University Of North Alabama Student To Present Original Ballet
Mar. 23, 2017
Carole Maynard,UNA Department of Music FLORENCE, Ala. - Senior composition student and Florence native Jeremy Smith knew that in his last year at UNA he wanted to do something big. That "something big" was writing a ballet. "A ballet was something that I had wanted to do for a long time," said Smith. "One of my biggest compositional influences has been Igor Stravinsky, and since his earlier, and arguably most well known, works were ballets, I saw writing a ballet as a sort of compositional rite of passage." In order to immerse himself in the compositional process, Smith decided to apply for an artist residency program with Azule Artist Residency. He was accepted and spent three weeks last summer in a remote cabin in the Appalachian Mountains near Hot Springs, North Carolina. The competitive program is open to any artist in the world who needs a place to get away to work on a large project. During part of Smith's say, he shared space with a published poet, a published novelist and an artist. Smith used his time in the mountains to compose a three-act ballet. The ballet, titled "The Singularity," features one dancer and utilizes instrumentation for flute, clarinet, electric keyboard and percussion. "Since beginning my study of composition, I have focused on mostly small chamber music," said Smith. "I knew the composition would be the easy part, and that actually putting the production on would be the real task. I set out to write something large scale, but within parameters that would be doable in Florence." "The Singularity" is a coming-of-age story with a twist: the main character is a computer with artificial intelligence. "The audience will see the computer struggling with the idea of life itself, existential questions and ultimately coming to grips with the reality of itself as a cognizant being," said Smith. "This mirrors the stages that we all go through as we struggle to understand, define and decide what life is really about." "The Singularity" will be performed at the Zodiac Theatre, 416 N. Court Street, Florence, on April 21 and 22 at 8:30 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $15 and are available at the Shoals Theatre Box Office, Eleven-54 on Wood, The Eclectic, Traditions Barbershop, Underground Art and Sound and Blank (comics, vinyl and coffee). Tickets are also available through the production's musicians and performers. For more information, contact the Zodiac Theatre at (256)764-1700.