CAROLINA BALLET TO PRESENT BEAUTY AND THE BEAST AND WORLD PREMIERE FOR SEASON FINALE ROBERT WEISS’ BEETHOVEN: SYMPHONY NO. 9
RALEIGH, NC — Carolina Ballet closes the 2011-2012 season with the premiere of artistic director Robert Weiss’ Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, and the return of Beauty and the Beast May 17-20, 2012 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. The schedule of performances is as follows:
Thursday, May 17 at 8pm
Friday, May 18 at 8pm
Saturday, May 19 at 2pm and 8pm
Sunday, May 20 at 2pm
Robert Weiss began the choreography for Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 last July during the company’s summer residency. He has been working on it ever since, whenever he could fit it into the busy rehearsal schedule throughout the season. Weiss explains that he first saw the ballet in 1975 choreographed by Maurice Bejart (a very well regarded contemporary European choreographer) in Brussels. The ballet was received with great enthusiasm by the European audience, but Weiss says that he “came away from the performance of Bejart’s interpretation of Beethoven’s masterpiece thinking what it would have been like if a classical choreographer had used that music.” After listening to the music over the intervening years Weiss decided to attempt his own interpretation. He explains that the music has been a great inspiration to him and that each movement is almost a ballet unto itself, culminating in the last movement known as the Choral Symphony which features the widely recognized “Ode to Joy.”
During the past fourteen seasons Carolina Ballet has premiered new choreography for 11 story ballets – including Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Nutcracker, Messiah and Carmen. In 2009 Weiss commissioned a score from Cary resident Karl Moraski for his new ballet of Beauty and the Beast. Moraski accompanies the production on the piano and narrates it as well. He composed the original score for Carolina Ballet’s Cinderella in 2006 which the critics called “a richly romantic and elegant score,” one that is “melodic and danceable.”
The costumes for Beauty and the Beast were designed by David Heuvel, Carolina Ballet’s “principal guest costume designer,” who is Costume Production Director at Ballet West in Salt Lake City. Heuvel first came to Carolina Ballet to coordinate the construction of the costumes for Carolina Ballet’s Nutcracker at five costume shops in the United States and England. He has been creating designs for Carolina Ballet productions since 2002 when he designed the costumes for the premiere of Weiss’ Firebird. Other productions Heuvel has worked on include Swan Lake, The Gardens at Giverny, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Waltzes of old Vienna, The Masque of the Red Death and most recently The Little Mermaid. The scenery is from BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio with additional scenic elements from Jeff A.R. Jones, Carolina Ballet’s resident designer.
Tickets for Beauty and the Beast may be purchased by calling the Carolina Ballet box office at 919 719-0900 or Ticketmaster at 800 982-2787. Ticket prices range from $25-65 and there is a $10 student rush ticket (with current ID) one hour before the show. Group tickets are also available for ten or more patrons at a 20% discount.
About Carolina Ballet
In its fourteenth season, Carolina Ballet, Inc. has taken 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 exposes audiences to traditional ballet by legendary masters and new works of contemporary choreographers. The company represents the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and ever-increasing quality of life experienced here in North Carolina.