Los Angeles-based Barak Ballet’s Gala & Reveal of “Reclamation”
On Saturday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST, Barak Ballet, a contemporary ballet company located in Los Angeles, will host its virtual fall gala, featuring the reveal of “Reclamation,” a 20-minute cinematic ballet by founder and artistic director Melissa Barak.
Barak Ballet began producing cinematic ballet as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused an inability to gather in large crowds for performances. Barak Ballet released the first film, “Breathe In,” in June of this year, receiving recognition from the Lady Filmmakers Festival, the New York International Film Awards and the Los Angeles Dance Shorts Film Festival. Both “Breathe In” and “Reclamation” reflect the emotions, conflict and human spirit experienced through recent events, including the pandemic and the California wildfires.
“Reclamation,” which will be revealed at the Nov. 21 virtual gala, is a 20-minute, dance-only work set to music by the late Italian composer, Ezio Bosso. The film highlights two different worlds that eventually collide, bringing resolution to one and destruction to the other.
The film is written and choreographed by Melissa Barak, and directed by Melissa Barak and Selena Moshell. Executive producers of the film are Craig Olsen and Richard Konigsberg, whose recent film, “P.S. Burn This Letter Please,” has garnered high praise and accolades throughout the 2020 film festival circuit, including at Outfest Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival.
The film’s cast includes six dancers, Jessica Gadzinski, Stephanie Kim, Francisco Preciado and Chasen Greenwood, who regularly work with Barak Ballet, and Harrison Coll and Indiana Woodward, currently soloists with New York City Ballet (NYCB). Due to COVID-19, NYCB canceled the 2020/2021 season. Harrison Coll recently shot Steven Spielberg’s new adaptation of “Westside Story.”
“As a contemporary ballet company focused on fulfilling bold, artistic visions, we’ve taken the limitations created by COVID-19 and created a unique opportunity for audiences to experience dance – through cinematic ballet,” said Melissa Barak, Barak Ballet artistic director. “During this challenging time, when we are missing the experience of live performance, we hope this event fills a void, with an evening of dance, art, food, drink, community and celebration. The beauty and inspiration you’ve come to expect from our live programs will still be felt through this new work. A work that could only translate through a camera’s lens and a little movie magic. Purchasing tickets or a package to the event not only grants access to a one-of-a-kind experience, it also provides an opportunity to support the arts in a time when we need it the most.”
Barak Ballet is partnering with Eataly, Good Grac!ous and Cocktail Courier to deliver drinks and food for people to enjoy while streaming the gala at home. The event, which is scheduled to take place over approximately 90 minutes, includes an after-party with breakout rooms with the film’s cast and creative team. Those who purchase a ticket to attend the gala will be automatically submitted in a drawing for prizes, which will be announced during the after party, and can participate in a silent auction.
To learn about different packages available for a curated virtual gala experience and to purchase tickets, visit https://barakballet.org.
Image courtesy of Barak Ballet