Modern Masters

Rated 5.0

When you hear “Sacramento Ballet,” do you flash on “name” works like Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty?

Those classics were presented there this season.

But Sac Ballet has a much edgier, less publicized side. Come spring, the company moves to an intimate venue—the Sacramento Theatre Company’s Mainstage—for up-close performances of energetic, adventuresome new works, presented under the (alas!) rather bland title Modern Masters.

This year’s program features eye-catching, pulsating new works by six choreographers from around the country: Ron DeJesus (ballet master for Twyla Tharp Productions), Sidra Bell (Sidra Bell Dance New York), Amy Seiwert (resident choreographer with San Francisco’s Smuin Ballet), Parrish Maynard (San Francisco Ballet School) and Sacramento Ballet’s Nolan T’Sani and Jack Hansen.

The program is densely packed with striking images and kinetic movement. You come away with your mind buzzing. To pick just one example, there’s the first of the “Six Vignettes” by DeJesus—a very striking segment with veteran dancers Kirsten Bloom and Hansen engaging and re-engaging as they rove around the stage, contrasting with the tall, stationary Ilana Goldman, wearing a long red skirt with her bare back toward the audience, gradually rising from a sitting position on the floor up to a standing pose, arms moving swiftly in the light.