American Ballet Theatre Principal, Marcelo Gomes, to perform with The Sarasota Ballet in Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Two Pigeons

Marcelo Gomes in Jorma Elo's Still of King - Photo by Vutti Photography

American Ballet Theatre Principal, Marcelo Gomes, to perform with The Sarasota Ballet in Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Two Pigeons

Marcelo Gomes, Margaret Barbieri, Joseph Volpe and Iain Webb
Marcelo Gomes, Margaret Barbieri, Joseph Volpe and Iain Webb Photo by Vutti Photography

Gomes will perform for the first time in Ashton’s two act romantic masterpiece ‘The Two Pigeons,’ during The Sarasota Ballet’s production of ‘A Tribute to Ashton.’

The Sarasota Ballet announces today that star of American Ballet Theatre (ABT), Marcelo Gomes, will join the Company as a guest artist for its performances of Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Two Pigeons at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall 10 – 11 March 2017.

The Two Pigeons will be performed alongside Ashton’s Scènes de ballet, in a program titled A Tribute to Ashton. This collaboration marks Mr. Gomes’ second visit to Sarasota this Season, having previously performed during The Sarasota Ballet’s Celebration of Two Worlds event which featured stars of ballet and opera, including mezzo-soprano Frederick von Stade.

Marcelo Gomes is one of classical ballet’s most sought-after male dancers, and has performed all over the world as a Principal dancer with ABT and as a guest dancer with companies such as the Bolshoi Ballet, the Mariinsky Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Dutch National Ballet and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures. Iain Webb, Director of The Sarasota Ballet explains “we have admired Marcelo’s performances for many years, more recently in Ratmansky’s Serenade After Plato’s Symposium. However it was after watching Marcelo’s incredible artistry on stage in Celebration of Two Worlds here in Sarasota, that a seed was sewn in our minds.”

Margaret Barbieri, Assistant Director continues “Here is a young man, a beautiful dancers and an amazing artist, just perfect for the role of the Young Man in The Two Pigeons.” This performance by Mr. Gomes marks the first time he will perform in The Two Pigeons, but his understanding of Ashton’s style through his performances with ABT in Cinderella, Sylvia, The Dream and La Fille mal gardée provide a significant foundation for the ballet.

“I’m so excited to be performing The Two Pigeons with The Sarasota Ballet,” says Marcelo.  “This is a ballet I’ve wanted to dance for a very long time, and having the opportunity to work with Margaret and Iain on it, particularly considering their relationship and experience working first hand with Ashton, made this a project I simply couldn’t refuse.”

Joseph Volpe, Executive Director of The Sarasota Ballet says “We want to thank Kevin McKenzie, Director of American Ballet Theatre for letting Marcelo have the time out of ABT’s busy schedule to perform The Two Pigeons with us. I’ve always felt that collaboration between different companies and art forms is an important, yet underused element of the arts, and so to be able to bring Marcelo, Iain, Margaret and The Sarasota Ballet together for these performances is very exciting.”

A native of Brazil, Mr. Gomes joined American Ballet Theatre in 1997 and was promoted to soloist in 2000 and principal dancer in 2002. He has performed in every full-length ballet in the company’s repertoire, and has worked with and/or created leading roles for virtually every major choreographer in the last 18 years including George Balanchine, Mikhail Fokine, Anthony Tudor, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Jerome Robbins, Sir Frederick Ashton, John Cranko, and Martha Graham, Twyla Tharp, John Neumeier, William Forsythe, Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Jiri Kylian, Alexei Ratmansky, Lar Lubovitch, James Kudelka, Nacho Duato, Jorma Elo, Benjamin Millepied, Christopher Wheeldon, and Matthew Bourne.

Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Two Pigeons is an internationally acclaimed two-act ballet first premiered at Covent Garden in 1961 by the touring company of The Royal Ballet. The ballet is a poignant love story with amusing twists and turns that is contrasted by the vivacious and colorful Gypsy scene, and culminates in the young man’s heartwarming return to his true love.

A Tribute to Ashton is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank, Observer Media Group and Sarasota Magazine.

Marcelo Gomes in Jorma Elo's Still of King - Photo by Vutti Photography
Marcelo Gomes in Jorma Elo’s Still of King – Photo by Vutti Photography

Performance Schedule and Ticket Information

A TRIBUTE TO ASHTON   |   10 – 11 March 2017   |   Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Featuring Sir Frederick Ashton’s Scènes de ballet and The Two Pigeons.

Friday, 10 March 2017 at 7:30 PM – Marcelo Gomes and Victoria Hulland in The Two Pigeons

Saturday, 11 March 2017 at 2:00 PM – Ricardo Rhodes and Ryoko Sadoshima in The Two Pigeons

Saturday, 11 March 2017 at 7:30 PM – Marcelo Gomes and Victoria Hulland in The Two Pigeons

Single Tickets

Individual tickets for The Sarasota Ballet’s 2016-2017 Season, starting at $30, are on sale now online or by calling 941.359.0099.

About The Sarasota Ballet

Since 1990, the mission of The Sarasota Ballet has been enriching lives, captivating emotions and strengthening the community through the art of dance. Under the leadership of Director Iain Webb, the company’s expanded repertoire includes works by world-renowned choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Christopher Bruce, Dame Ninette de Valois, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, John Cranko, Hans van Manen, André Prokovsky, Dominic Walsh, Christopher Wheeldon and Sir Matthew Bourne. Receiving national and international recognition for its diverse repertoire of rarely performed ballets, The Sarasota Ballet received rave reviews during the Sir Frederick Ashton Festival, which highlighted 14 of the famed choreographer’s ballets and divertissements in 4 days. In the last five years, The Sarasota Ballet was invited to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. twice, performed in the Fall for Dance Festival at the City Center, and presented a week-long program run at the historic Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. In August 2016, The Sarasota Ballet made their Joyce Theater premiere in New York City featuring an all-Ashton program.

Marcelo Gomes in Jorma Elo's Still of King - Photography Frank Atura
Marcelo Gomes in Jorma Elo’s Still of King – Photography Frank Atura

The Sarasota Ballet performs Jewels, Balanchine’s Full-Length Masterpiece

The Sarasota Ballet performs Jewels, Balanchine’s Full-Length Masterpiece

Balanchine’s glorious Jewels provides a unique and exquisite treat for the holiday season with its beautiful and mesmerizing choreography and costumes.

George Balanchine’s Jewels opens at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on December 16, marking the first time The Sarasota Ballet will perform Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds together, creating Balanchine’s iconic masterpiece. Returning to Sarasota for these performances is American Ballet Theatre’s Music Director Ormsby Wilkins, who will conduct the Sarasota Orchestra as the Ballet’s guest conductor.

In performing Jewels, The Sarasota Ballet joins such major national and international companies as New York City Ballet, The Royal Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet and Mariinsky Ballet, who have performed this work. “For many years, the true test of a ballet company was whether they could stage a full-length production of Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty. Nowadays, most consider being given permission to perform Mr. Balanchine’s Jewels as this generation’s test,” explains Director Iain Webb. “We are honored and truly humbled by the faith and belief the Balanchine Trust has in our Company—in giving us permission to perform this incredible ballet.”

“It is open to doubt whether even George Balanchine has ever created a work in which the inspiration was so sustained, the invention so imaginative or the concept so magnificent as in the three-act ballet that had its world première at the New York State Theater last night.” These were the words The New York Times dance critic Clive Barnes penned after the world premiere of Jewels. This ballet, in three parts, presents a miniature history of classical dance with references to ballet’s French origins, Russia’s imperial style, the new age of Jazz in America, and Balanchine’s own take on the art form. This first ballet, Emeralds evokes the elegance of France while Rubies was influenced by Balanchine’s own experiences in America, and the grandeur and regality of Imperial Russia were the inspiration for the third ballet, Diamonds, a nod to Balanchine’s own heritage.

“Jewels is a truly mesmerizing ballet, it is a treat for our dancers and audience alike,” says Assistant Director Margaret Barbieri. “For the dancers its choreography is challenging and rewarding and the audience will find its beauty irresistible. I know I have found myself often spellbound in the studio during rehearsals by the artistry of Balanchine’s evocative and engaging choreography.”

As the final program of 2016 by The Sarasota Ballet, Jewels is an unparalleled way to celebrate the holiday season and bring in the New Year.

George Balanchine’s Jewels is sponsored by BMO Private Bank and Scene Magazine.

For more information, please visit the website or call the box office at 941.359.0099.

Performance Schedule and Ticket Information

George Balanchine’s Jewels Featuring Emeralds (music by Gabriel Fauré, Pelléas et Mélisande and Shylock), Rubies (music by Igor Stravinsky, Capriccio for Piano & Orchestra) and Diamonds (music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 3 in D major)

Friday, December 16, 2016 at 7:30 PM Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 2:00 PM Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 7:30 PM

Subscription Tickets

Subscription packages to The Sarasota Ballet’s 2016-2017 Season are still on sale and range from $100 – $734.  For information, please visit the website or call the box office at (941) 359-0099 Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm.

Single Tickets

Individual tickets for The Sarasota Ballet’s 2016-2017 Season, starting at $30, are on sale now online and by calling 941.359.0099.

About The Sarasota Ballet

Since 1990, the mission of The Sarasota Ballet has been enriching lives, captivating emotions and strengthening the community through the art of dance. Under the leadership of Director Iain Webb, the company’s expanded repertoire includes works by world-renowned choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Christopher Bruce, Dame Ninette de Valois, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, John Cranko, Hans van Manen, André Prokovsky, Dominic Walsh, Christopher Wheeldon and Sir Matthew Bourne. Receiving national and international recognition for its diverse repertoire of rarely performed ballets, The Sarasota Ballet received rave reviews during the Sir Frederick Ashton Festival, which highlighted 14 of the famed choreographer’s ballets and divertissements in 4 days.

In the last five years, The Sarasota Ballet was invited to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. twice, performed in the Fall for Dance Festival at the City Center, and presented a week-long program run at the historic Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. In August 2016, The Sarasota Ballet made their Joyce Theater premiere in New York City featuring an all-Ashton program titled A Knight of the British Ballet.

Sarasota Ballet Presents A Celebration of Two Worlds, Music and Dance

Sarasota Ballet Presents A Celebration of Two Worlds, Music and Dance

An elegant and thrilling evening of opera and ballet

Bringing world-class performers to the Suncoast area, The Sarasota Ballet announced today they will hold the first annual Celebration of Two Worlds event on January 8, 2017 at the Sarasota Opera House.  This one-of-a-kind event will feature performances by the internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Frederica Von Stade, composer and pianist Jake Heggie, principal dancers of American Ballet Theatre Gillian Murphy, Marcelo Gomes and Daniil Simkin, a special presentation by The Sarasota Ballet company members and other guest artists from American Ballet Theatre.

“We are thrilled to bring such amazing artists together for this unique evening of opera and ballet,” said Director Iain Webb.  “It will not only be a treat for the Sarasota community, but also to our dancers who will have the opportunity to share the stage with some of the greatest performers working today.”

Tickets for Celebration of Two Worlds start at $500 per person and part of the proceeds will be used to establish a benevolent fund to help company members when they experience economic hardships.

“We wanted to create an event for the Sarasota community that we have never presented before,” said Executive Director Joseph Volpe.  “The evening will be an exquisite representation of the classical art forms – music, opera and dance – and will give our community an opportunity to experience and witness some of the greatest artists in the world today.”

Chaired by Board Member Lynda Doery and Aubrey Robbins, the evening will celebrate the uniting of two worlds – music and dance. This truly one-of-a-kind evening will begin with the performance at the Sarasota Opera House and includes transportation to and from an elegant dinner at The Ritz Carlton, Sarasota following the program.

“This is The Sarasota Ballet’s gift to the community,” said Robbins.  “Instead of having an honoree, we would like to celebrate the rich culture of Sarasota.”

For additional information and reservations to this one-of-a-kind event, contact Development Director Janet Ginn at 941-225-6504 or email her at jginn@sarasotaballet.org.

