Saint Louis Ballet, known primarily for its classical story ballets presented with massive sets, and lavish costuming, presents two more intimate performances March 1-2 at the Grandel Theatre. The varied program will include all new ballets by a wide range of choreographers, many of whom were inspired by their birthplaces or those of their ancestors. The ballets contain themes of diversity, servitude, separation, absence, empowerment and loyalty. Several of the ballets incorporate live music.
A wonderful evening of contemporary ballet that complements the urban vibe of The Grandel. Join the dancers and choreographers in the lobby bar after the performance.
March 1–2, 2019 at the Grandel Theater in Grand Center
Tickets now available at metrotix.com or 314-534-1111
The CHOREOGRAPHERS and BALLETS
of Ballet Beyond Borders
CiCi Houston Sudholt is ballet mistress for Saint Louis Ballet, working closely with guest choreographers and repetiteurs from throughout the country. Her ballet, “Absence”, speaks of physical separation and what couples do when they have to be apart. Performed to a little known Vivaldi aria for countertenor and strings, the six dancers exemplify three different reactions to absence – loyalty, anxiety, and fantasy.
Read more about CiCi Houston
Monique Meunier is a ballet dancer and assistant professor at UC Santa Barbara. Her father is Cuban and her mother is Ecuadorian. As a young girl in Los Angeles, she earned spots in various commercials, music videos, sitcoms, and short films. At the age of 15, she received a full scholarship to attend the School of American Ballet in New York City. She was asked to join the New York City Ballet one year later. In 1996, she was promoted to soloist and reached the rank of principal dancer in 1997. There she performed numerous roles by Balanchine, Robbins, Martins, Wheeldon, and Forsythe as well as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. In 2002, Meunier joined American Ballet Theater where she added the classics, Tudor, and Kylian to her repertoire. In 2007, she joined Complexions Contemporary Ballet under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson. Miss Meunier has staged Balanchine ballets for the Balanchine Trust and has served as rehearsal director for Karole Armitage. In 2010, she became ballet master for Washington Ballet and in 2011 became director of TWB’s Trainee Program and faculty of The School of Washington Ballet. Her choreography ventures include works for Lake Placid Arts Center and The Columbia Collaborative. She is highly acclaimed for her teaching and coaching and is a permanent adjudicator for Youth American Grand Prix. In 2016, she was appointed to the inaugural committee of School of American Ballet’s Alumni Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. Meunier has grandparents on both sides from Spain. Her new work infuses ballet into authentic Flamenco dance, utilizing the sounds of Spanish guitar.
Kameron N. Saunders has a passion for choreography Last summer, the Saint Louis native was named one of eight Ann & Weston Hicks Choreography Fellows in the program’s inaugural year at the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. As part of the program, he will be mentored by San Francisco-based Alonzo King, considered to be a visionary choreographer. Saunders is a graduate of the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City with his Bachelor of Fine Artsin Dance and Choreography. Saunders graduated from Metro Academic & Classical High School while doing his dance training at COCA (Center of Creative Arts). His performance experience includes UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance, Webster University, COCADance and Ballet Eclectica – two of COCA’s student dance companies. He is a principal dancer with Afriky Lolo, a West-African dance company under the direction of Diadie Bathily. He has also performed as a guest artist with Störling Dance Theater in Kansas City. Saunders has worked with renowned artists such as Alicia Graf Mack, Antonio Douthit-Boyd, Sally Bliss, Christine O’Neal, Kirk Peterson, Michael Uthoff, Jon Lehrer, Kate Skarpetowska, Kirven J. Douthit-Boyd, Edgar Anido, Ray Mercer, Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Gary Abbott, DeeAnna Hiett, Cecil Slaughter, Lara Teeter, Lee Nolting, and Daisha Graf. Saunders’s new ballet deals with themes of dependency and servitude by women, the rise of the #MeToo movement in this country, and the ways in which women speak up and out against men who take advantage of them. His work uses striking partnering and ballet vocabulary to convey an important message, and is set to original music by percussionist/composer Lance Garger, adjunct faculty member at Webster University.
Micheal Uthoff, who left his native Chile to study dance at Juilliard, School of American Ballet and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, teaches and choreographs all over the world. His ballet, “La Plaza” is an homage to the public square in his native Chile that is a place to gather, cavort and relate to other people. Born to Hungarian and German parents in Chile, Uthoff chose music by Hungarian composer Bela Bartok. Read more about Michael Uthoff
Milan Valko has been dancing with Saint Louis Ballet since 2004, and has been working as ballet master under the direction of Gen Horiuchi. Originally from Kosice, Slovakia, Valko has choreographed a piece that reflects his daily life in Saint Louis – but is also reflective of the time he spends in his native country each year. Valko’s ballet is a collaboration with Saint Louis musician Nicholas Richardson. Read more about Milan Valko