This post is dedicated to Carolina Ballet’s 15th Season opener, as well as the career of our principle founding member Melissa Podcasy.
I want to start by giving a brief overview of the program itself. The Carolina Ballet, under the directorship of Robert “Ricky” Weiss, has reached its 15th anniversary with numerous aspects to be proud. The company has presented over 90 new works and Ricky himself has choreographed over 40 pieces on the company’s dancers. Our season opener, titled “An Evening of Robert Weiss,” is indeed paying tribute to his wide variety of work. The program starts with “A Classical Ballet,” which presents 13 dancers in gold tutus and pure technique. Following, “Meditation” is a new pas de deux (choreographed this summer) that is a flowing dialogue set to the lush Massenet music. In this piece Ricky’s true gift of blending two bodies with music and movement are conveyed. (A crowd pleaser!) Next, the audience is presented with another new work, “Intimate Voices” (also choreographed over summer). Ricky uses the tragic story to highlight the strengths of his principle dancers’ techniques and to show his passion for drama and emotion. The program’s closer “Symposium” is Ricky’s powerhouse. He combines a five-couple corps with four-couple principles with the fabulously dynamic music by Bernstein. To me, this pieces shows how deliberate Ricky’s choreographic process is. To read more of Ricky’s perspective, please click the link below for the summaries.
“Weiss Interview, Fall 2012” – Ricky speaking about “An Evening of Robert Weiss”:
“Weiss, Fall 2012, Intimate Voices” – Ricky speaking about his new work “Intimate Voices”:
Triangle Arts & Entertainment, “The Many Sides of Robert Weiss,” by Denise Cerniglia:
News & Observer, “Carolina Ballet mixes older works with new pieces and faces,” by Roy C. Dicks:
Finally, I want to pay tribute to the career of Melissa Podcasy. She has been a founding member of the Carolina Ballet and next weekend she is deciding to hang up her 3 & 1/2 XX Freed pointe shoes. She has had a fabulously long career and without a doubt she is an emblem of dedication to her art. I stand across from her at barre every day in class and I watch her methodically executes every movement. She has been an inspiration to me and many other dancers. I am thrilled that she will be able to pass on her wealth of knowledge to the next generation as one of our ballet mistresses. I have heard that she will continue to take class even after her retirement! I salut her for all her accomplishments and I look forward to learning from her.
Articles on Melissa:
News & Observer, “Melissa Podcasy exits gracefully,” by Roy C. Dicks:
News & Observer, “Podcasy described as ‘fearless dancer-actress,'” by Staff Reports:
Below are photos taken over the summer for the company’s new “Classically Urban” theme started by the Dancers on the Street shoots taken one year ago! How much the company has changed in that time! Thank you Tim Lytvinenko for your fabulous work for the ballet.