BALLET SAN JOSE ANNOUNCES 2013 REPERTORY SEASON AND NEW 2012 PRODUCTION OF THE NUTCRACKER
REPERTORY SEASON HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE A WORLD PREMIERE FROM JESSICA LANG, THE COMPANY PREMIERES OF DON QUIXOTE AND WORKS BY MERCE CUNNINGHAM, JORMA ELO, KURT JOOSS, AND SIR FREDERICK ASHTON
NEW MUSIC DIRECTOR & CONDUCTOR ENGAGED
COMPANY ALSO ANNOUNCES DANCER PROMOTIONS AND NEW HIRES
SAN JOSE, CA, Thursday, August 23, 2012—Ballet San Jose (BSJ) has announced its 2013 Repertory Season including a world premiere ballet by choreographer Jessica Lang, and six Company Premieres; Sir Frederick Ashton’s Les Rendezvous and his Thaïs Pas de Deux, Kurt Jooss’ The Green Table, Merce Cunningham’s Duets, Jorma Elo’s Glow-Stop, and a full-length Don Quixote staged by Wes Chapman after Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky. A new setting of The Nutcracker with choreography by Ballet San Jose favorite Karen Gabay will make its debut in December 2012. All programs will include live music.
The 2013 season will preview with a Ballet Gala on Saturday, November 3rd, 2012. The evening will feature the company in a one-night-only program of bravura performances, with live orchestra and special guests. Artistic Advisor Wes Chapman said, “We are committed to reaching new and greater heights of performance excellence – challenging, developing, and entertaining our audiences with a season of engaging works that follow the arc of our human experience: through love and strife and ultimately to transformation.”
Ballet San Jose has engaged George Daugherty as its new music director and conductor for the gala, December’s production of The Nutcracker and the entire 2013 Repertory Season. Ballet SJ has also announced six dancer promotions, the addition of a new soloist, six new corps de ballet members, four apprentices, and a new Trainee Program. Commented Principal Ballet Master, Raymond Rodriguez, “How exciting for this next era at Ballet San Jose. The artistic growth of the company, the new ballets added to our repertoire and the world premieres to be choreographed on Ballet San Jose this season – it’s thrilling for all involved!”
The Nutcracker, which runs from December 8 through 23, 2012, will feature all-new choreography by Karen Gabay with sets by Paul Kelly and costumes by the legendary Theoni Aldredge. Gabay is a principal dancer with Ballet SJ. As a choreographer, she has created a number of works for her own company, Pointe of Departure, and several works for Ballet San Jose including 2-2-Tango which made its world premiere in San Jose in 2009. She was the 2011 Arts Council Silicon Valley recipient of the Artist Fellowship Award for Choreography. “It is an exciting opportunity for me to choreograph a new Nutcracker, and I am looking forward to working with such a wonderful group of dancers,” said Gabay. “I have great respect for these artists and want to bring out their unique and special talents through my choreography.”
Ballet San Jose 2013 Repertory Season
Program 1 runs February 15 – 17, 2013, with the Company Premiere of Don Quixote, staged by Ballet San Jose Artistic Advisor Wes Chapman after Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky. Set to a rousing score by Ludwig Minkus and with costumes by Santo Loquasto, the ballet is based on an episode from Miguel de Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote de la Mancha, and follows the title hero who is absorbed with tales of chivalry as he sets out to defend virtue.
Program 2, March 22-24, 2013, features two works by Sir Frederick Ashton, in this year that marks the 25th anniversary of the death of the famed dancer and master choreographer. First is the Company Premiere of Les Rendezvous, one of Sir Frederick Ashton’s signature works. Set to music from the opera L’Enfant prodigue by Daniel Francois Esprit Auber, this suite of light-hearted dances for young people in a park was the first major ballet created by Ashton for the Vic-Wells Company in London. A second Ashton offering is the dramatic and exotic Thaïs Pas de Deux set to Jules Massenet’s “Meditation” from his opera Thaïs. An encore performance of Clear from choreographer Stanton Welch with music by Johann Sebastian Bach follows, and the program concludes with The Green Table, considered by many to be one of the most important ballets of the 20th century. Created in 1932 by German choreographer Kurt Jooss in the aftermath of World War I amidst the rising tide of Nazism, the piece is a statement about the horrors of war and the futility of diplomacy. Choreographed to a commissioned score for two pianos by Fritz Cohen, it is the masterpiece of Jooss’ career and is as powerful and relevant today as it was when it was created 80 years ago.
Program 3, April 19-21, 2013, features a World Premiere work for Ballet San Jose from choreographer Jessica Lang, who last year brought us the Bay Area Premiere of Splendid Isolation III. The piece will be set to a commissioned score by Jakub Ciupiński, a pioneer in the exhilarating field of gesture-controlled music, who will perform live with the company. Also on the program are the Company Premieres of Glow-Stop, a fiercely athletic work by Jorma Elo set to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Philip Glass; and Duets, a series of pas de deux for six couples by the late master choreographer Merce Cunningham, performed to a fast-paced percussive score by Cunningham’s long-time collaborator John Cage. An additional pas de deux will be announced.
