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'Red Hot Valentine' presents preview of Ma Cong's World Premier

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On Feb. 8, 2014 at 7:00 p.m., the Sacramento Ballet welcomed visitors to their studio for a "Red Hot Valentine" wine and dessert reception accompanying an intimate preview of the upcoming Wild Sweet Love performances scheduled for Feb 13-16. Excerpts from all three pieces in the triple bill were performed as the limited rows of chairs were occupied with an enraptured audience. As a semi-exclusive preview, Ma Cong's Acceptance was revealed as his world premier readies to hit the stage at the Sacramento Community Center Theater on L St.

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In viewing only excerpts, the impact of Cong's "original, interpretive piece" is difficult to assess. However the dancers performed a variety of movements and choreographed scenes that were both disturbing and passionate, summoning ideas of struggle, resistance, letting go, and bits of chaos and peace scattered like the influences of love travel through one's life and soul. "Acceptance" is difficult for many when things break or conceptions are challenged. "Acceptance" can even be difficult in the throes of passion when the release of ecstasy overwhelms one with a sense of loss followed by acceptance and joy. Cong's piece presented in the Wild Sweet Love trio of ballets summons feelings that relate to many of these variances of love and passion.

During an interview with W. Mark Dendy for the Digital Journal, Cong stated that the World Premier is “very, very physical and intense and, at the same time, [has] a lot of emotional moments." The piece is " based on the classical ballet technique but interpreted in a very contemporary way.” The oddity in some of the style not typically expected in traditional ballet actually empowers the choreography by prodding our rigid barriers to "Acceptance."

Ma Cong's background in Classical Chinese dance whispers subtly into his contemporary ballet creation. His striving for dynamic expression succeeds in capturing one's attention and has endeared him to the Sacramento Ballet dancers who are excited to perform his works. The Wild Sweet Love trio of ballets is an ideal placement for this World Premier as it broadens the coverage of love "in all of its complexities." The audience will be gifted with a full range of love's expression including moments of humor in the Mexican Trio from the Wild Sweet Love piece, a wedding march, a duet filled with love and passion, and so much more both lighthearted and deep, painful and refreshing, cute and glorious.

More information is available at the Sacramento Ballet website here. Additional articles including candid comments from the Sacramento Ballet dancers can be found at "Wild Sweet Love ballet dancers speak on love," "Ballet dancers reveal Wild Sweet Love, and "Wild Sweet Love ballet dancers speak candidly." The ballet will be performed Feb. 13-16, 2014 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater with tickets running from $19-$90.

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