About The Sarasota Ballet

Since 1990, the mission of The Sarasota Ballet has been enriching lives, captivating emotions and strengthening the community through the art of dance. The Sarasota Ballet was founded in 1987 by Jean Weidner Goldstein as a presenting organization with the goal of becoming a full resident ballet company.  This dream was fully realized in 2007 with the appointment of the Company’s latest director, Iain Webb.

Together with his wife Margaret Barbieri, Assistant Director and former principal dancer at The Royal Ballet, Webb has revolutionized the Company’s repertoire, introducing 140 ballets and divertissements, including works by world-renowned choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Christopher Bruce, Dame Ninette de Valois, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, John Cranko, Hans van Manen, André Prokovsky, Dominic Walsh, Christopher Wheeldon and Matthew Bourne.  Several of these ballets have received their US premieres with the Company.

Receiving national and international recognition for their diverse repertoire of rarely performed ballets, The Sarasota Ballet received rave reviews during the Sir Frederick Ashton Festival, which highlighted 14 of the famed choreographer’s ballets and divertissements in 4 days.

In the last five years, The Sarasota Ballet was invited to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. twice, performed in the Fall for Dance Festival at the City Center, the historic Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and recently presented a week-long program run at The Joyce Theater in New York City featuring an all-Ashton program titled A Knight of the British Ballet.  Webb celebrates a decade as director as part of the 2016-2017 Season.  For more information, please visit the website or call (941) 359-0099.

KARIN VON AROLDINGEN AND JEAN-PIERRE BONNEFOUX TO TAPE VIDEO SERIES

KARIN VON AROLDINGEN AND JEAN-PIERRE BONNEFOUX TO TAPE VIDEO SERIES FOR THE GEORGE BALANCHINE FOUNDATION

 

Former New York City Ballet principals to be taped coaching roles created for them by George Balanchine

 

New York City Karin von Aroldingen and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, former principal dancers with the New York City Ballet, will coach selections from Stravinsky Violin Concerto (originally titled Violin Concerto) for The George Balanchine Foundation’s Interpreters Archive.  The ballet, created for them, as well as for Kay Mazzo and Peter Martins, for the New York City Ballet’s Stravinsky Festival in 1972, proved an instant success.

The aim of the Balanchine Foundation’s Interpreters Archive video series is to document the insights of dancers, often principals from the original casts, who worked closely in the studio with Balanchine on his greatest ballets. The archive’s mission is to preserve this knowledge and pass it on to the dancers, scholars and audiences of today.

The George Balanchine Foundation’s Video Archives are available through many public and university libraries throughout the world. In addition, the interview components of the series are publically available on the Balanchine Foundation’s YouTube Channel. The filming will take place on Monday, September 26th, 2016, at the New York City Ballet studios in the Rose Building, Lincoln Center, New York City.

 

Von Aroldingen and Bonnefoux will work with NYCB principal dancers Rebecca Krohn and Amar Ramasar on excerpts from the opening Toccata, the Capriccio, and most notably the complete Aria I, one of the ballet’s two central pas de deux. (Aria II was coached on camera by Mazzo and Martins for the Interpreters Archive in 2012.)  Nancy McDill, solo pianist of the New York City Ballet Orchestra, will accompany the coaching, and Elizabeth Kendall, author, dance critic and scholar, will conclude by interviewing von Aroldingen and Bonnefoux.  The project has been organized by Paul Boos, répétiteur of the Balanchine Trust.  The taping session will be supervised by Nancy Reynolds, the Foundation’s director of research, assisted by former film professor Virginia Brooks and filmmaker Gus Reed.

 

Stravinsky’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major (1931) was first choreographed by Balanchine as Balustrade for the Original Ballet Russe in 1941.  Save for a few snippets of performance film, that ballet has been lost.  To the same music but with completely different choreography, Balanchine created Violin Concerto more than thirty years later for NYCB. Within the Stravinsky/Balanchine canon this later version is considered an ingenious neoclassical masterpiece, rigorous in its musicality while laced with unexpected Russian (Georgian) folk references.  

The career of KARIN VON AROLDINGEN, former NYCB principal dancer, spans 22 years with the company, from 1962 to her retirement from dancing in 1984; and a further thirty years as one of the company’s ballet masters. She began her studies in Berlin with Tatiana Gsovsky, working in the Russian classical tradition, and she studied modern, folk dancing, and jazz as well.

 

Von Aroldingen joined American Festival Ballet at 16 and, soon after, Frankfurt Ballet, where at 17 she was cast opposite Lotte Lenya as Anna in Seven Deadly Sins. It was Lenya who introduced the teen-aged von Aroldingen to Balanchine, who invited her to join NYCB.  She entered the corps de ballet in 1962, was promoted to soloist in 1967, and named principal dancer in 1972. Balanchine choreographed many roles for von Aroldingen, most importantly Who Cares?, the Elégie of Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3Stravinsky Violin ConcertoVariations Pour Une Porte et Un SoupirUnion Jack, Vienna WaltzesKammermusik No. 2, and Robert Schumann’s ‘Davidsbündlertänze.’

 

Von Aroldingen coached leading roles from Davidsbündlertänze for the Balanchine Foundation Video Archives in 2000 and the Suite No. 3 Elégie and her solo and pas de deux from Who Cares? earlier in 2016.  Currently she is a trustee of the Balanchine Trust, which oversees the licensing of Balanchine’s ballets worldwide.

 

JEAN-PIERRE BONNEFOUX (formerly BONNEFOUS) began his dance career with the Paris Opera Ballet and later performed with the Bolshoi and Kirov companies. In 1970 he joined NYCB as principal dancer. During his tenure, Balanchine created roles for him in several ballets, including Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Cortège Hongrois, Sonatine, and Union Jack; Jerome Robbins’s choreography for him included Beethoven Pas de Deux and An Evening’s Waltzes. In 1977 Bonnefoux joined the faculty of the School of American Ballet (SAB).

 

Since his retirement from the stage in 1980, Bonnefoux has served as choreographer and ballet master for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, as chairman and artistic director of the Ballet Department of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and as choreographer and teacher at the company and school of the Chautauqua Institute in western New York state, where he remains on the faculty. Since 1996 he has been artistic director of the North Carolina Dance Theater, based in Charlotte, NC. His choreographic works include Carmina Burana, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Shindig. In 2014, the company was renamed Charlotte Ballet.

 

In 2015 Bonnefoux was recorded with the late Violette Verdy coaching Sonatine for the GBF’s IA video series.

 

REBECCA KROHN was born in Vestal, New York. In 1995, she entered SAB as a scholarship student.  Krohn became an apprentice with NYCB in the fall of 1998 and joined the corps de ballet in spring 1999. She was promoted in March 2006 to soloist and to principal in May 2012. Krohn was included in the Interpreters Archive’s principal cast of Stravinsky Violin Concerto.

 

AMAR RAMASAR was born in the Bronx, New York. He began his studies at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of NYCB, in 1993. In addition, he studied at the American Ballet Theatre Summer Program and The Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet.  In July 2000, Ramasar became an apprentice with NYCB, and in July 2001 he joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet. In March of 2006 he was promoted to soloist and in October 2009 to principal dancer.

 

ELIZABETH KENDALL is a dance and culture critic and an associate professor of Writing/Literary Studies at New York’s New School (Eugene Lang College and Liberal Studies graduate faculties).  Her book Balanchine and the Lost Muse:  Revolution and the Making of a Choreographer was published in July, 2013, by Oxford U. Press (paperback summer 2015).  She has also written Where She Danced, (Knopf & U. of California Press); The Runaway Bride: Hollywood Romantic Comedy of the l930’s (Knopf & Cooper Square Press), two memoirs, American Daughter (Random House, 2000) and Autobiography of a Wardrobe (Pantheon and Anchor/Doubleday, 2006), and magazine, newspaper and journal articles.  She has received fellowships from the Rockefeller, Guggenheim, and Fulbright Foundations, NYPL’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, the Likhachev Foundation of Russia, and the Leon Levy Center for Biography.  She is at work on an experimental biography of Balanchine.

 

PAUL BOOS is a former dancer with NYCB and répétiteur for the George Balanchine Trust.  His Balanchine stagings for the Trust have been performed by such internationally known companies as the Mariinsky, Bolshoi, Paris Opera, La Scala, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Boston Ballet.  He also guest teaches abroad and locally.  In 2015 Paul became the Balanchine Foundation’s Video Archives Project Associate.

 

NANCY REYNOLDS, a former dancer with NYCB, has been director of research for The George Balanchine Foundation since 1994. She conceived and continues to direct the Video Archives program. Her most recent books are No Fixed Points: Dance in the Twentieth Century (co-authored with Malcolm McCormick) and Remembering Lincoln.  In 2013 she received a “Bessie” award for “outstanding service to the field of dance.”

 

VIRGINIA BROOKS, Professor Emerita of Film at Brooklyn College/CUNY and director of several dance documentaries, has been editor of the Balanchine Foundation’s Video Archives since its inception in 1994.

 

GUS REED, a New York City-based filmmaker, specializes in capturing and editing dance. His recent projects include videos for NYCB’s “Project Ballet” initiative, the Jerome Robbins Foundation, Emery LeCrone Dance and the Liz Gerring Dance Company. Gus has been associated with GBF since the fall of 2014, and is an editor of the Balanchine Foundation’s Video Archives.

 

The George Balanchine Foundation is a not for profit corporation established in 1983. Its mission is to create programs that educate the public and further Balanchine’s work and aesthetic, with the goal of advancing high standards of excellence in dance and its allied arts. Among the Foundation’s major initiatives are the Video Archives in which dancers who worked closely with Balanchine teach and coach their roles to the dancers of today (Interpreters Archive) or recreate Balanchine ballets that are rarely performed and in danger of disappearing (Archive of Lost Choreography). Legendary dancers who have taken part in this project include Alicia Alonso,  Jacques d’Amboise,  Suzanne Farrell, Frederic Franklin, Melissa Hayden, Allegra Kent,  Alicia Markova,  Peter Martins,   Patricia McBride, Maria Tallchief,  Violette Verdy, Edward Villella, and others working with leading dancers from such companies as New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, among others.

In 2007 the Foundation announced the completion of another major initiative, the online publication of the Balanchine Catalogue, a fully searchable database giving first-performance details of all known dances created by Balanchine, supplemented by lists of companies staging the ballets, a bibliography, a videography, reference resources, a database of roles Balanchine performed, and additional related materials .  The project was made possible by a leadership grant from The Jerome Robbins Foundation

PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET PRESENTS TRICOLORE

PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET PRESENTS TRICOLORE

Season-Opening Salute to France and Paris Opera Ballet

Featuring Works by Benjamin Millepied and George Balanchine

 

September 23 – October 2, 2016

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center

Seattle, WA 98109

 

September 23 at 6:30 pm

September 24 at 2:00 and 7:30 pm

September 29 – October 1 at 7:30 pm

October 2 at 1:00 pm

 

SEATTLE, WA – Pacific Northwest Ballet raises the curtain for its 44th season with TRICOLORE, a balletic ode to all things French. The program opens with the company’s chic3 Movements, commissioned by PNB in 2008 and choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, artistic director of LA Dance Project and former artistic director of Paris Opera Ballet. (In 2010, Mr. Millepied choreographed the Oscar-nominated Black Swan.) A big fan of PNB, Millepied has returned to set his Appassionata on the company. The program closes with George Balanchine’s masterpiece, Symphony in C, originally created in 1947 for the Paris Opera Ballet. TRICOLORE is a fine French feast: aperitif, entrée, and elegant dessert. Bon appétit!

 

TRICOLORE runs for seven performances only, September 23 through October 2 at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets start at $30. For more information, contact the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424, in person at 301 Mercer Street, or online.

 

The line-up for TRICOLORE will include:

 

3 Movements

Music: Steve Reich (Three Movements for Orchestra, 1986)

Choreography: Benjamin Millepied

Scenic Design: Benjamin Millepied

Costume Design: Isabella Boylston, assisted by Larae Theige Hascall

Lighting Design: Brad Fields

Running Time: 16 minutes

Premiere: November 6, 2008, Pacific Northwest Ballet

 

Choreographed in 2008, 3 Movements is Benjamin Millepied’s first work for Pacific Northwest Ballet. The dance features a large ensemble performing to Steve Reich’s massive and driving Three Movements for Orchestra.

