Choreographer Kevin O’Day premieres Face to Face at the Banff Summer Arts Festival

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Five-night Dance Masters program includes works by Balanchine, Jiri Kylian 
Dance Masters · Tuesday, July 20 to Friday, July 23 · 7:30 p.m. · Saturday, July 24 · 2 p.m. 
Eric Harvie Theatre · The Banff Centre 
Adults $20 | Student/Senior $15 | Child $9 
Banff Centre Box Office: 1-800-413-8368 or 403-762-6301 
Presented as part of the 2010 Banff Summer Arts Festival

Banff, Alberta, July 12, 2010 -- Kevin O’Day’s new work is about meetings and encounters, and the ways that each new meeting creates physical responses and internal reactions. Choreographed for three couples, it combines solos and duets, in which action provokes reaction, and relationships are born. Set to an original commissioned score by John King, O’Day’s work Face to Face headlines The Banff Centre’s Dance Masters series of performances, in the Eric Harvie Theatre from July 20 to 24.  

“We all come into the world as individuals,” says O’Day. “The space in between our meeting points is always flexible, and it always changes.” The choreographer’s challenge has been to create movement that flows naturally from that flexibility, giving meaning to the ways individuals meet, interact, and separate. Face to Face is the inaugural commission as part of the Centre’s Koerner Foundation Distinguished Guest Artist in Choreography. The Foundation’s initiative allows the Centre to bring an established choreographer to work with dancers in the Professional Summer Dance Program and to create an original ballet. After its premiere in Banff, Face to Face will enter the repertory of both Ballet B.C and Ballett Mannheim in Germany.  

Currently artistic director at Ballett Mannheim, O’Day performed with the Joffrey Ballet and with Twyla Tharp before dancing as a soloist with American Ballet Theatre from 1988 to 1991. He was a founding member of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, where he danced from 1992 to 1995. As a choreographer he has created more than 50 works, which can be seen in the repertories of companies including New York City Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet and Ballett Mannheim.  

In addition to Face to Face, the Banff Summer Arts Festival Dance performances will include excerpts from Jiri Kylian’s Toss of a Dice, Indigo Rose, and Wings of Wax, followed by the pas de deux from Le Corsaire, and Who Cares?, George Balanchine’s celebration of George and Ira Gershwin. For these performances, Gershwin’s music has been arranged by Bob Ashley for live jazz quartet and vocals, making it an evening of outstanding musical as well as dance performances.  

The Banff Centre’s Dance Masters performances are the result of four weeks of creative residency for emerging artists, selected by the artistic directors of seven North American dance companies: Andre Lewis of Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Karen Kain of the National Ballet of Canada, Gradimir Pankov of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Jean Grand-Maitre of the Alberta Ballet, Bengt Jorgen of Ballet Jorgen, Emily Molnar of Ballet B.C., and Mikko Nissinen of Boston Ballet. Under the leadership of program head Lindsay Fischer, 28 dancers prepare repertoire with established masters from the international ballet world, including Lesley Telford, Mandy-Jayne Richardson, Emily Molnar, and Jean-Yves Esquerre.

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About The Banff Centre: The Banff Centre's mission is inspiring creativity. Thousands of artists, leaders, and researchers from across Canada and around the world participate in programs at The Banff Centre every year. Through its multidisciplinary programming, The Banff Centre provides the support needed to create, to develop solutions, and to make the impossible possible. Moving forward, the Centre will disseminate art and ideas developed in Banff through initiatives in digital, web, radio, and broadcast media.