Celebrated Conductor George Daugherty Engaged for Full Season
Celebrated conductor George Daugherty has been engaged as music director and conductor for the gala, December’s production of The Nutcracker and the entire 2013 Repertory Season. Daugherty is one of the classical music world’s most diverse artists. Over the course of his 30-year career, he has conducted for a long list of the world’s most legendary dancers, from Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, Gelsey Kirkland, Suzanne Farrell, and Natalia Makarova to today’s balletic superstars. He has conducted for American Ballet Theatre, The Munich State Opera Ballet, La Scala Ballet, The Royal Ballet, and was Music Director for The Chicago City Ballet, Ballet Chicago, and The Louisville Ballet. He is a regular guest conductor for America’s most illustrious symphony orchestras, including The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, as well as such international icons as Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and Sydney Symphony at The Sydney Opera House. He has conducted over 20 performances at The Hollywood Bowl. His critically-acclaimed series of “film with live orchestra” concerts, including “Bugs Bunny At The Symphony,” have played to over 2.5 million audience members worldwide. As a producer, director, and writer for television, he has been nominated for five Emmy Awards, and won a Primetime Emmy for his ABC Network production of Peter and The Wolf.
“I am extraordinarily excited at the prospect of working with Ballet San Jose,” said Daugherty. “Ballet San Jose is truly a major American ballet company in every possible sense. Ballet SJ’s dancers are simply spectacular, and the company’s productions are world class. Ballet San Jose’s new partnership with American Ballet Theatre adds an impressively unique dimension to the mix, and all of this together gives Bay Area dance enthusiasts something to really celebrate. My goal will be to ensure that the live music accompanying Ballet SJ’s performances will be every bit as thrilling as the dancing onstage.”
Company Promotions and New Members
Artistic Advisor Wes Chapman and Principal Ballet Master Raymond Rodriguez have announced six company promotions, the addition of a new soloist, six new corps de ballet members, and four apprentices. Soloist Jeremy Kovitch has been promoted to principal dancer and Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun has joined the Company as a soloist. BSJ corps de ballet members Amy Marie Briones, Junna Ige, Akira Takahashi, and Jing Zhang have also been promoted to soloists. Joshua Seibel, an apprentice during the 2011-2012 season, has been promoted to the corps de ballet. Joining him will be six new corps members, Cindy Huang, Lucius Kirst, Alex Kramer, Annali Rose, Kendall Teague, and Mallory Welsh. New apprentices for the season are Thomas Baker, Nicole Larson, Kathryn Meeusen and Mariya Oishi.
Subscriptions to Ballet San Jose’s three-program 2013 Repertory Season range in price from $57-$267 and are on sale now. Current 2012 season subscribers can renew and hold their same seats until September 10th. For information, please call the Ballet San Jose Box Office at 408.288.2800 or visit balletsj.org. Phone hours are Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Individual tickets for Ballet San Jose’s 2013 Repertory Season, starting at $21, will be available for advance sale online at balletsj.org or by calling 408.288.2800, beginning December 1, 2012. Tickets to The Nutcracker will be available to the general public beginning Monday, September 24, 2012. Subscribers to the 2013 season may purchase their Nutcracker tickets now by calling the box office during regular business hours.
BALLET SAN JOSE 2013 REPERTORY SEASON
PROGRAM ONE: FEBRUARY 15-17, 2013
DON QUIXOTE (Company Premiere)
Music by Ludwig Minkus
Staged by Wes Chapman after Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky
Costumes by Santo Loquasto
World Premiere: (Original production) Imperial Ballet, Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, December 14, 1869
Based on an episode from Miguel de Cervantes’ famous novel, Don Quixote de la Mancha, the story follows its title hero, a middle-aged country gentleman absorbed with tales of chivalry, who sets out to defend virtue and punish those who violate the code of honor. With his servant Sancho Panza as his armor-bearer, he travels to Barcelona, only to mistake Kitri, an innkeeper’s daughter who is in love with a barber, for his dream-lover Dulcinea. A dance-packed feast of comedy, drama, romance, intrigue, betrayal and fantasy, Minkus’ rousing score endows each scene with rich atmosphere.
PROGRAM TWO: MARCH 22-24, 2013 / Mixed Repertory
LES RENDEZVOUS (Company Premiere)
Choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton
Music by Daniel Francois Esprit Auber (L’Enfant prodigue)
Scenery and costumes by William Chappell
World Premiere: Vic-Wells Ballet at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, 1933
Les Rendezvous is a suite of witty, light-hearted dances in a park where friends meet, flirt and then part. Although abstract and plotless, it has humor, mime and comic devices set to saucy and bouncy musical numbers from Auber’s opera L’Enfant prodigue. Two leading dancers follow the pattern of an extended pas (entry, adagio, solos and coda), accompanied by an ensemble that seems intent on distracting and interrupting them. One of his very early works, Ashton himself wrote that the ballet was created “to please my audience…entertain, amuse and charm them.”
