is a ballet in which Corn brings visual art to life through dance. It showcases famous paintings of Monet, Degas, Kandinsky and others as well as the work of local artists Steve Armstrong and Lennon Michalski. In typical BYB fashion, an element of magic, humor, and creativity tie these works together with educational and cultural aspects woven throughout the production.
“Both Steve and Lennon are incredible artists,” said Corn. “Steve’s art seems very child-friendly with all the gears and moving parts. His sculptures make you want to get your hands on them! That’s what children should do with art, be involved! It’s interactive.
“I met Lennon just a few months ago during the Luminosity event at the Art League,” continued Corn. His pieces just grabbed me. It looked like they had “movement,” even though what I saw was two-dimensional art. I introduced myself and he got me hooked on his concepts. I felt that somehow he needed to be part of Art Rhapsody, and I can’t wait to see the finished product!”
Armstrong has a long history of collaborating with Corn on arts endeavors.
“In 2005, I asked Adalhi to choreograph a dance piece to coincide with the unveiling of a 10’ x 8’ x 8’ moving sculpture which was part of my Mid-Career Retrospective at the Headley-Whitney Museum,” said Armstrong, who calls himself a kinetic artist. “Art Rhapsody revives that piece, and includes some new elements created for this unique ballet. “I enjoy collaborating because it makes you think outside the box. As with most successful collaborations, Adalhi and I were soon on the same wavelength, bouncing off ideas, stretching our imaginations, and creating something special in the process. I’m honored to help celebrate BYB’s 10-year-anniversary in such a special way.”
Painter and digital artist, Lennon Michalski, is enthusiastic about his opportunity to collaborate with Corn and BYB for the first time.
“When you hear that you’ll be working with youth, you typically think maybe you’ll need to give lots of direction, you expect them not to be as engaged,” said Michalski, who will lend a video to Art Rhapsody and was named in 2012 by Oxford American as one of ‘The New Superstars of Southern Art.” “But, I was surprised, blown away really, at the level of professionalism of these students and of their knowledge and expertise of their craft. It’s been a thrill to work with them and interpret what they do in my medium. I’m really excited to see the ‘frozen’ artistic masterpieces activated into movement.”
Throughout the school’s history, Corn has welcomed the opportunity to work with the Lexington arts community. Collaborations with The Living Arts & Science Center, the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, the Lexington Children’s Theatre, and local artists Steve Armstrong, Blake Eames, and Diane Kahlo are a few of the most memorable.
The 10th Anniversary Gala encompasses the formula that has brought Director and Founder Corn and the BluegrassYouth Ballet this far proving again…No dream is too BIG!
Art Rhapsody will be May 2 at 7 p.m. and May 3 at 2 p.m. at the Lexington Opera House Tickets are $15 (children) $18 (adults) Call 859-233-3535 or go to www.ticketmaster.com for tickets.
For show information call Bluegrass Youth Ballet, call 859-271-4472.