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Chautauqua Institution welcomes The Washington Ballet for August residency

Silas Farley and Julie Kent with the dancers of The Washington Ballet. Photo by xmb Photography.
Silas Farley and Julie Kent with the dancers of The Washington Ballet. Photo by xmb Photography.

Chautauqua Institution and The Washington Ballet (TWB) have jointly announced a partnership that will bring the company to the Institution’s grounds in August, for two weeks of public programs and performances — including with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra — plus workshops with the Chautauqua School of Dance.

Celebrated choreographer and teacher Silas Farley, recently retired as a dancer with the New York City Ballet and now serving as dean of dance at The Colburn School in Los Angeles, will join the residency and workshop a new Company commission set to the music of Shakespearean-era composer John Dowland. The residency will last the first two weeks of August, coinciding with Weeks Six and Seven of Chautauqua’s nine-week season of summer programming.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to finally bring The Washington Ballet to Chautauqua after a two-year pandemic delay, and especially in such an expansive and robust way,” said Deborah Sunya Moore, senior vice president and chief program officer of Chautauqua Institution. “What an amazing opportunity for our young dance students and dance-loving Chautauqua audiences to experience and learn from these performers with one of the nation’s elite ballet companies. And we’re particularly proud to welcome back Chautauqua School of Dance alum Silas Farley, where he’ll reconnect with a community that is committed to fostering new choreography and catalyzing the creative process.”

Organized collaboratively by TWB Artistic Director Julie Kent and Chautauqua School of Dance Interim Director Sasha Janes, TWB’s residency will showcase a number of the company’s dancers and studio dancers in performance and as part of classes, discussions and talk backs with Company and Institution artistic leadership. Company members will also support the training of dancers within the Chautauqua School of Dance’s Festival (13–16) and Pre-Professional (16–21) divisions. 

The residency will culminate on August 13, in TWB’s performance in a program to include: choreographer Jessica Lang’s Beethoven Serenade, the world premiere of Silas Farley’s Dowland Dances and George Balanchine’s Apollo, with permission from the George Balanchine Trust. The 74-piece Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra will perform on select works and additional repertoire will be announced. 

“As a young dancer, I first experienced the generative force that is Chautauqua as a trainee and then as a principal dancer,” said Kent, who studied at Chautauqua in 1983. “After my son was born, I would bring him to Chautauqua when I taught. Every memory I have of Chautauqua is full of warmth and freedom and a sense of community — the lifeblood of creativity. The Washington Ballet is thrilled to make its Chautauqua debut, and we’re particularly excited that Silas Farley will be joining us. We are grateful for the invitation to create and share at such an esteemed and magical place.”

Further details of The Washington Ballet’s 2022 Chautauqua residency will be posted as they are determined on the Institution’s website, chq.org. Tickets to individual events will be available May 3; long-term passes that cover more of the residency will be available beginning March 15.

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