 

Appassionata (PNB Premiere)

Music: Ludwig van Beethoven (Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57, c. 1804-1806)

Choreography: Benjamin Millepied

Staging: Sebastien Marcovici and Janie Taylor

Scenic and Lighting Design: Lucy Carter

Costume Design: Alessandro Sartori

Lighting Supervision: Emma Jones

Running Time: 32 minutes

Premiere: February 5, 2016, Paris Opera Ballet (originally titled La nuit s’achève. Renamed Appassionata for PNB premiere.)

 

Benjamin Millepied’s Appassionata was choreographed for Paris Opera Ballet and premiered in February 2016 with the title La nuit s’achève (“The night ends”). For Pacific Northwest Ballet’s staging, Millepied has renamed the ballet in reference to Beethoven’s iconic, late-classical piano sonata to which the dance for three couples is set. Sonata No. 23 in F minor is one of three celebrated sonatas from Beethoven’s middle period. The music is some of his most technically challenging and the mood is tempestuous; the sonata was composed just after he came to terms with his inevitable hearing loss in 1803. The title “Appassionata” (meaning “passionate” in Italian) was not given to the work during Beethoven’s lifetime, but rather was a label added by the publisher of a four-hand arrangement in 1838. Appassionata is the second work by Benjamin Millepied to enter Pacific Northwest Ballet’s repertory. [Notes by Doug Fullington.]

 

Symphony in C

Music: Georges Bizet (Symphony No. 1 in C Major, 1855)

Choreography: George Balanchine © The School of American Ballet

Costume Design: Mark Zappone

Lighting Design: Randall G. Chiarelli

Running Time: 36 minutes

Premiere: July 28, 1947, Paris Opera Ballet (originally titled Le Palais de Cristal); March 22, 1948, New York City Ballet (renamed Symphony in C)

PNB Premiere: March 25, 1987

 

Bizet composed his Symphony in C Major when he was a 17-year-old pupil of Charles Gounod at the Paris Conservatory. The manuscript was lost for decades and was published only after it was discovered in the Conservatory’s library in 1933. Balanchine first learned of the long-vanished score from Stravinsky. In only two weeks, he choreographed the work as Le Palais de Cristal for the Paris Opera Ballet, where he was serving as a guest ballet master in 1947. Each movement of that original production featured the name of a precious stone, with costumes colored to match, a conceit to which Balanchine would return in 1967 with Jewels. The first movement was Emerald, the second Black Diamond, the third Ruby, and the fourth Pearl. When Balanchine revived the work the following year for the first performance of New York City Ballet, he simplified the scenery and costumes and changed the title to Symphony in C.

 

Following the structure of the symphony, the ballet is in four movements, each featuring a different ballerina, cavalier, and corps de ballet. The first movement is formal and regal. The second movement features one of Balanchine’s greatest pas de deux, and its ballerina role is considered one of the most privileged in all the Balanchine repertory. The third and fourth movements feature bravura allegro dancing. The entire cast of 48 dancers gathers for the impressive finale. [Notes by Doug Fullington.]

 

TICKET INFORMATION & DISCOUNT OFFERS

 

Tickets ($30-$187) may be purchased through the PNB Box Office:

  • Phone – 206.441.2424 (Mon.-Fri. 10am–6pm; Sat. 10am–5pm)
  • In Person – 301 Mercer Street, Seattle (Mon.-Fri. 10am–6pm; Sat. 10am–5pm)
  • Online – PNB.org (24/7)

Subject to availability, tickets are also available 90 minutes prior to show times at McCaw Hall.

 

GROUP SALES

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For group tickets, please call Group Sales Manager Julie Jamieson at 206.441.2416, email JulieJ@PNB.org or use PNB’s online contact form at PNB.org/Season/GroupTickets.

 

GET THE POINTE

The Pointe is PNB’s exclusive mailing list for ballet fans between the ages of 20 and 40. Members of The Pointe receive information about special events and flash sales just for them. Born between 1976 and 1996? Visit PNB.org and click on “Offers” for more information and to get The Pointe.

 

TEENTIX

PNB is a proud participant of TeenTix. Founded by Seattle Center, TeenTix’s members (13 to 19 years old) can purchase tickets to PNB and other music, dance, theater and arts events for only $5. To join TeenTix or view a list of participating organizations, visit teentix.org.

 

STUDENT AND SENIOR RUSH TICKETS

Subject to availability, half-price rush tickets for students and senior citizens (65+) may be purchased in-person with ID, from 90 minutes prior to show time at the McCaw Hall box office.

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

 

FRIDAY PREVIEW

Friday, September 16, 5:00 pm

The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer St., Seattle

PNB’s popular Friday Previews are hour-long studio rehearsals hosted by Artistic Director Peter Boal and PNB artistic staff, featuring Company dancers rehearsing excerpts from upcoming ballets. Tickets are $15. (Note: These events usually sell out in advance.)  Friday Previews are sponsored by U.S. Bank.

 

BENJAMIN MILLEPIED LIVE-STREAM

Wednesday, September 21, 6:30 pm PST

Join Pacific Northwest Ballet online for an on-stage rehearsal with Benjamin Millepied, live from Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall. Mr. Millepied will be rehearsing excerpts from 3 Movements (created for PNB in 2008) and Appassionata (created for Paris Opera Ballet in 2016) with the Company. Visit PNB.org/live for more information.

 

LECTURE SERIES & DRESS REHEARSAL

Thursday, September 22

Lecture 6:00 pm, Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Dress Rehearsal 7:00 pm, McCaw Hall

Join Artistic Director Peter Boal in conversation with choreographer Benjamin Millepied during the hour preceding the dress rehearsal. Attend the lecture only or stay for the rehearsal. Tickets are $15 for the lecture, or $30 for the lecture and dress rehearsal. Tickets may be purchased through the PNB Box Office.

 

FIRST LOOK GALA

Friday, September 23, 2016

Celebrate the opening night of PNB’s 44th season with an elegant cocktail reception, a black-tie backstage dinner post-show, followed by dessert and dancing onstage! Featuring special guest of honor Benjamin Millepied (artistic director of LA Dance Project and former artistic director of Paris Opera Ballet). FIRST LOOK tickets start at $400 (performance tickets sold separately) and are available through PNB Special Events, 206.441.2429 or Events@PNB.org.

 

Pre-Performance Lectures

Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Join Audience Education Manager Doug Fullington for a 30-minute introduction to each performance, including discussions of choreography, music, history, design and the process of bringing ballet to the stage. One hour before performances. FREE for ticketholders.

 

Post-Performance Q&A

Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Skip the post-show traffic and enjoy a Q&A with Artistic Director Peter Boal and PNB dancers, immediately following each performance. FREE for ticketholders. (No Q&A on Fri., 9/23.)

 

YOUNG PATRONS CIRCLE NIGHT

Friday, September 30 Join members of PNB’s Young Patrons Circle (YPC) in an exclusive lounge for complimentary wine and coffee before the show and at intermission. YPC is PNB’s social and educational group for ballet patrons ages 21 through 39. For more info, visit PNB.org and search for “YPC.”

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

 

Benjamin Millepied (born 1977) is a world-renowned choreographer, dancer, and rising filmmaker. His ballets are in the repertory of major dance companies around the world, including New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Mariinsky Ballet, Ballet de Geneve, Lyon Opera Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, among others. His collaborators include composers and artists such as Nico Muhly, David Lang, Christopher Wool, Barbara Kruger, Paul Cox, Rodarte, Theirry Escaich, and Santiago Calatrava. In 2010, Millepied choreographed and starred in the award-winning film Black Swan. During the same year that he co-founded The Amoveo Company, 2012, he also founded the Los Angeles Dance Project. Since then, he has directed a number of short films in collaboration with various artists, including Mark Bradford, Philip Glass, IO Echo, Lil Buck, Zeds Dead, Forest Swords, and others. In January 2013, the Paris Opera Ballet announced Millepied’s appointment as its new director. In February 2016, he resigned from his position to embark on new projects.

 

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, George Balanchine (1904-1983) is regarded as the foremost contemporary choreographer in the world of ballet. He came to the United States in late 1933, at the age of 29, accepting the invitation of the young American arts patron Lincoln Kirstein (1907-1996), whose great passions included the dream of creating a ballet company in America. At Balanchine’s behest, the School of American Ballet was founded in 1934, the first product of the Balanchine-Kirstein collaboration. Several ballet companies directed by the two were created and dissolved in the years that followed, while Balanchine found other outlets for his choreography. Eventually, with a performance on October 11, 1948, the New York City Ballet was born. Balanchine served as its ballet master and principal choreographer from 1948 until his death in 1983. His final ballet, a new version of Stravinsky’s Variations for Orchestra , was created in 1982.  He also choreographed for films, operas, revues, and musicals.  Among his best-known dances for the stage is Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, originally created for Broadway’s On Your Toes (1936). A major artistic figure of the twentieth century, Balanchine revolutionized the look of classical ballet. Taking classicism as his base, he heightened, quickened, expanded, streamlined, and even inverted the fundamentals of the 400-year-old language of academic dance. This had an inestimable influence on the growth of dance in America. Although at first his style seemed particularly suited to the energy and speed of American dancers, especially those he trained, his ballets are now performed by all the major classical ballet companies throughout the world. [Copyright © 2002 The George Balanchine Foundation. Reprinted by permission.]

 

TRICOLORE is made possible by presenting sponsors Jeffrey & Susan Brotman. Media sponsor is KUOW 94.9 fm. The 2008 world premiere of Benjamin Millepied’s 3 Movements was commissioned in part by The Joyce Theater’s Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work and Mr. & Mrs. Robert W. Cremin. The 2016 PNB premiere of Benjamin Millepied’s Appassionata is generously underwritten by Jeffrey & Susan Brotman. The works of George Balanchine performed by Pacific Northwest Ballet, including Symphony in C, are made possible in part by The Louise Nadeau Endowed Fund. Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2016-2017 season is proudly sponsored by ArtsFund and Microsoft. Special thanks also to season partners 4Culture, The Hearst Foundations, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, The Shubert Foundation, and The Wallace Foundation.

 

Schedule and programming subject to change.

 

Sarasota Ballet Announces Interim Managing Director and National Search

Sarasota Ballet Announces Interim Managing Director and National Search

Joseph Volpe, Retired GM of The Metropolitan Opera Named Interim Managing Director at The Sarasota Ballet

Sarasota, FL (February 18, 2016) – The Board of Directors of Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Inc. announced Joseph Volpe, retired General Manager of The Metropolitan Opera and theater and management consultant, is taking a leave of absence from The Sarasota Ballet board to serve as Interim Managing Director. The search for a permanent Managing Director will be led by board chair, Hillary Steele, Mr. Volpe and Iain Webb.

The Sarasota Ballet, under the leadership of Director Iain Webb, has increased the quality and quantity of productions attracting critical acclaim and invitations to perform in prestigious venues and festivals including Fall for Dance Festival in New York City, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and this coming August at The Joyce Theater in Manhattan. “The requirements of the Managing Director position have expanded, and The Ballet is seeking someone with production experience and national connections in the performing arts to compliment the financial management skills of the position,” said Steele.

Audiences and critics have embraced The Sarasota Ballet for their ambitious repertoire including works by some of the greatest choreographers in the dance world, such as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Michel Fokine, Matthew Bourne and Christopher Wheeldon, to name only a few. Several of these ballets have received their American premieres with The Sarasota Ballet and the Company has been integral in bringing rarely seen ballets to today’s audiences. In addition, The Sarasota Ballet continues to push the art form forward by commissioning new works, both from budding choreographers from within the Company and established choreographers from around the globe. “Together with Iain, Margaret Barbieri, Assistant Director, our amazing dancers and enthusiastic support of this region, The Sarasota Ballet has become a force – and the successful candidate for the Managing Director position will build on that momentum,” said Volpe.

