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Interview: Evan Knapp talks dance and the San Diego Fringe Festival

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California Ballet has presented some amazing performances through the years, but nothing has been like what they have planned for the San Diego Fringe Festival this year. California Ballet presents “Ballet 360 Skyline View” from the top floors of the new San Diego Library July 9, July 11, and July 13 at 8pm.

Having been to the Edinburgh and the New York Fringe Festivals, besides being a dancer himself – Evan Knapp was the perfect person to help produce this collaborative work for the California Ballet. So who better to explain some of the amazing pieces that are part of this one-hour show?

“I have 9 choreographers with 9 pieces in the show. It is everything from ballet on pointe shoes, to a burlesque number in there, a Dracula ballet, Khamla Somphanh and Kyndall Foote created pieces for the show– so we have two world premieres in the show, which is awesome. Hopefully there is something for everyone on the program, and that was my intent.” Evan says enthusiastically. But he is also excited to get some California Ballet Company dancers to choreographer dances of their own. “I brought in a couple of the dancers, but at the professional level and they are the up and comings because they just blow my mind – they are just so good. Every once in a while you just get those dancers that just get it… Some of their dancers are phenomenal choreographers. Giving them the opportunity to do something they couldn’t do themselves. Like maybe they have a 10 minute piece, and you can’t do a show with a 10 minute piece, so I’m hopeful this will continue. “

Who knew it was possible to get Evan more animated, but when he's talking about the library being the venue that he gets even more amped up about the show. “It’s two stories tall inside, it’s gigantic, with two story walls with windows on three sides with an entire panoramic view of the San Diego skyline. The space is crazy and brand new and I have tried to use every single gadget and everything they have in the room. So there are blinds that come down so we can reveal the space a little at a time. There is a outdoor balcony and I put one of the pieces out there so the audience can get up and go watch that outside. They have state of the art projection and it’s just …I have never seen dance in a venue like this ever. I really don’t think anyone will have ever seen a dance performance in a space like this so I am so flippin excited. It’s phenomenal.”

Evan is also a huge fan of the Fringe Festival and what it can do, not only for ballet, but for performing arts in San Diego in general. “In the Fringe Festival you get people who normally got to theatre and don’t go to dance, or see visual arts but never see dance. Like for me, I normally go see dance, but I want to go see all the performance art and stuff. Hopefully that will work the other way around. How great for San Diego!”

Evan had just one last thing to say on the all of this “I’ve been having a blast and love the Fringe Festival. It’s such an amazing thing. There is nothing like it.”

California Ballet Presents: Ballet 360 Skyline View is being performed Tuesday, July 9, July 11, July 13 at 8pm at the San Diego Fringe Festival at the San Diego Central Library – Shilley Special Events Center 330 Park Blvd., 9th floor San Diego, CA 9210. For information on California Ballet go to www.CaliforniaBallet.org.

Check out the San Diego Fringe Festival and all of it’s offerings in dance, theatre, music, and more now through July 13th. For more information on the Fringe Festival go to www.SDFringe.org.

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