Bal­let Ten­nessee presents “Dream Awake” at UTC Fine Arts Cen­ter. SATUR­DAY-FRI­DAY

Guest artist LaJeromeny Brown fly­ing in from New York City to dance lead in ‘Dream Awake’

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - FRONT PAGE - BY SU­SAN PIERCE STAFF WRITER Con­tact Su­san Pierce at spierce@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6284.

This week­end’s three per­for­mances by Bal­let Ten­nessee are both a nod to the com­pany’s past and to the fu­ture dance stars the com­pany is pro­duc­ing.

Bal­let Ten­nessee is pre­sent­ing a restag­ing of the ful­l­length bal­let, “Dream Awake,” on Fri­day and Satur­day nights at the UTC Fine Arts Cen­ter.

The bal­let was orig­i­nally chore­ographed in 2003 by Barry Van Cura, late hus­band of Anna Van Cura, founders of Bal­let Ten­nessee. Set to the mu­sic of Enya and As­tar­ius, the bal­let chron­i­cles a child’s jour­ney into the dream state.

“When Barry cre­ated it, he cre­ated the lead male role for Fred Davis. This week­end, LaJeromeny Brown is re­turn­ing from New York City to dance the same role,” says Anna Van Cura.

The sig­nif­i­cance of this is that both young men are dancers who got their start in Bal­let Ten­nessee, re­ceived fur­ther train­ing at Cen­ter for Cre­ative Arts and went on to dance with pro­fes­sional com­pa­nies in New York. Davis danced with Jof­frey Bal­let School and Dance The­atre of Har­lem. Brown is on a full merit schol­ar­ship to School of Amer­i­can Bal­let.

“The con­tin­u­a­tion of that cir­cle of danc­ing is so spe­cial,” says Van Cura.

“It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing to be re­turn­ing,” Brown said in a phone in­ter­view. “I feel I’ll be more ex­pe­ri­enced, and I’m ready to show what I’ve learned and ex­pe­ri­enced while I’ve been in New York.”

Although he wasn’t fa­mil­iar with “Dream Awake,” Brown says he’s been learn­ing his role by watch­ing videos. Since ar­riv­ing in town this week, he’s had three days to per­fect the dance be­fore per­form­ing it Fri­day and Satur­day nights.

In ad­di­tion to danc­ing in “Dream Awake,” Brown will also per­form “2 & 3 Part In­ven­tions,” which Van Cura says was chore­ographed by the leg­endary Jerome Rob­bins. Per­form­ing the dance re­quired per­mis­sion from the Jerome Rob­bins Trust and School of Amer­i­can Bal­let.

“I fell in love with “In­ven­tions,” says Brown. “It em­bod­ies the style of danc­ing that is ex­actly why I moved to New York. It shows amaz­ing move­ment qual­i­ties but also shows the small, tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties and the mu­si­cal­ity.”

Van Cura says that Satur­day af­ter­noon’s mati­nee is the pri­mary recital for Bal­let Ten­nessee’s stu­dents ages 3 to 6. Satur­day night is the recital for stu­dents ages 8 and up in the con­ser­va­tory.

“It’s a two-hour event and pretty fast-paced in which we show what we work on at the con­ser­va­tory. So we’ll see mod­ern, bal­let, jazz and hip-hop. Satur­day night con­cludes with ‘Dream Awake.’”

Brown says he re­turns to New York on Sun­day to fin­ish school at SAB. Then he will spend five weeks this sum­mer train­ing with Bos­ton Bal­let School be­fore start­ing SAB in the fall.

PHOTO BY PAUL KIEU

LaJeromeny Brown will dance the lead in “Dream Awake” bal­let.

PHOTO BY PAUL KIEU

Bal­le­rina Han­nah Locke.

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