CAROLINA BALLET TO OPEN 16TH SEASON WITH AN EVENING OF BALLETS BY GEORGE BALANCHINE
Groundbreaking Rubies to Highlight Program
RALEIGH, NC — Carolina Ballet opens its 16th season October 10, 2013 with a program of ballets by George Balanchine, arguably the greatest choreographer of the 20th century and founding artistic director of New York City Ballet. The program includes five ballets that show the diversity of Balanchine’s artistry – Raymonda Variations, Steadfast Tin Soldier, A La Francaix, Rondo alla Zingarese, and Rubies from Jewels. The program will be presented at the A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh October 10-27, 2013. The schedule of performances is as follows:
Thursday, October 10 at 8:00pm
Friday, October 11 at 8:00pm
Saturday, October 12, 19 & 26 at 2:00pm & 8:00pm
Sunday, October 13, 20, & 27 at 2:00pm
Carolina Ballet’s artistic director, Robert Weiss studied ballet at the School of American Ballet from the time he was 8 years old until he was taken into New York City Ballet by George Balanchine at age 17. It is no wonder, then, that when he founded Carolina Ballet and presented the company’s first program in October 1998 that he chose an All-Balanchine Program – it was what he knew. At the time the Charlotte Observer critic wrote that watching Carolina Ballet’s inaugural production was like “catching a tour stop by the New York City Ballet.” During the past fifteen seasons, Carolina Ballet has introduced a number of different Balanchine ballets to the Triangle area audiences building a repertoire of 22 Balanchine ballets.
For this first program of the 2013-2014 season, Weiss has chosen to reprise Rubies to Igor Stravinsky’s “Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra,” one of the ballets that makes up a ballet in three parts called Jewels. Robert Weiss says “Rubies has always been my favorite of the “Jewels” ballets. As I watched George Balanchine choreograph it in 1967, I was struck by how truly American it was, a totally classical ballet that really incorporated jazz in a seamless manner.” The original bejeweled costumes created by designer Karinska have been faithfully replicated for this production by Carolina Ballet’s wardrobe department.
Balanchine choreographed Raymonda Variations in 1961 to Alexander Glazounov’s “Raymonda,” which New York City Ballet explains, “provided Mr. Balanchine with a rich, musical floor of variations, adagios, codas and finales on which to base his own brilliant or rhythmic or tender balletic inventions.” Weiss says that it is a wonderful ballet in which he is able to showcase the soloists in his company. When Carolina Ballet presented Raymonda Variations in 2008, the New & Observer critic wrote “Carolina Ballet’s principals are always up for the demands of Balanchine’s choreography, with its ceaseless athleticism and complex musicality. This ballet’s nine solo variations underscore the charisma and technical prowess of the company’s less frequently spotlighted soloists.”
The other three ballets on the program offer a look at a lighter, humorous side of Balanchine in A La Francaix choreographed in 1951 to music of Jean Francaix; the tender poignant side in Steadfast Tin Soldier (1975) a pas de deux taken from a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale to music of Georges Bizet; and the wild and exhilarating Balanchine with Rondo Alla Zingarese from the fourth movement of Brahms “Schoenberg Quartet.” A former New York City Ballet dancer says “it leaves you on the edge of your seat.”
Single tickets for Balanchine’s Rubies may be purchased through the Carolina Ballet box office at 919 719-0900, through Ticketmaster at 800 982-2787, or on the Carolina Ballet website. Individual tickets range from $30-68 and there is a $10 student rush ticket that may be purchased with a student ID one half hour before the show. Saturday matinee’s tickets are discounted to $25-58.
After fifteen seasons, Carolina Ballet, Inc. takes its place among America’s premier arts organizations. Under the innovative direction of artistic director Robert Weiss, a talented company, fiscally responsible management and community support, Carolina Ballet continues to expose audiences to traditional ballet by legendary masters and new works of contemporary choreographers. The company reflects the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and ever-increasing quality of life experienced in North Carolina.