Ballet Chicago Moving Forward
May 5, 6, 2012 “Balanchine Masterworks” at The Harris Theater
May 6 Lucia Mauro Panel
May 31 From “Port to Pointe” Save the Date!
In a major move to the beautiful downtown Harris Theater for Music and Dance, on May 5 and 6, 2012 Ballet Chicago will present “Balanchine Masterworks”, a program of three of Balanchine’s most beloved ballets, Concerto Barocco, Rubies, and Who Cares? Set to music of Bach, Stravinsky, and Gershwin, the ballets range from neo-classical purity to outright jazzy joy. Along with our superb Ballet Chicago Studio Company, returning guest artist Matthew Renko will reprise his stunning 2011 success in Rubies, and Ted Seymour returns to perform his highly individual interpretation of the central male role in Who Cares?, and Chicago native Ellen Green will again grace the stage with her interpretation of “The Man I Love.”
Each of these wonderful ballets has a remarkably distinct character and history, and on Sunday May 6, from 1:30 – 2:30PM Chicago’s noted dance historian Lucia Mauro will join Dan Duell, Artistic Director, in the Harris Theater donor room for an inside look at the three ballets on our program and some of Duell’s personal experiences while under Mr. B’s direction. No separate admission charge – just show your paid performance ticket at the Harris Theater when you enter. Please visit Ballet Chicago’s website or call 312-251-8838 and ask for Margo Ruter to RSVP to this special pre-performance event.
About Concerto Barocco
First performed in 1940 at the Theater of Hunter College in New York, Concerto Barocco is a supreme example of pure dance set to pure music. The ballet’s aim is “to interest the audience only by its dancing, its treatment of the music,” to quote Balnchine in his book 101 Stories of the Great Ballets. Indeed one only need look at the way the steps and stage patterns are arranged to Bach’s music (Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins, BMV 1043) for an experience of profound beauty that brings one as close to Bach’s music as it does to the dancers and their dancing.
The unusually clear parallel between the interplay of soloists and ensemble onstage and the interplay of soloists and ensemble in Bach’s score defines the “music made visible” experience of viewers.
A special feature of Concerto Barocco is the challenging partnering role for the male dancer in the ballet’s second movement. A classic example of fluidity, sensitivity, and sheer power, the role asks of the male partner to make the ballerina appear to “sing in the air” throughout the movement. The famous seven consecutive arcing lifts that culminate in the ballerina being placed delicately en pointe are not only a signature moment of Concerto Barocco, but in all of male dance partnering.
The Ballet Chicago Studio Company has performed Concert Barocco for Chicago audiences since its inception in fall 1997, including for the Balanchine Centennial Celebration in 2004, and again in Spring 2008.
With over forty years’ experience both dancing and teaching Balanchine’s ballets, Associate Director Patricia Blair and Dan Duell bring a uniquely informed understanding of Mr. Balanchine’s American classical aesthetic to his great works, the artists who perform them, and the Chicago audiences who see them. This remains a key artistic objective at Ballet Chicago, and is part of what distinguishes Ballet Chicago in Chicago’s cultural scene.
We gratefully acknowledge our season sponsor, the NIB Foundation for their support of these performances.