SAN DIEGO — Composer George Kirazian’s new and expanded ballet based on The Book of Ruth will premiere as a full-scale dance production by Mojalet Dance Collective on September 30-October 1, at the Poway Performing Arts Center, along with three additional contemporary dance pieces.
“The Book of Ruth: A Ballet,” was composed by author, professor and composer George Kirazian, and will be directed by Faith Jensen-Ismay, Mojalet’s founder and artistic director. Based on the Old Testament story of the Hebrew woman Ruth and her family, the new work will combine traditional and modern dance components, choreographed by Jensen-Ismay to Kirazian’s music, recorded by the Parnassus Ensemble of San Diego.
Mojalet did a workshop production at the Vine Arts Village in April 2023, and the strong audience response prompted Jensen-Ismay and the company to expand the production to an extended version with additional music composed by Kirazian, which will premiere on the Poway stage.
“I am again excited to bring the classic story of the Book of Ruth to life through the lens of dance. A story of dedication, perseverance, loyalty, acceptance and redemption gives us hope in humanity and for a more positive future,” says director Faith Jensen-Ismay.
When the elder Jewish woman Naomi loses her husband and both her sons, she implores both her widowed daughters-in-law to go back to their native land of Moab. One of them, Orpah, leaves. The other, Ruth, insists on staying with her mother-in-law Naomi, to embrace her people and her God. They go to Judah, where after a period of poverty, they meet a generous landowner named Boaz, who changes their lives.