Joseph Volpe joined the board of The Sarasota Ballet in 2014 after a long history in the world of the performing arts. He spent 42 years working at The Metropolitan Opera rising from apprentice carpenter to General Manager from 1990-2006. In that role Volpe expanded the length of The Met repertory season as well as the number of new productions. There were 4 world premieres, 22 Met premieres, 4 commissions and expanded international touring activities. His term was characterized by sound fiscal management, fresh customer service initiatives and no contract disputes for over three decades of his leadership in contract negotiations.

He conceived and developed “Met Titles,” an innovative titling system providing multilingual translations of the operas on the backs of each seat, visible only to the individual audience members who wish to utilize them and initiated the development of Tessitura, a management software program for targeted marketing and fundraising appeals, which is now licensed to more than 200 companies worldwide.

In 1998, Volpe instituted an education outreach project for young children in cooperation with the City of New York Department of Education emphasizing direct experience with music and opera for students. He also established a partnership with the University of Connecticut that provides students from music and drama departments with behind-the-scenes access to the creative and technical processes that bring the opera to life on The Met stage.

Volpe retired from The Met in July of 2006, leaving the company with a strong administration, an endowment fund that had increased from $100 million to $345 million and exceptional artistic plans for the future. Since that time, Volpe consulted for two years with Giuliani Partners. Currently, he consults with Theatre Projects Consultants providing comprehensive advice from project conception and design to daily operations and fiscal management. Volpe helps major arts organization and universities as they plan a move into new facilities or address the reorganization and renovation of existing ones. He also serves as a Senior Consultant for Hudson Scenic Studios advising on all aspects of management, labor negotiation and strategic planning and heads The Volpe Group, Ltd, his own theater and management consulting firm.

Volpe taught a course entitled, “Managing in the Performing Arts” for five years at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He has been a guest lecturer at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, Georgetown, SUNY Purchase, Harvard and Oxford University. He has received honorary degrees from numerous universities, including Georgetown University, Fordham University and Hamilton College.

Joseph Volpe is the author of The Toughest Show on Earth, My Rise and Reign at The Metropolitan Opera, published by Random House in 2006.

“This is an exhilarating time for the Company and I feel confident that we will find someone who shares my artistic vision, our ambitious program and the enthusiasm of Sarasota’s audiences to join this team,” said Director Iain Webb.

About The Sarasota Ballet

Since 1990 The Sarasota Ballet’s mission is to enrich lives, captivate emotions and strengthen the community through the art of dance. Under the leadership of Director Iain Webb, the company’s expanded repertoire includes works by world-renowned choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Christopher Bruce, Dame Ninette de Valois, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, John Cranko, Hans van Manen, André Prokovsky, Dominic Walsh, Christopher Wheeldon and Matthew Bourne

BOSTON BALLET TO HONOR ARTISTIC LEGACY OF CHOREOGRAPHER LEONID YAKOBSON

BOSTON BALLET TO HONOR ARTISTIC LEGACY OF CHOREOGRAPHER LEONID YAKOBSON

 

WORKS TO BE PERFORMED AT THREE VENUES THROUGHOUT THE 2015-2016 SEASON:

BB@HOME, FALL FOR DANCE FESTIVAL, AND BOSTON OPERA HOUSE

 

Boston, MA – Boston Ballet announces three performances to honor the legacy of Leonid Yakobson as an innovative and progressive artist. An unsung contemporary of George Balanchine, Yakobson created a distinct style that transformed standard choreography. While retaining his Jewish identity in Soviet Russia, Yakobson also developed a ground-breaking influence that challenged Soviet authority. This year marks the 40th anniversary of Yakobson’s death. Boston Ballet will shed new light on Yakobson’s transformative work, presenting Pas de Quatre, an elegant expression of romanticism that premiered in St. Petersburg by Choreographic Miniatures in 1971 and is a dedication to the late 19th century choreographer Jules Perro, and four pas de deux from Rodin, a breathtaking suite of miniatures set to musical excerpts by Berg, Prokofiev, and Debussy. The selection of his ballets and dance miniatures will be performed by Boston Ballet on three occasions: in an intimate setting at the Company headquarters for BB@home (September 17-18, 2015), at the prestigious Fall for Dance Festival in New York City (October 10-11, 2015), and at the Boston Opera House as part of the Kaleidoscope program (March 17-26, 2016).

 

“I was fortunate to dance some of Yakobson’s works while with Dutch National Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. These were staged by his widow, Irina Yakobson, who has remained a dear friend of mine. I am honored to be the custodian of these special pieces,” comments Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen. “It is rare to see Leonid Yakobson’s choreography performed in the United States, and it Boston Ballet’s privilege to present his work in celebration of his legacy and to raise awareness of this unsung choreographer to dance audiences.”

 

Both Pas de Quatre and Rodin miniatures are staged by Vera Solovyeva and Nikolay Levitskiy who are former members of the Leningrad State Ballet Company, the successor to Yakobson’s Choreographic Miniatures.

 

About Leonid Yakobson (1904-1975)

Born in St. Petersburg in 1904, Leonid Yakobson has been deemed a transformative choreographic voice of the 20th century. He trained at the Kirov Academy and was associated with the Kirov Company between 1926 and 1975. He also choreographed for the Bolshoi Ballet until his death in 1975. Yakobson collaborated on the premiere of Shostakovich’s The Golden Age (1930) and later was the first choreographer to set Khatchaturian’s Spartacus (1956). He also created dozens of small-scale pieces for performance by individual dancers and by the company that he formed in 1970, Choreographic Miniatures.

 

Noted for an “explosive” and experimental style, Yakobson introduced Soviet audiences to a revolutionary aesthetic they had never witnessed before. By employing techniques that required unprecedented levels of athleticism, Yakobson’s work was often censored by Soviet authority for challenging classical ballet. However, the hardships Yakobson faced, in combination with the vicious anti-Semitism of the time, only fueled his creative capacity, leading him to choreograph 30 ballets and nearly 200 ballet miniatures. Yakobson also inspired a generation of dancers from Russia including Galina Ulanova, Maya Plisetskaya, Alla Osipenko, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Natalia Makarova, among others. While Yakobson’s work is rarely performed today, his influence is still regarded as an important symbol of political resistance in the 20th century. It is known that Yakobson’s reputation may have evolved differently had he left the USSR, like Balanchine did in late 1933.

 

BB@home

Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 7:30pm

Friday, September 18, 2015 at 7:30pm

Boston Ballet Headquarters, 19 Clarendon Street

 

Audiences will have the opportunity to experience dance up close and personal with two intimate performances at Boston Ballet’s headquarters in Boston’s historic South End. This program of BB@home, titled Celebrating the Legacy of Leonid Yakobson: From Oppression to Honor, features Leonid Yakobson’s Pas de Quatre and four pas de deux from Rodin, including The Eternal Spring, The Kiss, Eternal Idol, and Minotaur and Nymph. Following each performance, Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and dance historian Janice Ross, author of Like A Bomb Going Off: Leonid Yakobson and Ballet as Resistance in Soviet Russia, will delve into the world of Yakobson’s groundbreaking, yet suppressed, influence. These performances are held in Studio 7, Boston Ballet’s grand rehearsal studio that transforms into a state-of-the-art black box theatre.

 

Tickets are $40.

 

Fall for Dance

Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 8pm

Sunday, October 11 at 7pm

New York City Center

 

Returning to New York City after a critically-acclaimed tour at Lincoln Center in June 2014, Boston Ballet will perform at New York City Center’s 2015 Fall for Dance Festival. This year marks Boston Ballet’s fourth appearance at the Festival, joining 20 other dance companies and artists from around the world for the anticipated annual event. Boston Ballet will perform Yakobson’s Pas de Quatre, exposing more audiences to the work of this unsung choreographer.

Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen explains, “I am thrilled for Boston Ballet to return to Fall for Dance—one of the nation’s premiere dance festivals—alongside some of the best dance companies in the world. It will be a great opportunity for us to share our talent and repertoire with new audiences and for New York audiences to discover Yakobson’s work.”

The 2015 Fall for Dance Festival runs September 30–October 11 at New York City Center (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues). All tickets are $15 and go on sale on Sunday, September 13 at 11am. For more information, visit New York City Center’s website.

 

Kaleidoscope

March 17-26, 2016

Boston Opera House

 

As a final ode to Yakobson this season, Boston Ballet will present Pas de Quatre as part of Kaleidoscope, a nine-show mixed repertory program running March 17 – 26, 2016, at the Boston Opera House. In addition to Pas de Quatre, the program will showcase four works by 20th century master choreographers including George Balanchine’s Kammermusic No. 2, William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, and Léonide Massine’s Gaîté Parisienne.

Tickets start at $35. For more information, visit Boston Ballet’s website or call 617-695-6955.

 

About Boston Ballet

 

Since 1963, Boston Ballet’s internationally acclaimed performances of classical, neo-classical, and contemporary ballets, combined with a dedication to world class dance education and community initiative programs, have made the institution a leader in its field, with a 52-year history of promoting excellence and access to dance.

 

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Max Hodges, the Company maintains a diverse repertoire, ranging from full-length ballets to new works by some of today’s finest choreographers. Boston Ballet’s second company, Boston Ballet II, is comprised of dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast. 

 

Programming for Boston Ballet’s 2015-2016 season includes Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler: A Ballet by John Neumeier, making Boston Ballet the first North American Company to perform the work; captivating classical works such as John Cranko’s Onegin and Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake; masterpieces by world-renowned choreographers such as George Balanchine and 20th century masters Leonid Yakobson and Léonide Massine; and two highly anticipated world premieres by Karole Armitage and Yury Yanowsky.

 

Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to excellence and access. Led by Director Margaret Tracey, the School reaches more than 5,000 students (toddler to adult) each year through Boston Ballet School classes, the Summer Dance Workshop, Pre-professional Summer Dance Program and the Pre-Professional Training held at three studio locations in Boston, Newton, and Marblehead.

 

Boston Ballet’s nationally-acclaimed education programs include Citydance, Adaptive Dance, and ECI On Location. The programs are offered in partnership with the Boston Public Schools and in communities throughout the city and region.

 

 

Boston Ballet gratefully acknowledges the following institutional partners:

 

Barr Foundation

Boston Cultural Council

The Boston Foundation

Klarman Family Foundation

Massachusetts Cultural Council

National Endowment for the Arts

State Street Corporation, 2015 Innovation Partner

The Royal Ballet 2015/16 Season

ballet dancers on stage

The Royal Ballet 2015/16 Season

ballet dancers on stage
Members of the Royal Ballet Company taking the applause on stage during their last night in Tokyo , Japan .

Four World Premieres headline The Royal Ballet’s 2015/16 season announcement.

They are : a new production of Carmen by Carlos Acosta (though this is a one act ballet programmed alongside Liam Scarlett’s Viscera, Jerome Robbin’s Afternoon of a Faun and George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky pas de deux), Liam Scarlett’s first full length narrative work for the Company, tackling Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (a co-produciton with San Francisco Ballet) and two one act ballets by Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon.

Frederick Ashton’s The Two Pigeons will return to the rep in November for the first time in 30 years, placed in a bill that includes Monotones 1 and 11, and again in February with Rhapsody, which is to be restored to its original designs with sets by Ashton and costumes based on William Chappell’s designs.

Kevin O’Hare’s directorship brings a new initiative – choreographic opportunities to encourage and nurture talent within the Company. Much has been made of the lack of choreographers coming through the schools, especially the lack of female choreographers, but one of the potential reasons for this situation is that women dancers who make it into the Company have a heavy workload and choreography can take a backseat in the early years. It’s not to say that they don’t exist, or aren’t making new works during their student years; it’s just a very hard balance to maintain if one is also a full-time professional dancer.

This year, Charlotte Edmonds is the recipient of a 12 month stint being mentored by O’Hare and Wayne McGregor, where she will shadow the Company and visiting choreographers, and create work. Edmonds is currently studying at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, though she trained at the Royal Ballet School. As part of Deloitte Ignite 2014, Edmonds choreographed The Indifferent Beak for The Royal Ballet.

Draft Works, where Royal Ballet dancers create short new works, becomes scattered throughout the year, as the Linbury Studio Theatre closes for refurbishment.

Five Royal Ballet School graduates will be offered one year contract’s with the Company under the Aud Jebsen Young Dancer Programme.

