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2023 & 2024

season programing

Florida Gulfshore Ballet’s inaugural year will feature 16 dancers, eight female and eight male, of the highest caliber available.

The Florida Gulfshore Ballet will perform three different programs plus a Nutcracker during the 2023-2024 season, primarily in Lee, Collier, and Charlotte Counties.Those target theatres include top local performance spaces like Artis-Naples, the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, The Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda, and BIG ARTS Sanibel.

Florida Gulfshore Ballet’s Inaugural Season promises to be a powerful start to what will be a long and sustain-able part of Southwest Florida’s cultural landscape.

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Florida Gulfshore Ballet has been granted access to the works of renowned international choreographer, Jimmy Gamonet de los Heros, a friend and colleague of Lopez and Gamero for most of their career. Mr. Gamonet’s prominence in the industry is evidenced by his reach to ballet companies across the globe, given new weight through the recent acquisition of his professional archives by Harvard University following his untimely passing last year. The Florida Gulfshore Ballet will be the only company in the world with full access to Gamonet’s body of work, consisting of over 50 pieces. This exclusivity is a competitive advantage that will draw artistic talent, theatre goers and benefactors familiar with dance.

 

Auditions will be held in January 2023 for dancers with a high level of technique and musicality, and an aesthetic line as envisioned by Artistic Directors Iliana Lopez and Franklin Gamero. Individuals will be contracted in February 2023 and begin rehearsals in March 2023. With Iliana Lopez and Franklin Gamero as the main draw, the Florida Gulfshore Ballet Team is confident in being able to attract the necessary caliber of talent.

 

Inaugural Feature Performances are scheduled for April and May 2023 at Barbara B. Mann and Artis-Naples. These initial evenings of dance will serve as the Company’s introduction to the community, and help promote Florida Gulfshore Ballet’s 2023-2024 Inaugural Full Season. Additionally, dancers know that the repertoire requires speed and athleticism, coupled with the highest levels of artistry. We are confident that high profile artistic directors with a high caliber repertoire will help attract the best talent available.

program I

concerto for la donna

Concerto for La Donna Concerto for La Donna is a ballet constructed on a score by Max Bruch which is lush, with a certain level of machismo, yet described by its choreographers as “very feminine.” A Dance Magazine review once praised choreographer Jimmy Gamonet by stating, “…He likes to create long visual legatos when the orchestra is racing, playing with extending the spirals of wrap-around fish dives or leaving the principals posed stock-still while the orchestra reaches for its biggest crescendo… this ballet recalls the dash of the matador and the manners of a romantic age…”

program I

purple bend

Purple Bend is an original ballet constructed by Jimmy Gamonet. Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, music remarkable for its melodic and penetrating emotional properties, inspired his examination of space and form,and the resulting play between symmetry and asymmetry. This duet isfor a couple of the same sex and designed with strict spatial boundaries, focusing movement into a precise and sometimes sculptural vision. His greatest challenge was to make a dance that could transcend the physical disparities between female and male couples, some structural and some societal. Two mainstays of a classical pas de deux are not included: big lifts, fine for the men but fairly impossible for the women, and dancing en pointe, a technique traditionally taught only to women.

program I

grand pas classique

 For Grand Pas Classique, Jimmy Gamonet looked at the expansive dimensions of ballet’s ‘step for two’ and a format that came directly from the Russian tradition begun by Marius Petipa. With adagio, variations and a coda for the couple, it is a ‘bravura’ pas de deux which showcases the dancers and their technique, as well as the elegance of 19th Century classicism.

program I

transtangos

Jimmy Gamonet De Los Heros crossed the tango with classical European dance traditions in the same spirit that Argentine-American composer, Astor Piazzolla, infused the tango with classical music. Set to the work of Piazzolla, Jimmy’s infusion created Transtangos, “the tango transformed.” Gamonet added the challenge and vocabulary of classical ballet and its traditions of ballerina, danseur noble, and corps de ballet to the stylized movements, glamor, and intensity of the tango.

The Pittsburgh Press wrote of its, “sprawling, truly ambitious classical structure, its intense musicality and its odd and exciting blend of cultural cues…Like Balanchine, Gamonet draws his movement directly from the music by fleshing it out or picking it apart, but never attacking or devaluing it…Gamonet has figured out that there is nothing as powerful as the rush created by the merging of inventive movement and great music.”

holiday program

the nutcracker

 The music soars, snowflakes swirl, flowers dance, and a little girl dreams about Sugar Plum Fairies and a handsome prince. It all comes to life in the enchanted world of The Nutcracker. Florida Gulfshore Ballet and Gulf Coast Symphony partner to present your favorite holiday classic, with new choreography by Iliana Lopez and Franklin Gamero.

