Ballet brings Klimt paintings to life

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Photo by Dave Burgess

Local professional dancers from Deos Contemporary Ballet company and guest artists from St. Louis will come together to perform a new ballet next weekend, March 3-5.  

Deos Ballet: Freya’s Tears. Photo by Jon Clay

“This is a particularly important show for Deos, as it cements our company as a true art-lover’s company in Grand Rapids,” said Isabelle Ramey, a professional dancer and Marketing Manager for Deos Contemporary Ballet.

The show, EMBER Series 23, will feature four world premiere works created by Artistic Director Tess Sinke.

Premiering works include a deep dive into the life and work of Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt (1862 – 1918), a romantic “pas de deux” (dance for two people, typically a man and a woman) telling the story of poet John Keats and his love letters to Fanny Brawne, and Vivaldi’s brilliant “Winter” from The Four Seasons.

Gustav Klimt’s La Pastiche The Kiss, hand Painted Oil on Canvas

“I personally think the keystone work of the show is ‘Art of Gold,’ said Ramey. ”This work takes abstract painter Gustav Klimt’s paintings and brings them to life, with dancers recreating many of his famous works.”  

The dance company has partnered with photographer Jon Clay to recreate Klimt’s most famous works with dancers as the subject. Prints of the works will be available for sale at the show.  

Klimt, perhaps Vienna’s most renowned artist of his era, is known for his highly personal, eclectic, and often fantastic style featuring pattern-rich portraits, overt eroticism (for that day and age) and use gold leaf.

“This is a really unique partnership for the performing arts,” said Ramey. “And it involved a LOT of gold paint!”

Performances take place March 3, 4 at 7 p.,m. and March 5 at  2 p.m. at Studio 616 Photography, 4060 29th St. SE, in Grand Rapids. For more information, visit the Deos website.

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