THAÏS PAS DE DEUX (Company Premiere)
Choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton
Music by Jules Massenet (“Meditation” from Thaïs)
Costumes by Anthony Dowell
World Premiere: Thaïs Pas de Deux was given its World Premiere at a Gala Performance of the Royal Ballet at the Adelphi Theatre, London on March 21, 1971
An elusive veiled beauty has a romantic encounter with an ardent warrior in this sinuous and dramatic pas de deux from Frederick Ashton. Rich in exotic atmosphere, the sweeping and poetic diversion is set to the beautiful violin solo of “Meditation” from Massenet’s opera, Thaïs.
CLEAR (Encore Performance)
Choreography by Stanton Welch
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach (Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor and the first and second movements from the Violin Concerto in G minor)
Costumes by Michael Kors
World Premiere: American Ballet Theatre, City Center, New York, 2001
In an encore performance, Ballet San Jose presents Clear, from Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch. The piece is classical in technique but contemporary in style, with explosive movement fiercely danced by seven men and one woman. Set to Bach’s rich and emotionally resonant music, Clear is an abstract study of life’s connections, the importance of the people in our daily existence, and the love that brings you home. Noted New York fashion designer Michael Kors created the sleek and sexy costumes that focus attention on the dancers.
THE GREEN TABLE (Company Premiere)
Choreography by Kurt Jooss
Music by Fritz Cohen
Design by Hein Heckroth
World Premiere: Jooss Ballet at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris, July 3, 1932.
Kurt Jooss created The Green Table in Germany in 1932 and won first prize that year at the “Concours interntional de choregraphie” in Paris. Just one year later, he was forced to flee Nazi Germany because he refused to purge his company of Jewish members.
Choreographed between the two Great Wars as a memorial for the Unknown, and subtitled “Danse Macabre in Eight Scenes,” the ballet is about the horrors of war and the futility of diplomacy. The title refers to the green baize table found in a diplomatic conference room where the ballet begins and ends. The Green Table is Kurt Jooss’ greatest work and is considered by many to be one of the important ballets of the 20th Century. It is possibly the most powerful antiwar statement in the dance canon…timeless, relentless, and all too rarely performed in the United States.
PROGRAM THREE: APRIL 19-21, 2013 / Mixed Repertory
DUETS (Company Premiere)
Choreography by Merce Cunningham
Music by John Cage (Improvisation III)
Percussion by Pendar and Med Mercier
World Premiere: Merce Cunningham Dance Company, City Center 55 Street Theatre, New York, February, 26, 1980
A series of pas de deux for six couples by the late master choreographer Merce Cunningham, the mood is both playful and intense. The music is percussive and very fast with complex rhythms. Couples with distinct personalities each enter for a brief pas but are interrupted at some point by other couples making brief, disruptive cameos. All six couples draw from the same vocabulary with lively footwork, torso tips and arches, lifts, and close side-by-side simultaneous movement, and yet each duet is dramatically unalike. At the conclusion, the couples return to the stage to repeat their previous steps, all related and yet distinct. Cunningham is unmatched as a modern-dance choreographer for his duets. This is one of his most ballet-friendly compositions.
GLOW-STOP (Company Premiere)
Choreography by Jorma Elo
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Symphony No. 28 in C, 4th Movement)
and Philip Glass (Tirol Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, 2nd Movement)
Costumes by Zack Brown
World Premiere: American Ballet Theatre, City Center, New York, October 21, 2006
Fiercely athletic and executed at breakneck speed, Glow-Stop blends familiar ballet pirouettes and leaps with off-kilter profiles and cantilevered lifts to create a thrill-a-minute dance that challenges dancers in this new style of virtuosic classical ballet. Mozart and Philip Glass come together in the music, as does contemporary dance with an undercurrent of classical ballet. Jorma Elo is the Resident Choreographer of Boston Ballet and was the winner of the 2005 Helsinki International Ballet Competition (Choreography).
JESSICA LANG – WORLD PREMIERE BALLET (World Premiere)
Choreography by Jessica Lang
Music by Jakub Ciupiński – Commissioned Score
World Premiere: Ballet San Jose, San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, California, April 19, 2013
Jessica Lang, creator of last season’s stunning pas de deux, Splendid Isolation III, returns to Ballet San Jose to choreograph an entirely new work on the company. The ballet will be set to commissioned music by Lang’s fellow Juilliard alumnus, Jakub Ciupiński, a pioneer in the exhilarating field of gesture-controlled music.
NOTE: An additional pas de deux (TBA) To Be Announced.