World Ballet Day returns on Thursday 1st October; in 2014 this broadcast was watched by two million people worldwide and once again we’ll see collaborations with other ballet companies.

Kenneth MacMillian’s Romeo & Juliet opens the season, promising a number of “exciting debut performances.”

Revivial’s of Wayne McGregor’s Raven Girl and Kenneth MacMillian’s The Invitation also feature. Christopher Wheeldon’s mixed programme features After The Rain and Within The Golden Hour, created for New York City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet respectively.

If it’s Christmas, it must be The Nutcracker, and sure enough this winter treat returns alongside Peter Wright’s Giselle in February.

The Royal Ballet will tour to Japan for it’s summer tour.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HQpyh1Uf9w

The Sarasota Ballet Celebrates Ballet History in 2014-2015 Season Finale

The Sarasota Ballet Celebrates Ballet History in 2014-2015 Season Finale

Honoring Vaslav Nijinsky, the Company pays tribute to The Ballets Russes

SARASOTA, FL (April 2, 2015) –The Sarasota Ballet ends the 2014-2015 Season with a retrospective paying tribute to The Ballets Russes and the famed male dancer, Vaslav Nijinsky. The program featuring Michel Fokine’s Les Sylphides and Petrushka as well as Nijinsky’s Afternoon of a Faun runs May 1 through May 2 at the Sarasota Opera House and will accompany live music by the Sarasota Orchestra.

Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes became known as one of the most influential ballet companies of the 20th Century, featuring ground-breaking collaborations among choreographers, composers and artists. Known not only for the exquisite technique of its dancers, The Ballets Russes gave birth to artists like Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, George Balanchine, Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso, Alexandre Benois, Leone Bakst and Coco Chanel.

 

Often described as a “romantic reverie,” Fokine’s Les Sylphides has no plot.  In an era when a non-narrative ballet was a startling innovation, this makes Les Sylphides the first and definitive “mood ballet.”  Michel Fokine described it as “the personification of a poetic vision.”  The 1907 original cast included Anna Pavlova, Tamara Karsavina and Alexandra Baldina as the soloists and Nijinsky as The Poet. Diaghilev always asserted that Les Sylphides was his favorite ballet, and it was considered a great honor to be cast in it.  With music by Frédéric Chopin, Les Sylphides was a conscious homage to the mid-Nineteenth Century Romantic Ballet from which the great Russian tradition derived.

 

“In 1941, American Ballet Theatre commissioned an orchestration by Benjamin Britton of Chopin’s piano compositions,” said Director Iain Webb.  “Until recently, it was thought to be lost but after ABTs revival in 2013, I’m delighted that we’ve been given permission to use this orchestration.”

 

L’après-midi d’un faune (Afternoon of a Faun) was choreographed by Nijinsky for The Ballets Russes and premiered in 1912.  With music by Claude Debussy, the score and ballet were inspired by Stéphane Mallermé’s poem, “L’après-midi d’un faune,” and was originally staged to depict the dancers as part of a large tableau. Revived by Ann Hutchinson-Guest and Claudia Jeschke from Nijinsky’s own dance notation score, Afternoon of a Faun redefined ballet for the Twentieth Century, presenting dancers in bare feet, and rejected classical formalism with an overtly erotic subtext beneath its façade of Greek antiquity. Afternoon of a Faun is considered one of the first modern ballets and proved to be controversial during its time.

 

The tribute will end with Fokine’s Petrushka. This ballet tells the story of a Russian traditional puppet made of straw who comes to life and develops emotions. Created specifically for Nijinsky, it premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on June 13, 1911 and evokes Richard Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwerk, fusing music, ballet, choreography and history in perfect balance. Hailed by the great 1930s ballet writer Arnold Haskell as ‘the most successful of all dance dramas,” Petrushka relies on the genius to engender collaboration between the great creative talents of Fokine (choreographer), Nijinsky (dancer) and Stravinsky (composer), who developed the score around the sufferings of the Petrushka:  “the immortal and unhappy hero of every fair in all countries” (Stravinsky).

 

“Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes proved a groundbreaking period in dance history,” said Webb.  “It brought together the greatest artists of the time.  Although many have tried, even today no one has come close to what Diaghilev achieved.”

 

Performance Schedule and Ticket Information

A Tribute to The Ballets Russes – Honoring Vaslav Nijinsky

Sarasota Opera House

61 North Pineapple Avenue Sarasota, FL  34236

United States

 

May 1, 2015 at 7:30 PM May 2, 2015 at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM

 

Tickets to A Tribute to The Ballets Russes – Honoring Vaslav Nijinsky may be purchased online 24 hours a day, seven days a week with Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. Tickets start at $35. The Box Office can be contacted by calling 941.359.0099.

 

About The Sarasota Ballet

Since 1990 The Sarasota Ballet, the Gulf Coast of Florida’s only professional ballet company, has been enriching lives, captivating emotions and strengthening the community through the art of dance. Under the leadership of Director Iain Webb, the Company’s expanded repertoire includes works by world-renowned choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Christopher Bruce, Dame Ninette de Valois, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, John Cranko, Hans van Manen, Andre Prokovsky, Dominic Walsh, Christopher Wheeldon and Matthew Bourne. Receiving national and international recognition for their diverse repertoire of rarely performed ballets, The Sarasota Ballet recently received rave reviews during the Sir Frederick Ashton Festival, which highlighted 14 of the famed choreographer’s ballets and divertissements in four days.  Alastair Macaulay with The New York Times said the Festival was an “extraordinary level both of Mr. Webb’s ambition and his company’s level of achievement.”

Stars line the red carpet for the opening night of Birmingham Royal Ballet at the London Coliseum

Guest, Director David Bintley, Elaine Paige, Soloist Maureya Lebowitz and Principal Dancer Joseph Caley

Stars line the red carpet for the opening night of Birmingham Royal Ballet at the London Coliseum

IN THE COMPANY’S 25TH YEAR AND DAVID BINTLEY’S 20TH YEAR AS DIRECTOR

 

David Bintley, Hannah Waddingham, Maureya Lebowitz, Joseph Caley
David Bintley, Hannah Waddingham, Maureya Lebowitz, Joseph Caley

SERENADE/CARMINA BURANA

Thursday 19 – Saturday 21 March 2015

London Coliseum

Saint Martin’s Lane, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4ES

Box Office: 020 7845 9300 or via the website

 

Last night, Birmingham Royal Ballet, one of the world’s leading classical companies and the UK’s premiere touring ballet company, kicked off celebrations in honour of their 25th anniversary and Director David Bintley’s milestone 20th year with the company with a red carpet event at the London Coliseum.

Guests attending the special event included actor Simon Callow, West End stars Elaine Paige and Hannah Waddingham, Harry Potter’s Oliver Phelps, Arlene Phillips, Susie Blake, Janet-Street Porter and Sir Peter Wright.

The eagerly anticipated programme presents Carmina burana, the revival of David Bintley’s highly acclaimed, large scale production which was the first ballet he ever made for the Company as Director in 1995, and Serenade, the 1934 piece made for students of the School of American Ballet by one of Bintley’s personal heroes, George Balanchine.

In Carmina burana, an encounter with the mind-blowing Goddess Fortuna deals three seminarians a major lesson in the fickle nature of fate. Compelled to abandon their sacred studies to pursue a more sensual approach to life, forbidden pleasures and physical temptations quickly become the young men’s most eager areas of revision. Soon the young celebrants are soaring with passion, love and alcohol.

 

Director David Bintley, Vice-Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt - Master of Queens Household, Guest, Principal Dancer Joseph Caley
Director David Bintley, Vice-Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt – Master of Queens Household, Guest, Principal Dancer Joseph Caley

Carmina burana is a huge, thrilling production danced to Carl Orff’s dramatically and emotionally charged choral music, for which the Royal Ballet Sinfonia are joined by the English National Opera Chorus. Inspired by the satirical writings of medieval priests, Orff’s rousing choral tour de force is a feast in its own right. Bintley’s breath-taking choreography ensures an unforgettable experience that has been astonishing and delighting audiences for 20 years.

“I’d been thinking about Carmina burana ever since I heard the music when I was 17,” says David Bintley. “When we were coming up to my opening night with Birmingham Royal Ballet, I didn’t just want to creep in and do something nice and pretty. I wanted to do something that was a landmark; I was the boss so I allowed myself to have a choir which was a first! I wanted to get everybody in the Company on stage, to present something really big and ambitious and to get everyone involved in something really daring.”

 

Guest, Director David Bintley, Elaine Paige, Soloist Maureya Lebowitz and Principal Dancer Joseph Caley
Guest, Director David Bintley, Elaine Paige, Soloist Maureya Lebowitz and Principal Dancer Joseph Caley

The production hasn’t seen the capital since it was performed at the Royal Opera House in June 1997: “The nice thing about the Coliseum performances is that we have room for the full orchestra and choir. I’m very excited about bringing Carmina burana to the Coliseum in March- the public love it and it’s one of the most popular pieces we do. In a sense it has become a modern signature piece.”

Serenade is a stunning piece of pure dance from master choreographer George Balanchine, performed to the glorious music of Tchaikovsky’s 1880 Serenade for Strings. Wearing romantic costumes in shades of blue, dancers move elegantly on a bare stage, set against a midnight blue background. A milestone in the history of dance, Serenade is the first original ballet Balanchine created in America.

Serenade has got to be one of everyone’s Desert Island ballets!” says David. “It is exquisite, which is not a word I use very often. I first saw a film of it done for New York City Ballet for whom it’s virtually a signature piece. Balanchine made it in the 1930s when there were virtually no men dancing so it’s predominately a ballet for women. You only have to hear the first few strains of Tchaikovsky’s music and the Balanchine ballet is in your head.

“Coming from the English tradition which is far more rooted in theatre, narrative and theme work, I like Balanchine’s work because it’s almost the opposite,” continues Bintley. “He doesn’t really do things like us; he favours pure dance and that’s why I like his work. He’s one of the few people with an enormous body of work, most of which is a classical choreographer’s response to a wide variety of music. There’s virtually nobody who has achieved that, and that’s down to his tremendous invention. Most of his ballets were one-act ballets so they’re very useful to Birmingham Royal Ballet because they’re classical. They also keep us tuned as dancers if we’ve got work which is more narrative, so Balanchine is never far from our repertoire. He is intensely musical as well which is beautiful.”

Soloist Maureya Lebowitz and, Principal Dancer Joseph Caley
Soloist Maureya Lebowitz and, Principal Dancer Joseph Caley

BOSTON BALLET ANNOUNCES THE 2015-2016 SEASON

BOSTON BALLET ANNOUNCES THE 2015-2016 SEASON

INCLUDES THREE FULL LENGTH MASTERPIECES, TWO WORLD PREMIERES, AND THE RETURN OF SWAN LAKE

FIRST NORTH AMERICAN COMPANY TO PERFORM MAHLER’S THIRD SYMPHONY BY JOHN NEUMEIER

BOSTON, MA – Boston Ballet announces the programming for the 2015-2016 season at the Boston Opera House. The 52nd season launches with the emotionally charged Mahler’s Third Symphony, choreographed by John Neumeier, followed by the production of Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker. The season continues with John Cranko’s Onegin, a dramatic story that has become one of this century’s most sought-after full length ballets. Two repertory programs will be presented, including works by George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Leonid Yacobson, Léonide Massine, José Martinez, and Norbert Vesak. Boston Ballet will also present two world premieres by Yury Yanowsky—who retires March 8th after 22 years as Boston Ballet dancer—and renowned choreographer Karole Armitage. Back by popular demand, Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake returns after its premiere and record-breaking run in October 2014.

Mikko Nissinen, Boston Ballet Artistic Director, comments, “We are thrilled to present three full-length masterpieces by some of the world’s greatest choreographers this season, plus an arrangement of repertory from beautiful minimalist to elaborate pieces including two world premieres and four Boston Ballet company premieres. Notably, Mahler’s Third Symphony by John Neumeier will be an impressive collaboration and a true feast for the senses. Boston Ballet will be the first American company to perform this work. The spring program will stand out with two world premieres, one by our very own Yury Yanowsky and the second by the daring choreographer Karole Armitage. We are extremely proud to present such a dynamic range of classical, neo-classical, and contemporary works and hope to leave our audience always wanting more.”

