Ballet Memphis Awarded Highly Competitive NEFA Grant
By Eric Mathews
I am pleased to pass along that the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) recently awarded funding to 21 projects this year, including one from Ballet Memphis. What’s noteworthy in the listing of funded projects on their website is how many of the companies are from outside NYC, Chicago, LA, and San Francisco and also how many have “ballet” in the company name. If you catch what I’m hinting at, then you understand that our ballet is one of the most innovative in the country and one of the most esteemed — another point of pride for our city.
I have placed more information on the funded Ballet Memphis project here for further reading. Please join me in congratulating the Ballet Memphis.
Project Title: New work by Jane Comfort
Jane Comfort’s ballet, set to a score by Kirk Whalum, is a highly structured, abstract dance that blends classical ballet with contact and modern dance’s sensibility. Known in the business as Whitney Houston’s “sax guy,” the eight-time Grammy nominated African American musician Whalum has composed a score firmly rooted in the gospel tradition. Presented in an evening of mixed repertoire, the ballet celebrates the joy that is gospel: the ability to maintain an utterly enthusiastic and positive spirit in the face of dire circumstances and conditions.