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Diablo Ballet to create crowd-sourced original piece
January 12, 2013, 05:00 AM By Heather Murtagh Daily Journal Staff

Even those who have never seen a ballet performance, let alone attempted a pirouette, have a chance to be part of an entirely new piece of work by the Diablo Ballet of California.

This spring, the Bay Area professional dance company will create a new work from ideas suggested by Internet users. Called the Web Ballet, the work will include original choreography from suggestions submitted by individuals all around the world through Diablo’s Twitter, @DiabloBallet, then performed in March. Starting now, people can use Twitter, with the hashtag #DiabloWebBallet, to suggest emotions of the dancers, mood of the entire work, specific dance moves and music. There is a bit more to it, which is explained on the website, but suggestions will be accepted through Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

Choreographer Robert Dekkers is excited.

"I’m interested in seeing how I could take limitations and make a challenge for myself to make a cohesive piece,” he said.

Music suggested is all classical; not the music with which Dekkers is known to work. However, he has a history with each of the pieces. Each was music Dekkers used in his younger days when just starting to choreograph. Dekkers is also curious how that might play into the new piece.

Everyone at Diablo is curious to see how the experiment will turn out.

"Diablo Ballet is all about being accessible and by offering the opportunity to engage people with their ideas is thrilling to me. I truly have an open mind about what ideas individuals may submit. I am excited to see what develops,” said Diablo’s Artistic Director Lauren Jonas.

Once the submission period closes, Dekkers and Jonas will select seven choreographic suggestions. Then, Dekkers will have two weeks to work with all of the winning ideas and create a new, 10-minute dance work.

Along the way, the interactive idea will be captured on video along the way so those who submitted winning concepts can truly see the process develop. The Web Ballet will be presented as part of Diablo Ballet’s "Inside the Dancer’s Studio” series March 1-2 at the Shadelands Arts Center Auditorium in Walnut Creek. Diablo will also be performing at Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City in April, which will include this crowd-sourced piece. The winning suggestions will receive tickets to the performance and a photo from the created work, autographed by Dekkers.

The Web Ballet idea was created by Director of Marketing Dan Meagher.

"We want to show people the creative process of dance and help make ballet accessible to all,” he said.

For more information on how to participate visit For more information about Diablo Ballet visit


Heather Murtagh can be reached by email: or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 105.


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