The Nutcracker, a classic Christmas story, is a fairy tale ballet in two acts centered on a family’s Christmas Eve celebration and a young girl’s awakening to the wider world and romantic love. Alexandre Dumas Père’s adaptation of the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann was set to an unmistakable score by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and originally choreographed by Marius Petipa. It was commissioned by the director of Moscow’s Imperial Theatres, Ivan Vsevolozhsky, in 1891, and premiered a week before Christmas 1892. Since premiering in western countries in the 1940s, this ballet has become perhaps the most popular to be performed during the holidays.

program Ii

bach in three movements

The Baroque of J.S. Bach sets the score for this neoclassical ballet. It follows a tradition begun by George Balanchine, of the plotless dance whose substance and raison d’etre derive from the music, not from a narrative. Gamonet’s free ranging originality is anchored securely to the music, his work representing a rare mixture of modern innovation with classical authority. Throughout his career, the Peruvian-born and trained Gamonet received many comparisons to the style of Balanchine, though he noted that he had not seen a Balanchine ballet before creating Bach in Three Movements In 1984.

program ii

nous sommes

The pleasures of Nous Sommes derive from its technical demands: what informs this romantic duet is its anatomy. The intensity of the couple’s intimacy is the emotional compass in this acrobatic ballet. They are sometimes meshed for languorous passages of the haunting Songs of the Auvergne appear chiseled in the dance’s difficult partnering. They engage one another in midair, seemingly out of time and place, and the arresting outline of their form captures their union.

“Sometimes people fall into the mistaken notion that fast things are more difficult than slow things,” Gamonet explained. “And I think the adagio form is one of the most difficult devices in choreography because you’re dealing with control, a lot of control.” If the issue for the dancers is control, the test for the choreographer is sustaining potency through suspended movement and slow motion. A visual treat, this ballet is as aesthetically compelling as it is sensuously enticing, and as easy to watch as it is exacting to dance.

program Ii

my lady

This ballet is one of Jimmy Gamonet De Los Heros’s most compelling pieces. It merges classical style and a modernist structure. Significant are its strong composition and counterpoints: The solemnity of the mood contrasted with exaltation of the female. Six dancers surround a woman who holds the center with her sublime adagio. As a unit, they move from place to place, each transition punctuated by a freeze-frame of the woman as goddess. Danced to an anonymous baroque score, My Lady exalts the principal. Gamonet said he wanted to impart a sensuous purity to the ballerina, which becomes the ballet’s lingering paradox.

program ii

pan nuit suite

Inspired by woodland’s mythic creatures and the revelry that they enjoyed, Jimmy Gamonet De Los Heros invented a series of dances around the Greek figure of Pan.

The goat-god is most familiar today as an inspiration to dance and for his trademark flute. Gamonet’s ballet is set to a score from French composer Charles Gounod’s first great opera, Faust. Where Faust has a diabolical context, Pan Nuit Suite has a more family-friendly direction. The link between the character Pan and dance is achieved without a storyline, placing the ballet squarely in the neoclassical mode. As Gamonet put it, “He had a freedom of spirit and loved to chase nymphs.”

program Iii

divertimento Español

The ballet is a reinterpretation of an imperial Russian work, Paquita, choreographed in 1846 by Marius Petipa with the exciting amalgam of fiery music, concocted by Edouard Deldevez (the original composer), Leon Minkus, and Alexander Tcherepnin.

In creating his own work, Gamonet chose to include some of the most treasured devices from the original ballet, including introductory arrangements of soloists and corps that launch parades of dazzling women, and the strong diagonal of women who form a backdrop for the ballerina during the second movement. Throughout Divertimento Español, dancers are encouraged to express the playfulness inherent in the music and style, and enjoy the opportunity to flirt with the audience.

program iii

carmen

Now in its 3rd century, the magnificent tale of Carmen proves fascinating and ageless in the hands of Jimmy Gamonet de los Heros. Here, he forged a modern version of the story, focusing attention on the dancers themselves. Although the fiery Carmen is unmistakably the ruling figure, Gamonet created choreography for her suitors that allows each to express his own complexity of character and well-spring of passion. Producing a ballet with a known storyline was a departure for Jimmy Gamonet, who was best known for his neoclassical creations. To help emphasize what is unspoken, he simplified the visual palette for costumes and sets, making black and red the dominant themes. The use of the colors and their symbolism – sometimes subtle, oftentimes bold – telegraph the tragic ending to the story.