Dallas — Kathy Chamberlain and her company, Chamberlain Ballet, have been a staple within the Dallas dance community for more than three decades. Created in 1984, Chamberlain Ballet was formed as a student ensemble dedicated to providing students with a stepping stone to professional dance careers. It was during its 10th season that Chamberlain Ballet became a pre-professional company.
For this year’s Dallas Dances, Chamberlain Ballet will be presenting Lisa Hess Jones’ Veni Emmanuel. Created in January 2000, Jones says the work is a tribute to Chamberlain’s father who had passed away a few weeks prior. “I felt that his spirit was in the room with us,” Jones says. “He loved dance so much and there was no doubt in my mind that this work should be dedicated to him.”
As for her musical selection Jones says when Chamberlain asked her to create a piece for the company she knew exactly what music to use. “The first time I heard this arrangement of Veni Emmanuel by Anne Dudley I thought it was so beautiful that I had tears streaming down my face.”
She adds, “It’s hard to put into words the feeling I get every time I hear this music. Just, when you find music that moves you to the core of your soul it is a treasure of this life.”
Originally from Amarillo, Jones grew up training under her parents, Neil and Camille Hess. She also trained with San Francisco Ballet, Harkness Ballet, School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. She joined New York City Ballet in 1975 and later became a soloist. Jones has also danced with Nureyev and Friends, was a guest artist with Sydney Ballet in Australia and toured across Asia with Stars of the American Ballet.
In 1989, Jones became involved with the Carlisle Project allowing her to create choreography for professional dancers and for the Northeast Regional Dance Festival and Southwest Reginal Dance Festival. She has also choreographed for Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, San Antonio Symphony, Ballet Theatre of Annapolis, West Texas State University, Cumberland Dance Company, Fairfax Ballet Company and Brigham Young University.
Jones says her relationship with Chamberlain Ballet started 30 years ago when she was asked to choreograph the Snow scene and Second Act of the company’s annual Nutcracker production. Today, Jones is on faculty with Chamberlain Ballet’s day program and is also a guest choreographer.
As far as what she enjoys most about working with Chamberlain Ballet Jones says, “Chamberlain Ballet has a wonderful work environment and the students are committed to the discipline and time it takes to discover their individual talents.”
She adds, “It’s like peeling an onion, layer by layer we work. Removing the layers that conceal a special something. It’s a very rewarding process.”
Chamberlain Ballet will be performing Veni Emmanuel as part of Dallas Dances’ Sunday program at Moody Performance Hall.
» TheaterJones has tickets for both nights of Dallas Dances to give away. To be considered for them, see the contest we currently have going on our Facebook page (see the first post).
» Dallas Dances, presented by the Dance Council of North Texas, is 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2 at Moody Performance Hall. Each day has different programs. Follow our 2019 Dallas Dances special section for more features and reviews.
Below is a list of companies and performers:
- Saturday: Ballet Dallas, Ballet Ensemble of Texas, Ballet Frontier of Texas, B. Moore Dance, Bruce Wood Dance, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Elite Classical Coaching, Hailey von Schlehenried, Natyanjali Kuchipudi Dance School, RIFF (tap dance), Texas Ballet Theater
- Sunday: Academy Dance Company, Brandi Coleman Dance, Chamberlain Performing Arts, Dallas Ballet Company, Dallas Youth Repertory Project, DBDT: Encore!, LakeCities Ballet, 6 o'Clock Dance Theatre, Texas Ballet Theater School, Tejas Dance, Zion Dance