Columbia College Chicago Dance Center alum Erica Ricketts (BFA ’13) will appear in the world premiere of Sleeping Beauty & the Beast, a new dance-theatre work by the Ballez dance company. The production will run April 29-May 8 in the Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa, one of the world’s premier centers for cutting-edge interdisciplinary performance, located at 66 E. 4th St. in New York City’s East Village. For tickets, click here.
Sleeping Beauty & the Beast is a radical, queer re-imagining of a classic tale from the ballet canon. Featuring selections from Tchaikovsky’s classic score Sleeping Beauty played live by the Queer Urban Orchestra, original House Music compilations by JD Samson, and a diverse cast of over 20 queer performers, the work frames expressions of queer desires and queer and gender-queer embodiment as a new kind of virtuosity. Humorous, sensual, and heartbreaking, Sleeping Beauty & the Beast is a powerful testament to struggle, survival, and legacy. The work is choreographed by Katy Pyle with Jules Skloot and the company and directed by Pyle. It’s presented as part of the La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival ’16, which reflects La MaMa’s longstanding dedication to performance that transcends politics and unifies cultures.
Ricketts, a graduate of the Columbia College Dance Center’s Dance BFA program, is a performer, choreographer, and sound designer from Flint, Michigan. She will portray Prince Charming and the Firebird in Sleeping Beauty & the Beast, which incorporates characters from various fairy tales (including “Sleeping Beauty,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” and “Puss in Boots”) while also celebrating 100 years of L.E.S. activist herstory–the striking Garment Workers of 1893 and the AIDS activist dykes of 1993.
Based in New York City, Ballez is a community of performers of diverse trainings and backgrounds, each of whom has a unique gift to offer to this collaborative form. Dedicated to celebrating the history and performances of lesbian, queer, and transgender people, Ballez re-writes the narratives of Story Ballets and re-imagines archetypal characters to reflect multiplicity: of identity, desire and expression. Ballez celebrates the virtuosity of complexly gendered embodiment, energetic eloquence, queer coding, and the magical adaptability of expression that Ballez dancers have cultivated through their lives as a way to survive and thrive.