Dance
Comments 2

{In The Gray} By Zalman Raffael

The premiere of Zalman “Zali” Raffael’s {In The Gray} concluded the mixed-bill {Cinderella} program, and, most importantly, the end of Carolina Ballet’s 17th season – my sixth season with the company.

{In The Gray} Cecilia Iliesiu & CB's gentlemen. Photo taken by Ted Salmone, 2015.

{In The Gray} Cecilia Iliesiu & CB’s gentlemen. Photo taken by Ted Salmone, 2015.

I savored every moment from the first rehearsal to the final performance with such gratitude and attention. I knew it was the end of my chapter with Carolina Ballet and I wanted each second to be remembered with equal importance.

(Don’t worry – there will be a post with further details!)

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Zali created a new ballet for the final program of the season and thus was the birth of {In The Gray}.

{In The Gray} Cecilia Iliesiu & Adam Crawford Chavis. Photo taken by Armes Photography, 2015.

{In The Gray} Cecilia Iliesiu & Adam Crawford Chavis. Photo taken by Armes Photography, 2015.

{In The Gray} was an unforgettable artistic experience.

  • I was able to ‘speak’ the inner-dialogue of a story through the choreography of a dear friend, Zali – CB’s Resident Choreographer.
  • I was able to share the role with a wonderful partner and friend, Adam Chavis, with whom I danced with years ago as a student at the School of American Ballet.
  • I was able to dance alongside the Carolina Ballet dancers, each of whom I have grow with these past six seasons.
  • I was able to be coached by Melissa Podcasy and acquire her invaluable knowledge.
  • I was able to dance to the music of Philip Glass, his Violin Concerto No. 1, and create an interpretation of the piece through movement. (There are so many possibilities with Glass’ musical accents and phrasings.)
  • I was able to push my physicality with the intricate choreography.
  • And, most importantly, I was able to dance one final time for the Raleigh audience on the stage which I started my professional career.
{In The Gray} Cecilia Iliesiu & Adam Crawford Chavis. Photo taken by Chris Walt, 2015.

{In The Gray} Cecilia Iliesiu & Adam Crawford Chavis. Photo taken by Chris Walt, 2015.

After each performance, I enjoyed asking CB’s patrons and my friends whether they saw a story in the dancing. I loved that each viewer had a different interpretation, thus eluding to the title {In The Gray}.

Truthfully, I imagined a different meaning to my dancing each performance. My favorite interpretation would be my personal relationship with the art of dancing. I visualized that my partner, Adam, as the embodiment of the art form. By my movements, I tried to enliven and manipulate him, although through my interactions with my fellow cast members, I found barriers that kept me from Adam and my art. Midway through the piece, I yielded to Adam and let him, the art, carry me through the piece, allowing us to move in harmony.

{In The Gray} Cecilia Iliesiu & Adam Crawford Chavis. Photo taken by Denise Cerniglia, 2015.

{In The Gray} Cecilia Iliesiu & Adam Crawford Chavis. Photo taken by Denise Cerniglia, 2015.

View my posts on Zali’s past works:

{Firebird} + New Works

{Rhapsody in Blue}

{Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concert No. 2}

{In The Gray} Cecilia Iliesiu. Photo taken by Ted Salmone, 2015.

{In The Gray} Cecilia Iliesiu. Photo taken by Ted Salmone, 2015.

The image below represents the final moment of {In The Gray}. Each time, at this exact moment, I looked into Adam’s eyes and recognized that Adam, the entire cast, and I had shared the last 20 minutes expressing a message to the audience through our bodies in harmony. I suddenly became overwhelmed with how incredibly grateful I was to be able to have shared such an incredible gift with the beautiful people around me.

{In The Gray} Cecilia Iliesiu & Adam Crawford Chavis. Photo taken by Ted Salmone, 2015.

{In The Gray} Cecilia Iliesiu & Adam Crawford Chavis. Photo taken by Ted Salmone, 2015.

*   *   *

Cheers to my Carolina Ballet chapter.

Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: The 2015 Perspective | Zest to Dream

  2. Pingback: A Year Ago Today | Zest to Dream

Please leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s