Easy, breezy and very new

Sacramento Ballet’s Modern Masters

Modern Masters; 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday; $45. Sacramento Ballet at the Three Stages at Folsom Lake College, 10 College Parkway, Folsom; (916) 608-6888; www.sacballet.org; www.threestages.net. Through March 31.

Three Stages at Folsom Lake College

10 College Pkwy.
Folsom, CA 95630

(916) 608-6888


Choreographers have their own language: plies, jetes and all kinds of pas de las. But few use the vocabulary of dancemaker Edwaard Liang.

“Easy, breezy. Cover Girl, right?” he tells his dancers. “Just Marky Mark it.” That’s his dance speak for “Do it like Mark Wahlberg, smooth … Nice and smooth.”

Liang’s 2009 dance, “Wunderland,” will be one of three presented Thursday through Saturday in the Modern Masters program by the Sacramento Ballet at Three Stages at Folsom Lake College. He rehearsed it with the ballet troupe last week, after an assistant had spent the week setting it on the company.

The troupe performed parts of “Wunderland,” with Liang critiquing and polishing in front of an audience attending “Rockin’ and Rollin’” at the ballet company’s studio. “Wunderland” is a challenging contemporary dance, putting the classically trained dancers in off-kilter positions, en pointe and relying on a single hand in the armpit to steady them.

“No movement is static,” he warns. “It’s constantly moving.”

Also on the Modern Masters program is the world premiere of “Jazzin’” by Darrell Grand Moultrie and a reprise of Septime Webre’s delightful “Fluctuating Hemlines.”

Moultrie, who won the ballet company’s 2010 Capital Choreography Competition, was commissioned to create “Jazzin.’” Set to a soundtrack of Duke Ellington, Wynton Marsalis and others, the dance also features a sung narrative (Ruth Brown’s saucy “If I Can’t Sell It, I’ll Keep Sittin’ on It,” danced by Ava Chatterson).

Webre’s “Fluctuating Hemlines” begins with the dancers in ’60s attire, the women with beehive hairdos. They quickly strip to their skivvies, literally shedding pretense to reveal their true selves. The dance will be performed to live accompaniment by the Tigger Benford Percussion Ensemble.