losing ground

Picture Galleries

 

sequentia | quondam | monas | veil | veer | ein von viel | clearing

soles | losing ground | Dance to This | fallen arm | unbound

 

losing ground 1 - Sabrina Matthews
losing ground - Alberta Ballet

Marc Petrocci and Daniel Marshalsay

Photograph (and Set Design) by Scott Reid, Courtesy of Banff Festival Ballet

losing ground 2 - Sabrina Matthews
losing ground - Alberta Ballet

Daniel Marshalsay

Photograph (and Set Design) by Scott Reid, Courtesy of Banff Festival Ballet

losing ground 3 - Sabrina Matthews

losing ground - Alberta Ballet

Marc Petrocci and Daniel Marshalsay

Photograph (and Set Design) by Scott Reid, Courtesy of Banff Festival Ballet

losing ground 4 - Sabrina Matthews
losing ground - Alberta Ballet

Julien Gagnon and Tiffany Bilodeau

Photograph (and Set Design) by Scott Reid, Courtesy of Banff Festival Ballet

losing ground 5 - Sabrina Matthews
losing ground - Alberta Ballet

Rachael Prince

Photograph (and Set Design) by Scott Reid, Courtesy of Banff Festival Ballet

losing ground 6 - Sabrina Matthews
losing ground - Alberta Ballet

Tiffany Bilodeau and Julien Gagnon

Photograph (and Set Design) by Scott Reid, Courtesy of Banff Festival Ballet

losing ground 7 - Sabrina Matthews
losing ground - Alberta Ballet

Tiffany Bilodeau and Julien Gagnon

Photograph (and Set Design) by Scott Reid, Courtesy of Banff Festival Ballet

 

Ballet Name
losing ground

Choreography

Music

Lighting Design

Costume Design

Set Desigen

 

Award

 

Company Premiere

Company

 

World Premiere

Company

Sabrina Matthews

Dewi Wood; (Thomas Tallis; J.S. Bach; and J.S. Brahms)

Harry Frehner

Deneen McArthur

Scott Reid

 

2005 Clifford E. Lee Award for Choreography (Banff Centre)

 

2005

Alberta Ballet

 

July 14, 2005

Banff Centre for the Arts Festival Dance

 
Reviews:

Alyson McAndrews, Summit UP – "…a modern piece with depth and soul… Matthews has mastered the art of using the dancers to their full potential… The performance was beautiful… Matthews received a standing ovation…" (More)

Bob Clark, Calgary Herald – "The powerful work was performed beautifully by the dancers… The standing ovation from the large crowd was richly deserved…" (More)

Jean Grand-Maître, Alberta Ballet Artistic Director – "…immersed in another world… every image is full of beauty." (More)

Bob Clark, Calgary Herald (reprise) – "…lost none of its power… an engaging, fluid and frequently breathtaking piece" (More)

Alyson McAndrews, in Summit UP magazine, July 19, 2005:

 

However, Matthews’ piece losing ground did exactly that. It is a modern piece with depth and soul. The dancers were dressed in flesh coloured, glossy material. The men wearing only pants, and the women in body suits with baggy blouses and matching wigs brought a uniformity to the piece that made the dancers seems almost anonymous. At times, you could not be entirely sure which dancer was which, and it added to the universality of the story Matthews portrayed through the dance. Watching, you feel a sense of loss yourself, which is the mood Matthews is aiming for. The lighting is soft and dark at moments that adds to the tragedy of the piece, and the stage set was angular and harsh, in contrast with the soft forgiving light, it conveys a feeling of conflict.

 

As for the dance itself, Matthews has mastered the art of using the dancers to their full potential. Their movements were fluid and graceful, their faces moved, and the interaction between the dancers was more than simply lift-and-spring-and-throw. It was as though they were taking part in the story themselves, rather than as people playing a part. Nothing about it seemed like orthodox ballet to me. It appears Matthews has brought the dance into the 21st century, while leaving enough classical movements for traditional ballet fans to appreciate it.

 

The performance was beautiful, with which most people in the audience seemed to agree – Matthews received a standing ovation on the opening night of the world premiere of losing ground.

Bob Clark, in the Calgary Herald, July 15, 2005:

 

For her new creation, Matthews too has chosen carefully, building the emotional intensity of the work, losing ground, through a combination of complex passionate movement and a slow luminous score. The score is fashioned from the music of Thomas Tallis, Brahms and J.S. Bach, with important contributions from Calgary soundscape artist Dewi Wood.

 

Massively framed by set designer Scott Reid’s evocation of vertical steel plates and dramatically lit by lighting designer Harry Frehner, losing ground’s eight characters seem to be in a state of alert as they try to connect and re-connect – bodies bending then arching back, arms spreading in both supplicating and questioning gestures – to find their way back from loneliness and isolation. The powerful work was performed beautifully by the dancers, led by Tara Williamson and Daniel Marshalsay.The standing ovation from the large crowd was richly deserved by all concerned.

Jean Grand-Maître, Alberta Ballet Artistic Director , quoted in Pamela Anthony's article in the Edmonton Journal, February 17, 2006:

 

Also on the program, and in contrast to the Balanchine works, is losing ground, a new work from Sabrina Matthews. She’s a former Alberta Ballet soloist…

 

Grand-Maître is pleased to welcome Matthews back to Alberta Ballet, and say losing ground represents "very big steps forward" in her choreography.

 

"It’ very rare that as soon as the curtain opens, you find yourself immersed in another wrold. But Sabrina’s piece is like that – the dancers’ bodies become poetic, and every image is full of beauty.

Bob Clark, in the Calgary Herald, February 11, 2006:

 

…Sabrina Matthews’ contemporary study of lost souls trying to regain their path…

 

The second work on the program, Matthews’ losing ground, premiered successfully at the Banff Centre last summer.

 

With an imaginative score woven from music by Thomas Tallis, Bach, Brahms and Calgary soundscape designer Dewi Wood, losing ground has evidently lost none of its power to affect audiences, judging from the enthusiastic response it received on Friday.

 

The dance, unfolding beneath an angled set resembling huge steel plates, is an engaging, fluid and frequently breathtaking piece that offers an endless flux of sad and wistful movement across some closed, barren landscape.

 

There’s a sense of restlessness and isolation – or people going through the motions of emotional contact but never quite achieving it, as if searching for something, or else simply intent on the arc of their own bodies.

 

Bringing the piece’s rich vocabulary of relentless reaching out, catching and letting go again to dramatic fruition are Jonathan Renna and Tanya Dobler, in an outstanding due performance.