The life of a woman artist who influenced Auguste Rodin is the focus of Dominic Walsh’s new ballet Camille Claudel. The piece is making its world premiere during today’s Dominic Walsh Dance Theater Spring Mixed Rep. “She was an incredibly refined sculptress at the turn of the [20th] century, but met with a lot of resistance,” Walsh tells us. “Women at the time really weren’t welcomed into the world of high art. She was intimate with Auguste for 15 years off and on. They very much influenced each other. His piece Kiss was based on a work by her.”
Claudel is of special interest to Walsh because of what she was able to do with the heavy stone and materials she worked with. “She said the essential task of art was to capture movement. And there’s something about Camille’s work that I think is the absolute essence of movement. That was her genius, to be able to create these buoyant movements out of these very challenging materials, like onyx and marble, that other artists wouldn’t even touch.” Claudel’s work has a sense of lightness and balance that’s intriguing to Walsh, who often pushes the limits of balance in his own work.
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The program also includes Mats Ek’s Pas de Dans. DWDT is the only company in America to perform the Swedish choreographer’s work; that’s a testament to the company’s rare mix of a strong classical foundation with skill in contemporary dance. Rounding out the evening, Krissy Richmond, formerly a principal dancer with the Houston Ballet, performs Walsh’s elegant The Dying Swan. 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit www.dwdt.org.
May 3-5, 7:30 p.m., 2012