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Published: Friday, 5/14/2004

Groups offer music, dance for the masses

Hilary Sugkowski holds up Jessica Lemons durng a rehearsal of the Toledo Ballet for this weekend's performances. Hilary Sugkowski holds up Jessica Lemons durng a rehearsal of the Toledo Ballet for this weekend's performances.

Elegant and vigorous sights and sounds join this weekend when Masterworks Chorale teams with Toledo Ballet tomorrow and Sunday for performances of Latin Masses by Gabriel Faure and Paul Basler. Music is set to original choreography by Nigel Burgoine and Armon Miller, respectively.

The program offers rich contrasts. Faure's refined and inward-looking Requiem of 1887-90 focuses on deliverance and the afterlife. Basler's Missa Kenya is an ecstatic and rhythmically vibrant blending of traditional sounds from East Africa with contemporary Western styles.

The choreographies are designed to embellish the music without dominating it.

"The idea is to highlight both music and dance equally, to blend the two," said Burgoine, Toledo Ballet's artistic director.

Faure's shimmering impressionistic harmonies and soft textures are matched with abstract neoclassical movements presented in solo, duo, and trio forms.

In contrast, Miller's choreography for Missa Kenya is built from a blend of jazz and classical styles. Miller is a longtime jazz instructor at Toledo Ballet.

These concerts represent the second major collaboration between the two groups. They presented Carl Orff's Carmina Burana in April of 2002.

"The relationship has been a wonderful marriage of arts organizations," Burgoine said. "We are working together, not competing. That's how it should be."

Masterworks Chorale and the Toledo Ballet present choreographed versions of Faure's "Requiem" and Basler's "Missa Kenya" at 8 p.m. tomorrow, and 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts of Owens Community College. Donna Tozer Wipfli, the chorale's music director, will conduct. Wipfli and Nigel Burgoine will talk about their collaboration during a 6:30-

7:30 p.m. preconcert reception tomorrow. Tickets are $25 and $35. Information: 419-662-2787.

Contact Steven Cornelius at:


or 419-724-6152.

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