Troy Schumacher’s ensemble BalletCollective is performing at the Skirball Center Oct. 29-30, presenting three works by Troy and his collaborators. The young choreographer, also a dancer at NYCB, likes to work with other artists, particularly poets and composers. All the ballets on this program use music by the young, local composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone. It’s classical, but with a kind of vulnerably youthful edge. The kernel of each piece springs from another work of art. The duet Dear and Blackbirds (see video above) draws from a poem by Cynthia Zarin, a tender little reverie about walking in the “dew-drenched lawn” and seeing some footprints, but also about a budding relation between two people. It will be danced by the luminous Ashley Laracey and Schumacher, replacing an injured Harrison Coll. On the basis of some rehearsals I saw this summer, the second work, All that We See, is more raw, like a Jerome Robbins ballet for our age. “Here we are, take us or leave us.” Some of the lines and colors are loosely based on details from a painting by David Salle, provided by the artist. Through the choreography, Schumacher creates portraits for each of his dancers; he captures something about them, much as he does in the backstage photographs he takes at City Ballet.
Here’s a preview piece I did on Troy for the Times.
And an interview from 2013.