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Red Angels 2

We chatted with Ashley Hod today as she prepares for her “Red Angels" debut tonight.

Ashley Hod rehearses in costume at Vail. Photo by Chris Duggan, 2022.

LJ: What was your first experience with "Red Angels"?

AH: "My first experience with this ballet was watching it years ago—seeing @realmkowroski and Teresa Reichlen doing it—and being so enamored and mesmerized by that movement quality."

LJ: What's been the biggest challenge in learning "Red Angels"?

AH: “The musicality has been difficult—when the ballet was being created it wasn't necessarily choreographed to specific counts. After learning the steps, I would get comfortable doing it on my own, and then when the music would come on, I would dance it completely different! The music is so intense and it amps you up. So it's been a challenge for me to stay grounded and find how the steps felt with my body, and then how I felt dancing it to the music."

LJ: What are you picturing when you do your runway walk entrance into your solo?

AH: “My first runway walk I'm staring into my partner's eyes and we're both just like, 'It's go time!' For my solo runway walk, I'm so into it that I'm not even looking at myself in the mirror, I'm already picturing the audience and thinking, 'This is for you, LET'S GO.' “


We also talked to Mary Rowell, the violinist that accompanies the ballet "Red Angels."

LJ: You've been playing the music for this ballet since it premiered 28 years ago. How familiar with the music were you before the ballet?

MR: "In 1988, the composer, Richard Einhorn, had this idea for a piece and was looking for a violinist that had a rock and roll sensibility. He found me in a rock and roll magazine and called me. He gave me a tape of his music and I was surprised at how varied it was—all kinds of styles. A couple of weeks later he called and said he'd completed the piece. He said it's like a drum piece for the violin. I like to think of it as the impossibility of a violinist being a drummer. It was novel at the time."

LJ: Is there any eye contact between you and the dancers, or any exchange of energy?

MR: "TONS of energy exchanged, but it's not visual. I work off of a light cue to start the movements and then it's just the vibe between me and the dancers. What I do is just give them the attitude of rock and roll."

LJ: Do you have a favorite moment in "Red Angels"?

MR: "I like the third solo in the last movement, which was originally Wendy Whelan, she looked like a scarecrow on pointe, and it's always fun to see how that gets handled by different dancers. And I love the ending when they turn around and walk [upstage] into the red and become silhouettes. I am always able to watch that because I'm just jamming out to the end."


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