Mahler’s Third Symphony will unveil the season October 22 – November 1, showcasing work by John Neumeier, choreographer and Director of the Hamburg Ballet. Neumeier is a dance legacy and recipient of an array of prestigious awards, including the Dance Magazine Award (1983) and Nijinsky Award for Lifetime Achievement. One of Neumeier’s most important and iconic works, Mahler’s Third Symphony draws forth the drama of Gustav Mahler’s music with the intent to evoke emotion in the audience. A stunning example of programmatic music, Mahler describes Symphony No. 3 as “unlike anything the world has ever heard. All of nature speaks in it, telling deep secrets that one might guess only in a dream!” This performance will feature more than 70 musicians – including an orchestra, choir, and an Alto soloist. Boston is one of only four companies in the world to perform the monumental Mahler’s Third Symphony.

Continuing in the tradition of bringing the holiday spirit to Boston, Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker will enchant audiences November 27 – December 31. This will be the fourth year the production has been presented in its newest form—with set and costume design by Robert Perdziola.

Onegin, on stage from February 25 – March 6, is based on the early-19th century verse novel titled Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin. This heart wrenchingly beautiful production was originally created in 1965 for Stuttgart Ballet by distinguished choreographer John Cranko with music written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and arranged by the German born composer/conductor Kurt-Heinze Stolze. The athletic choreography tells a tale of unrequited love involving a naïve young girl and a cynical aristocrat. This poignant ballet provides the artists of Boston Ballet with dramatic challenges, including honing their acting skills and playing landmark roles of extremely rich characters. Tatiana, the female lead, is identified as a defining role in the life of a ballerina.

The 2016 spring season continues with a repertoire program titled Kaleidoscope, from March 17 – 26: a compilation chock full of 20th century masters. Adding to the company’s impressive list of Balanchine repertoire is the company premiere of Kammermusik No. 2 (1924) by the legendary George Balanchine. The program is also comprised of the energetic, liberating Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude by William Forsythe, which has been described as deeply challenging and technically demanding; Leonid Jacobson’s Pas de Quatre, Gaîté Parisienne by Léonide Massine with eye-popping costumes designed by esteemed French fashion designer Christian Lacroix. Gaîté Parisienne was last performed by Boston Ballet in 1982 and will leave the audience in joyous laughter and high spirits.

Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake returns to the Opera House from May 5 – 15 after an extremely successful and record-breaking run. Robert Greskovic of The Wall Street Journal called the production “artful” and “luminous.” With reimagined set and “elegant and airy” costumes by Robert Perdziola, who also collaborated with Nissinen for the 2012 debut of The Nutcracker.

The 2015-2016 season closes from May 19 – 29 with Mirrors, a program of reflections on contemporary dance and 21st century artists. Resonance, the first José Martinez work commissioned by a North American company, returns with an exhilarating score by Franz Liszt performed by two solo pianists and a series of movable panels by designer Jean-Marc Puissant. The program will also include a world premiere by Yury Yanowsky, Boston Ballet company dancer for 22 years. Yanowsky was made Principal Guest Artist with Boston Ballet for the 2014-2015 Fall/Winter seasons, and plans to retire from the stage in March 2015. Norbert Vesak’s significant and award-winning pas de deux, Belong, will stun audiences with its grace and intimate partnering. The program culminates with a highly anticipated world premiere by “punk ballerina” Karole Armitage. Both world premieres mark the first works Yanowsky and Armitage will set on Boston Ballet for the Opera House stage.

Boston Ballet will also continue its BB@home series with a complete Leonid Yacobson repertoire program on September 17 and 19. This special event marks the 40th anniversary of the Russian choreographer’s passing (1904-1975). Yacobson, George Balanchine’s contemporary, created work that challenged Soviet authorities with their courting of prohibited subjects like eroticism, Jewish identity and society’s underbelly. The first presented work, Vestris (1969), is densely packed with series of movement studies he made for the well-known Mikhail Baryshnikov. Rodin showcases duet portraits of the seasons of love from infatuation to despair, inspired by Auguste Rodin’s bronze sculptures. This program will be moderated by Janice Ross, author of Like a Bomb Going Off: Leonid Yakobson and Ballet as Resistance in Soviet Russia, which is the impetus of the recent rediscovery of Yakobson and his defining work.

All 2015-2016 performances take place at The Boston Opera House:

Mahler’s Third Symphony ———————————————— October 22 – November 1, 2015

Choreography by John Neumeier

Music by Gustav Mahler

Full Orchestra

Company Premiere

The Nutcracker ———————————————————-November 27 – December 31, 2015

Choreography by Mikko Nissinen

Music by P.I. Tchaikovsky

Full Orchestra

Onegin ——————————————————————————-February 25 – March 6, 2016

Choreography by John Cranko

Music by P.I. Tchaikovsky and arranged by Kurt-Heinze Stolze

Full Orchestra

Kaleidoscope———————————————————————————-March 19 – 29, 2016

Kammermusik No. 2

Choreography by George Balanchine

Music by Paul Hindemith

Full Orchestra

Company Premiere

Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude

Choreography by William Forsythe

Music by Franz Schubert

Full Orchestra

Pas de Quatre

Choreography by Leonid Yacobson

Music by Vincenzo Bellini

Full Orchestra

Company Premiere

Gaîté Parisienne

Choreography by Léonide Massine

Music by Jacques Offenbach orchestrated by Manuel

Rosenthal in collaboration with Jacques Brindejonc-Offenbach

Full Orchestra

Swan Lake ——————————————————————————— May 5 – May 15, 2016

Choreography by Mikko Nissinen after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov

Music by P.I. Tchaikovsky

Full Orchestra

Mirrors——————————————————————————————- May 19 – 29, 2016

Resonance

Choreography by José Martinez

Music by Franz Liszt

Live Music

World Premiere

Choreography by Yury Yanowsky

Belong

Choreography by Norbert Vesak

Music by Syrinx

Company Premiere

World Premiere

Choreography by Karole Armitage

For more information, visit Boston Ballet’s website or call 617-695-6955.

About Boston Ballet

Since 1963, Boston Ballet’s internationally acclaimed performances of classical, neo-classical, and contemporary ballets, combined with a dedication to world class dance education and community initiative programs, have made the institution a leader in its field, with a 50+ year history of promoting excellence and access to dance.

The Company began a new chapter with record breaking performances of Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, on the heels of a monumental 50th season that included tours to The London Coliseum, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, and New York’s David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. The historic year began in Boston with the first ever Night of Stars on Boston Common, a free performance that attracted over 55,000 audience members. Programming for Boston Ballet’s 2014-2015 season includes stunning classics such as Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, neo-classical masterpieces by George Balanchine, and contemporary works by cutting-edge choreographers such as Wayne McGregor, William Forsythe, and Resident Choreographer Jorma Elo.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Max Hodges, the Company maintains a diverse repertoire, ranging from full-length ballets to new works by some of today’s finest choreographers. Boston Ballet’s second company, Boston Ballet II, is comprised of dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast.

Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to excellence and access. Led by Director Margaret Tracey, the School reaches more than 6,000 students (toddler to adult) each year through Boston Ballet School classes, the Summer Dance Workshop, Pre-professional Summer Dance Program and the Pre-Professional Training held at three studio locations in Boston, Newton, and Marblehead.

Boston Ballet’s nationally-acclaimed education programs include Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance. The programs are offered in partnership with the Boston Public Schools and in communities throughout the city and region.

Boston Ballet gratefully acknowledges the following institutional partners:

State Street Corporation, 2014 Presenting Sponsor, The Nutcracker

Barr Foundation

The Boston Foundation

Massachusetts Cultural Council

The Sarasota Ballet Restructures Administrative Staff by Creating an Expanded Development Department

The Sarasota Ballet Restructures Administrative Staff by Creating an Expanded Development Department

Ballet Company strengthens resources by hiring two new employees

 

SARASOTA, Fla. – February 9, 2015 – The Sarasota Ballet announced today that Janet K. Ginn has joined the staff as Development Director to further expand the financial foundation of the Company.  The position of Events Coordinator was also created to streamline the efficiency of the Company’s Development team.

 

Ginn comes with a wealth of experience in foundations, non-profits, associations and certification agencies having spent the last twelve years as a Certified Fund Raising Executive.  Recently, Ginn was Senior Vice President of Philanthropic Engagement for the Community Foundation of Sarasota County leading the team in establishing over 70 new Donor Advised Funds and securing more than $5 million in one year.

 

“I’m excited to be working with Director Iain Webb and Managing Director Mary Anne Servian to help implement the vision for this outstanding arts organization,” said Ginn.  “The Company’s vision and mission are captivating and I look forward to sharing my insights into the dynamics of leading, training and managing with The Sarasota Ballet.”

 

Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Ginn held the position of President and CEO for the Heifer Foundation which focuses on a sustainable world where hunger and poverty no longer exist.  In her twelve years with the partner organization to Heifer International, Ginn quadrupled the foundation’s cumulative assets and commitments and also secured the largest bequest – $20 million – in the organization’s history.

 

The Sarasota Ballet also created the new position of Events Coordinator to assist in the growing need of the organization.  Barbara Worth, a Certified Meeting Professional and Project Management Professional, joins the staff with 27 years’ experience in event planning and project management.  Worth previously worked as Senior Manager for Circle Solutions, Inc. in McLean, Virginia, where she spent the past 20 years.

 

Worth has managed more than 500 conferences serving 50,000 participants, with attendance ranging from 25 to over 3,000.  She is proficient with program development, quality assurance, writing/editing, budget planning and personnel management.

 

“As The Sarasota Ballet grows, so to should the structure of our administrative staff,” said Mary Anne Servian.  “We have been working under a skeletal staff for too long, and with the growing need of our organization, restructuring and additions to our Development team was our highest priority and we look forward to the additions of Janet Ginn and Barbara Worth.”

 

About The Sarasota Ballet

Since 1990 The Sarasota Ballet, the Gulf Coast of Florida’s only professional ballet company, has been enriching lives, captivating emotions and strengthening the community through the art of dance. Under the leadership of Director Iain Webb, the Company’s expanded repertoire includes works by world-renowned choreographers such as Sir Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Christopher Bruce, Dame Ninette de Valois, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, John Cranko, Hans van Manen, Andre Prokovsky, Dominic Walsh, Christopher Wheeldon and Matthew Bourne.

DUTCH NATIONAL BALLET BRINGS BACK CROWN JEWEL

DUTCH NATIONAL BALLET BRINGS BACK CROWN JEWEL BY GEORGE BALANCHINE

jewels* Glittering ballet triptych by master choreographer George Balanchine

* ten performances in Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht

* 12 to 26 February 2015

Jewels is the glittering ballet triptych by the great Russian-American master choreographer George Balanchine (1904-1983). In the high-spirited Jewels, Balanchine combines feminine glamour with the glamour of jewellery. The ballet is an ode to the most beautiful precious stones, but also to the French, American and Russian styles of ballet. It is elegant, dynamic and filled with grandeur.

The triptych Jewels, comprising the ballets Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds, was performed for the first time in its entirety by Dutch National Ballet in 2006. The ballet is now returning to the company and will be presented from 12 to 26 February in Dutch National Opera & Ballet in Amsterdam, the Lucent Danstheater in The Hague and Stadsschouwburg Utrecht.

In the early years of the 1960’s, George Balanchine took a daily walk along New York’s chic Fifth Avenue. There his attention was drawn to the window displays of jewellers Van Cleef & Arpels. The legendary Russian-American choreographer was – in his own words – hypnotized by the beauty of “one window with diamonds, one with emeralds, and one with rubies”, and “in the middle of each group, a tiara was displayed, just like in the court of the tsar.” The idea for the three-part jewel ballet was born.

