Whidbey’s Saratoga Orchestra and Whidbey Island Dance Theatre (WIDT) collaborate in “All About the Dance,” a set of programs on March 25 at 7 p.m. at South Whidbey High School and March 26 at 2:30 p.m. at Oak Harbor High School.
Music director Anna Edwards will lead the ensemble of musicians and dancers in the music of Tchaikovsky, Robert Schumann, Erik Satie, Mélanie Bonis, Jessie Montgomery, and Arturo Márquez. Brittany Falso, WIDT’s co-artistic director and Bojohn Diciple will be showcased as choreographers and guest dancers in these performances featuring dance styles from classical ballet to modern dance. A pre-concert chat will begin 45 minutes prior to each performance.
Whidbey Island Dance Theatre, founded in 1993 under artistic director Charlene Brown, has been a significant cultural resource to the island and is well known for its enormously popular holiday production of “The Nutcracker.” As a tribute, Saratoga Orchestra will pair with the ensemble of talented dancers in “Waltz of the Flowers,” an excerpt from the ballet.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, two works by women composers will be presented, “Suite en forme de valses” by Mélanie Bonis and Jessie Montgomery’s explosive “Starburst,” written in 2012 for string orchestra. Bonis, a prolific 19th century composer of more than 300 works, found the only way to have her compositions performed during her lifetime was to defeminize her name to Mel. Jessie Montgomery, a New York-based African-American violinist and composer, is a rising star in today’s contemporary music circles. These two works are made possible by a Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy grant.
The program also includes the rarely performed parody, “La belle excentrique,” by Erik Satie, and Arturo Marquez’s “Danzon No. 2,” made popular by the hit television series, “Mozart in the Jungle.”
General admission tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors/military. Students under 18 are admitted free (under 14 must be accompanied by a paying adult). Tickets are available at Moonraker Books in Langley, the Bayleaf in Coupeville, and Click Music in Oak Harbor. Cash/check/credit cards accepted at the door. For information and online tickets, please visit sowhidbey.com or call 360-929-3045.