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Segerstrom Center for the Arts Presents North American Premiere of American Ballet Theatre ‘Woolf Works’ Through April 14

Hee Seo and Aran Bell in “Woolf Works.” Photo: Fabrizio Ferri.

It’s always a privilege and a delight when American Ballet Theatre comes to Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The longtime partnership between ABT and Segerstrom Center was fostered by Henry Segerstrom many years ago, enabling ABT to bring its acclaimed productions to Orange County while also partnering with Segerstrom Center on many commissions and premieres.

Now, ABT has returned to Segerstrom Center for the Arts with the North American Premiere of Wayne McGregor’s “Woolf Works” through April 14.

The show is inspired by the writings of 20th-Century modernist author Virginia Woolf and played to sold-out crowds at its premiere in London. This marks American Ballet Theatre’s first full-length production by McGregor, which features a luminous original score by Max Richter that is performed live at Segerstrom Center by Pacific Symphony.

According to information provided by Segerstrom Center, “Woolf Works” re-creates the emotions, themes, and fluid style of three of Virginia Woolf’s novels: “Mrs. Dalloway,” “Orlando,” and “The Waves.”

Incorporating elements from Wolf’s letters, essays, and diaries, “Woolf Works” is said to express the heart of an artistic life driven to discover a freer, uniquely modern realism.

Hee Seo and Calvin Royal III in “Woolf Works.” Photo: Fabrizio Ferri.

Considered one of the most important 20th-century authors, Virginia Woolf was one of the pioneers of using stream of consciousness as a narrative device.

Created for The Royal Ballet in 2015, “Woolf Works” is described as recreating the synesthetic collision of form and substance at play in Woolf’s novels, while bringing to life Woolf’s world of “granite and rainbow” where human beings are at once both physical body and uncontained essence.

“Woolf Works is not a literal description of Woolf’s writing,” says McGregor. “It’s very lavish, with new visualization techniques and a collage structure; a full-on assault and collision of the senses. The idea was to choregraph and design the piece in the spirit of Woolf’s writing, in an unfolding stream of consciousness, rather than as a literal translation of the novel’s narratives.”

Hee Seo and Aran Bell in “Woolf Works.” Photo: Emma Zordan.

“Woolf Works” is produced in association with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. This production was first seen at the Royal Opera House, London on May 11, 2015. At its premiere, “Woolf Works” was met with outstanding critical acclaim, going on to win McGregor the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Classical Choreography and the Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production.

The New York Times said on its 2015 premiere, “a compelling trilogy of works that together form a resonant, layered meditation on time and memory…McGregor has thought big, and he has created a work that is entertaining, absorbing, not always easy, and occasionally contentious.”

“Woolf Works” performances are Friday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 13 at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 14, at 1 p.m. Tickets start at $39. Visit

Catherine Hurlin and Daniel Camargo in “Woolf Works.” Photo: Emma Zordan.

The post Segerstrom Center for the Arts Presents North American Premiere of American Ballet Theatre ‘Woolf Works’ Through April 14 appeared first on Newport Beach News.

Source: Newport Beach Independent

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