Jewels

Balanchine’s choreographies form a constant challenge for dancers, and Dutch National Ballet is proud to be one of a very select group of companies in Europe that is permitted to perform this masterpiece. Jewels (1967) begins with Emeralds, in which Balanchine uses the music of Gabriel Fauré to depict the elegant and fashionable world of France, a society that Balanchine knew well because of his work in Paris in the 1920’s as a choreographer and ballet master for the legendary Ballet Russes. Rubies, the most modern of the three choreographies, is also coloured by his experiences, but this time on American soil. This dynamic piece recalls the heyday of Broadway and jazz, thanks in part to the Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra by Stravinsky. The majestic final scene, Diamonds, set to Tchaikovsky’s music, is an ode to the glory and beauty of the tsar’s court, and has a clear connection with the Mariinsky Theatre.

Brilliant costumes

In the decors made by visual artist Toer van Schayk, a refined play of lines represents the facets of cut precious stones. The long romantic skirts in Emeralds, the daring red costumes in Rubies, and the fabulous classical tutus in Diamonds are all made following the authentic designs by Barbara Karinska. Even the New York City jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels was extremely impressed by her costumes.

George Balanchine

George Balanchine (1904-1983) left his marks upon the development of theatrical dance. He is the maestro of storyless musical ballet. His ballets mostly stand out because of their architectonical composition of choreographic patterns and dance themes.

Jewels

choreography: George Balanchine music Emeralds Gabriel Fauré – parts from Pelléas et Mélisande and Shylock music Rubies Igor Stravinsky – Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra music Diamonds Pjotr Iljitsj Tsjaikovski – Symphony nr. 3 opus 39 costume design: Barbara Karinska set design: Toer van Schayk lighting design: Bert Dalhuysen accompanied by Dutch Ballet Orchestra conducted by Andrea Quinn

Performances in Dutch National Opera & Ballet

thu. 12, fr. 13, sat. 14, sun. 15*, fr. 20, sat. 21, sun. 22* and thu. 26 February 2015 curtain-up 20.15 hrs. * curtain-up 14.00 uur

Dutch Tour

thu. 19 Feb.     Lucent Danstheater, Den Haag 20.15 hrs. wed. 25 Feb.    Stadsschouwburg, Utrecht 20.00 hrs.

Admission Dutch National Opera & Ballet: From  € 15,- to € 53,- Discounts applicable to holders of stadspas and CJP, and to age 16 and under Last-minute student tickets: € 15

Tickets are available from the box office of Dutch National Opera & Ballet (020) 625 54 55.

Tickets can be booked online via the website

CAROLINA BALLET OPENS ITS SPRING SEASON WITH A PROGRAM DEDICATED TO GEORGE BALANCHINE

CAROLINA BALLET OPENS ITS SPRING SEASON WITH A PROGRAM DEDICATED TO GEORGE BALANCHINE

Featuring The Four Temperaments

 

 

RALEIGH, NC —- All who are familiar with classical ballet “American style” know that George Balanchine, the founder and artistic director of New York City Ballet in 1948, is considered to be the greatest choreographer of the 20th century.  He founded the School of American Ballet in New York City in 1934 offering a new approach to the classical ballet of his Russian background; and during the 60s and 70s he became a mentor to an aspiring young ballet dancer, Robert Weiss – the founding artistic director of Carolina Ballet.  Mr. Weiss studied at the School of American Ballet and was invited by Balanchine to join New York City Ballet in 1966. He rose to principal dancer during his sixteen years with the company. Over the past sixteen-plus seasons, to honor his mentor, Mr. Weiss has presented a program of Balanchine ballets each year to introduce the Triangle area audiences to the diversity of his work.  For the company’s spring season Carolina Ballet is presenting an eclectic program of three Balanchine ballets, balanced with two works choreographed by Robert Weiss, February 5-22, 2015 at the AJ Fletcher Theater in the Duke Energy Center of the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.  The schedule of performances is as follows:

Thursday, February 5 at 8pm

Friday, February 6 at 8pm

Saturday, February 7, 14 & 21 at 2 & 8pm

Sunday, February 8, 15 & 22 at 2pm

The three ballets on the program by Balanchine are The Four Temperaments to commissioned score by Paul Hindemith; Tarentella to the lively music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk; and Allegro Brillante to music of Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky.  All three of these ballets were presented during Carolina Ballet’s tribute to Balanchine commemorating the 100th anniversary of his death in 2004.  They are quintessential Balanchine ballets in that each one is very different from the others, demonstrating that there is no one Balanchine style.

Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, choreographed in 1946 to music he commissioned from Paul Hindemith, is always a crowd pleaser, and sixty-eight years later still feels very contemporary.  As the News & Observer critic said in his review, “For sheer beauty of pattern and movement, it’s hard to beat The Four Temperaments…the purity of dance and the precision of its execution simply take the breath away.  This is prime Balanchine – the sassy bravado, the eye-catching detail, the constantly outstretched arms and legs.”

Set to music by Tchaikovsky, Balanchine first presented Allegro Brillante in 1956 at New York City Ballet.  He described the ballet as a “concentrated essay in extended classic vocabulary, in which a maximum amount of choreographic development, contained in a rather restricted area of time and space, accompanies the full resources of the orchestra and solo piano.”  His Tarantella, to the very fast paced music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk, is a light hearted pas de deux, choreographed for vibrant, athletic dancers in 1964.  The ballet evokes a scene in an Italian village with street performers entertaining a crowd with their lively dancing; passing the tambourine among the crowd at the end hoping for a show of appreciation.

Also on the program is Robert Weiss’ Grosse Fuge to music of Beethoven.  Mr. Weiss choreographed this ballet in 2003 but had used the music for an earlier work he choreographed for Pennsylvania Ballet in the mid-80s.  In his program notes Mr. Weiss said of the new ballet that the harmonic complexity of the music “started giving me images of artist M.C. Escher’s drawings with their complex visual perspectives.  I was particularly drawn to his black and white drawings which were fugue-like in their continuous melding of black into white, which in turn made me think of Petipa’s patterns in classical ballet and particularly Swan Lake and the Black Swan/White Swan dichotomy.  The ballet evolved out of all these ideas mixed together with Swan Lake as the subtext and the fugue-like patterns as the context.”

Rounding out the program is The Double, a new work Mr. Weiss choreographed for the Summer Intensive performance in July 2014.  It is a dance for two female dancers to the first two movements of Cesar Franck’s “Violin Sonata in A Major.”

Ticket prices for the Balanchine program range from $26.69-$72.59 (price includes sales tax) and may be purchased through the Carolina Ballet box office at 919 719-0900 or by calling Ticketmaster at 800 982-2787 or online.   Student tickets are available at the theatre half an hour before the show for $16.01.

Carolina Ballet, Inc. has rapidly taken its place among America’s premier arts organizations.  Under the innovative direction of artistic director Robert Weiss, with a talented company, and fiscally responsible management and community support, Carolina Ballet exposes audiences to traditional ballet by legendary masters and new works of contemporary choreographers.  This seventeenth season represents the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and ever- increasing quality of life experienced here in North Carolina.

Queensland Ballet announces American dancer Shane Wuerthner joins the Company as a Soloist

Queensland Ballet announces American dancer Shane Wuerthner joins the Company as a Soloist

Born in San Francisco, Shane has danced with Vienna State Opera Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. His diverse repertoire includes principal roles in the major classics and in works by George Balanchine, John Cranko, Jorma Elo, Jiří Kylián, John Neumeier, Twyla Tharp, and Renato Zanella.

American-born Shane Wuerthner trained at San Francisco Ballet School and at Washington, DC’s Kirov Academy. In 2003, he received the Nikolai Morozov Scholarship for Outstanding Artistic Merit.

Shane performed with Vienna State Opera Ballet as a corps de ballet member and demi-Soloist before being promoted to Soloist in January 2012. He joined San Francisco Ballet as a Soloist in 2013.

Artistic Director Li Cunxin said: “I’m delighted to welcome Shane to the Queensland Ballet family, and can’t wait for our audiences to experience this impressive new talent on stage.”

Wuerthner comments. “It’s great to be here. My wife’s family is from Brisbane, so it’s wonderful to be living in her home town. Queensland Ballet has a great vision and is doing really exciting things – I’m looking forward to contributing to the success of the Company.”

Shane’s diverse repertory includes principal roles in the major classics and in works by George Balanchine, John Cranko, Jorma Elo, Jiří Kylián, John Neumeier, Twyla Tharp, and Renato Zanella.

As a guest artist, Shane has performed at various events in Vienna, including New Year’s Eve concerts and opera balls.

 

Repertoire highlights

  • Albrecht in Elena Tschernischova’s Giselle
  • Prince Siegfried in Rudolf Nureyev’s Swan Lake
  • Prince Florimund in Peter Wright’s The Sleeping Beauty
  • King of the Snow and Arabian in Helgi Tomasson’s The Nutcracker
  • George Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements (third pas de deux)
  • Possokhov’s The Rite of Spring (principal)
  • Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella (Fates)
  • Serge Lifar’s Suite en Blanc (pas de trois)
  • Rudolf Nureyev’s Raymonda (Jean de Brienne)
  • Jerome Robbins’ In the Night (second pas de deux)
  • Boris Eifman’s Anna Karenina (Vronski)

Vail International Dance Festival 2014

Misa Kuranaga (Boston Ballet) performs an excerpt from Bournonville's Kermesse in Bruges on the second International Evening of Dance program at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival.

Vail International Dance Festival 2014

Alessandra Ferri & Craig Hall (New York City Ballet) perform Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain as part of the International Evening of Dance program of the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival.
Alessandra Ferri & Craig Hall (New York City Ballet) perform Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain as part of the International Evening of Dance program of the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival. Photo © Erin Baiano
Carla Körbes (Pacific Northwest Ballet) & Robert Fairchild (New York City Ballet) perform an excerpt from George Balanchine's La Sonnambula at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival.
Carla Körbes (Pacific Northwest Ballet) & Robert Fairchild (New York City Ballet) perform an excerpt from George Balanchine’s La Sonnambula at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival. Photo © Erin Baiano
Carla Körbes (Pacific Northwest Ballet) & Zachary Catazaro (New York City Ballet) demonstrate a section of the pas de deux in George Balanchine's Diamonds  2014 Vail International Dance Festival.
Carla Körbes (Pacific Northwest Ballet) & Zachary Catazaro (New York City Ballet) demonstrate a section of the pas de deux in George Balanchine’s Diamonds 2014 Vail International Dance Festival. Photo © Erin Baiano
Alessandra Ferri & Craig Hall (New York City Ballet) perform Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain as part of the International Evening of Dance program of the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival.
Alessandra Ferri & Craig Hall (New York City Ballet) perform Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain as part of the International Evening of Dance program of the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival. Photo © Erin Baiano
Chase Finlay (New York City Ballet) performs the Giselle pas de deux on the second International Evenings of Dance program at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival.
Chase Finlay (New York City Ballet) performs the Giselle pas de deux on the second International Evenings of Dance program at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival. Photo © Erin Baiano
Dancers of Pennsylvania Ballet perform part of George Balanchine's at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival.
Dancers of Pennsylvania Ballet perform part of George Balanchine’s at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival. Photo © Erin Baiano
Lauren Cuthbertson (The Royal Ballet) & Cory Stearns (American Ballet Theatre) perform the bedroom pas de deux from Manon at Friday's International Evening of Dance performance at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival
Lauren Cuthbertson (The Royal Ballet) & Cory Stearns (American Ballet Theatre) perform the bedroom pas de deux from Manon at Friday’s International Evening of Dance performance at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival Photo © Erin Baiano
Lauren Cuthbertson (The Royal Ballet) & Cory Stearns (American Ballet Theatre) perform the Black Swan pas de deux on the second International Evenings of Dance program at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival.
Lauren Cuthbertson (The Royal Ballet) & Cory Stearns (American Ballet Theatre) perform the Black Swan pas de deux on the second International Evenings of Dance program at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival. Photo © Erin Baiano
Lauren Lovette (New York City Ballet) performs George Balanchine's Tarantella at Friday's International Evening of Dance performance of the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival.
Lauren Lovette (New York City Ballet) performs George Balanchine’s Tarantella at Friday’s International Evening of Dance performance of the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival. Photo © Erin Baiano
Misa Kuranaga (Boston Ballet) performs an excerpt from Bournonville's Kermesse in Bruges on the second International Evening of Dance program at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival.
Misa Kuranaga (Boston Ballet) performs an excerpt from Bournonville’s Kermesse in Bruges on the second International Evening of Dance program at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival. Photo © Erin Baiano
Misa Kuranaga (Boston Ballet) performs the wedding pas de deux from Sleeping Beauty at Friday's International Evening of Dance performance at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival.
Misa Kuranaga (Boston Ballet) performs the wedding pas de deux from Sleeping Beauty at Friday’s International Evening of Dance performance at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival. Photo © Erin Baiano
Tiler Peck (New York City Ballet) performs the female variation from the pas de deux from Don Quixote at Friday's International Evening of Dance performance at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival.
Tiler Peck (New York City Ballet) performs the female variation from the pas de deux from Don Quixote at Friday’s International Evening of Dance performance at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival. Photo © Erin Baiano
Tiler Peck (New York City Ballet) & Jeffrey Cirio (Boston Ballet) perform the pas de deux from Don Quixote at Friday's International Evening of Dance performance at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival.
Tiler Peck (New York City Ballet) & Jeffrey Cirio (Boston Ballet) perform the pas de deux from Don Quixote at Friday’s International Evening of Dance performance at the 2014 Vail International Dance Festival. Photo © Erin Baiano

Cupcakes & Conversation with Sonia Rodriguez, Principal, The National Ballet of Canada

Sonia Rodriguez. Photo by Sian Richards.

antique cupcakes

Cupcakes & Conversation with Sonia Rodriguez, Principal, The National Ballet of Canada 

Sonia Rodriguez. Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic
Sonia Rodriguez. Photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic

What motivates you at 8am on a Monday morning ?

