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James Sewell Ballet presents 2nd edition of ‘Ballet Works’

James Sewell and Sally Rousse, the co-founders and artistic directors of James Sewell Ballet, always take an original approach to making and performing new work. For a look at JSB’s past performances, go here.

So it’s fitting that the company is presenting its second edition of “Ballet Works,” premieres of balletic works with a post-modern twist by local choreographers, at the Southern this weekend.

The pieces, underwritten by the Jerome Foundation, push even contemporary ballet’s boundaries. Post-post-modern darlings Hijack — Arwen Wilder and Kristin Van Loon — have reset the 1995 “At best, relationships are marginal” on JSB ballerinas Penelope Freeh and Sally Rousse (who are already rather adventurous in their own works outside of JSB). In the second half of the piece, other JSB dancers join in to explore the process-intensive model of choreography the Hijack duo incorporates into their work.

Also on the program are new works by Sewell created with JSB movement therapist Shannon Christie; and company member Nicolas Lincoln’s “Unraveling What Binds,” created with music by Mary Ellen Childs.

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, the perennially boyish-looking Sewell will speak at 7 p.m. as part of the Minneapolis Public Library’s lecture series, “Age: Wide Angle.” The series offers the public perspectives on age by prominent local arts leaders. Sewell will talk about the evolution of his work and the art of ballet, which he calls “an ageless art form.” The free event is in Pohlad Hall, Central Library.

“Ballet Works,” James Sewell Ballet. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. Southern Theater, Minneapolis. $26. 612-340-1725.

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