The challenge of pushing myself and discovering new things. I love the time in the studio where I get to develop a role or a get to discover a new way of moving.

If ballet chose you, as many dancers say it did, what is it that has made you stick with it ?

It is a need to express myself and to explore emotions through movement; it makes me feel alive. 

What are you looking forward to dancing in 2014 & what are the big challenges likely to be for you ?

Next season I get to perform Manon which is a new role for me. It is an incredible role and I am really looking forward to sinking my teeth into it. 

Who would you most like to dance with & what would you dance ?

To me, a perfect partnership is one where you can trust each other fully,  and one where there is a true connection and respect as people outside of the studio. When you have that, you can elevate each other and magic happens! I have had a lot of those magic moments and would not change them for anything but if I had to pick someone I do not really know but admire as a dancer, I would pick Mikhail Baryshnikov and would love to dance Tarrantella by George Balanchine. It is a ballet I really would love to do, and I think his raw energy would be contagious and incredible to feed from, I think it would be a lot of fun.

If you could dance anywhere in the world (not only in a theatre), where would you dance ?

I grew up in Spain and spent a lot of time in the south, where my dad was from. I have always been fascinated by the beauty and mystic surrounding La Alhambra in the city of Cordoba. For me, my dream location would be performing outdoors on a warm summer night in any of the beautiful outdoor spaces.  

Sonia Rodriguez. Photo by Sian Richards.
Sonia Rodriguez. Photo by Sian Richards.

How do you prepare your pointe shoes ?

It is a long process and it has evolved over the years. Hard to explain in a few sentences but I’ve explained it fully on my blog. You can learn my tricks!

What is your daily routine at the moment ?

7:00 pm –  Wake up, get myself and my two boys, Gabriele and Dillon, ready for school.

8:30 pm – Drop the boys off at school

9:00 pm –  Arrive at our rehearsal studio, go the gym for a short workout and then stretch.

10:00 pm – Take company class

11: 30 am – 2:30 pm – rehearsals (this season my schedule is packed, I’m dancing in Cinderella by James Kudleka , Opus 19/The Dreamer by Tim Robbins,  the second detail by William Forsythe and Romeo and Juliet by Alexei Ratmansky)

2:30 pm – Lunch time!

3:30 pm – 6:30 pm – More rehearsals

7:00 pm – Leave the studio and head home to make dinner with my kids

7:30 pm –  Dinner time, one of my favourite times of the day. I love listening to my sons tell me about their day.

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm –  Quiet time with my boys, they like to read or play games

9:30 pm – Bed time for the boys

9:30 pm to 10:30 pm –  Quiet time for me! One of my other favourite parts of the day, I like to use it to reflect and plan.

10:30 pm –  Bed time 

What do you eat during the course of a typical working day ?

I usually have eggs and toast for breakfast and alternate with toast with cheese and cold cuts.

Lunch varies, we’re lucky to have a great cafeteria at work with an amazing selection of healthy soups, sandwiches and salads . I  usually pick a combo of the two.

For dinner, I usually have red meat three times a week and fish during the rest of the week. I eat chicken once in a while but not often.

You can ask six famous people to dinner – who would you invite ?

Audrey Hepburn

The Dalai Lama

Pope Francis

Ricky Gervais

John Malkovich

Oprah Winfrey

What would surprise people about you ?

Even thought I always look confident, I have many fears.  

Who inspired you to dance ?

No one in particular. I feel like it was something that I was meant to do. I always had a need to express myself through movement so dancing professionally was a natural progression from that.

What is your best piece of advice ?

“Stay true to yourself.”

How do you prepare in the hours before a show ?

I like to have two and a half hours to prepare. I hate to feel rushed! I always start with my make up then my hair, then I take a really hot shower to get my body warm. An hour and a half before the show I go to the rehearsal studio to start stretching, then do barre exercises and choose which pointe shoes to I want to wear for a particular performance. I have usually come to the studio with at least three pairs.

Sonia Rodriguez in Cinderella. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann
Sonia Rodriguez in Cinderella. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

How do you deal with the stress of performing ?

I do not find performing stressful, especially once I get on stage. I find the process of working on the show in rehearsal, not stressful, but much more taxing.

Which role has tested you the most & how ?

I would have to say dancing Odette/Odile in our company’s production of Swan Lake – I’ve had a very tumultuous love affair with it! The very first time I performed it, I felt very intimidated by the fine balance between the technical and artistic aspects of the role. I didn’t feel like I was suited to do it and it left me with a bitter taste. But each time I revisited it, I started to embody the style of the role and it’s now become one of my absolute favourites to dance.

If you were asked to design your own ballet costume, what would you create ?

I would probably create something flowing made of a fine silk with a high waist. 

What do you look for in a dance partner ?

I like dancing with someone I can trust fully when I’m onstage. I need to be able to look into their eyes and feel comfortable knowing that we’re on the same team and same page. 

What is your favourite quote ?

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

Do you have a ‘signature step’ – one that comes naturally to you ?

I love balancing for as long as a can, I love the feeling of being suspended in time. 

A phrase I use far too often is … ?

“Let me tell you.” 

What’s been your best on-stage moment so far ?

I have had a long and fulfilling career and it seems impossible for me to pick one moment because I have had so many. I think any performance in which I am able to completely loose myself in the character and have everything else disappear are my best moments on stage.

Do you have a secret skill which no-one knows about ?

I am a good cook, but it is not a secret! Ask my family! My sons’ favourite dish is baked trout, you can get the recipe here. 

In terms of your ballet career, where would you like to be in a year from now ?

I have accomplished all I wanted in my career and I am savoring every moment that I have onstage now more than ever. At this point, it is all icing on the cake, a very delicious cake 🙂

Who would you like to have a conversation with ?

Any of the six people that I mentioned I would like to invite to dinner before. I think we’d have a great conversation about humanity, spirituality and religion.

What is your exit strategy, for the time when you stop dancing, and how did you plan it ?

I have no strategy. I will keep dancing for as long as I feel is rewarding to me. I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed off and it keeps getting better year after year.

 

Sonia will be reprising the role of Cinderella, which she created in 2004. Opening night is Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sonia Rodriguez teaches the first Ballet Class with the Stars

Sonia’s blog

BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET’S 2014 SPRING SEASON at BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME

BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET’S 2014 SPRING SEASON at BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME

 

  • A triple bill of witty classics, Three of a Kind
  • The UK premiere performances of David Bintley’s The Prince of the Pagodas

 

Venue and booking information:

Birmingham Hippodrome: Tickets: 0844 338 5000

 

Birmingham Royal Ballet is delighted to return to the Birmingham Hippodrome stage from 19 February to 1 March.  The Company will perform its Spring season in its home city with two productions; a triple bill of witty classics from John Cranko, George Balanchine and Kenneth Macmillan entitled Three of a Kind and the UK premiere performances of David Bintley’s imaginative reworking of a classic story that celebrates the power of family love, The Prince of the Pagodas.

 

THREE OF A KIND                                                              19 TO 22 FEBRUARY

(CARD GAME / SLAUGHTER ON TENTH AVENUE / ELITE SYNCOPATIONS)  

 

In Card Game, Stravinsky, himself a keen poker player, plays with allegiances, rivalries and power. Cranko’s witty choreography entered the Royal Ballet repertory in 1966. In this modern classic, the sly Jokey banishes the proud Queen, the Two, Three, Four, Five and Six strike a straight flush, and the little Two of Diamonds tries to spoil everyone’s fun.

Created by the great ballet choreographer George Balenchine for the musical On Your Toes!, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue is a crazy 1930s comedy, its humour and vitality providing sparkling entertainment. After discovering that a hit man in the audience is to shoot him as soon as his stage routine is over, a luckless leading man has no option but to extend his frantic solo until the cops arrive! Music by the great Richard Rodgers completes this theatrical extravaganza.   A completely stripped-back theatre bursts into life as dancers in brilliantly coloured costumes gather for a dance competition. An equally vibrant rag-time band play old favourites from Scott Joplin and his contemporaries to accompany a string of sketches, spanning the dazzling, the witty and the touching, as each dancer at the competition takes their turn. One of Macmillan’s best-loved creations, Elite Syncopations is certain to leave you smiling.

 

THE PRINCE OF THE PAGODAS                                     25 FEBRUARY TO 1 MARCH

David Bintley’s ballet to Benjamin Britten’s only commissioned ballet score was rapturously received by audiences and critics at its premiere by the National Ballet of Japan in 2011. The spectacular and imaginative costumes from War Horse designer Rae Smith bring to life the elegance and beauty of the Chrysanthemum Kingdom, and capture our imagination in the fantastical journey through the elements.

This production boasts a stellar creative team. Choreography is by David Bintley and adds another full-length ballet to Bintley’s incredible career and history of dance making. Full length ballets choreographed by Bintley, the award-winning Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, include Hobson’s Choice, Edward II, Far from the Madding Crowd, Cinderella and Aladdin.

Music for The Prince of the Pagodas is by Benjamin Britten. The score was first commissioned by The Royal Ballet with choreography by John Cranko in 1957. Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production will be one of the closing highlights of the Britten 100 celebrations; a year-long, world-wide dedication to the British composer.

Award-winning British designer Rae Smith brings The Prince of the Pagodas to vibrant life with her set and costume designs. Smith’s work credits include War Horse (winning her an Olivier Award in 2008 and an Evening Standard Best Design Award in 2007) and most recently The Light Princess for the National Theatre.

Through a lonely childhood the Princess Sakura mourns the death of her brother and the slow disintegration of her once all-powerful father the Emperor of the Chrysanthemum Throne, who, broken by the death of his son, allows his new wife to take control of his kingdom.

Presented with a choice of four powerful and wealthy husbands, Sakura’s memories of the true love she once felt for her brother gives her the courage to refuse her suitors. Her resolve is reinforced when a fifth suitor arrives at the Palace- a scaly Salamander, both fascinating and repellent. Determined not to be forced to follow her stepmother’s bidding, Princess Sakura throws herself on the mercy of the new arrival.

After a long and dangerous journey through the elements of earth, air, fire and water, they arrive at the Salamander’s kingdom, but Sakura’s adventure has only just begun.

Accompanying Birmingham Royal Ballet will be the Company’s full-time orchestra the Royal Ballet Sinfonia under the Musical Directorship of Koen Kessels. The Royal Ballet Sinfonia is Britain’s busiest ballet orchestra, playing for Birmingham Royal Ballet’s wide-ranging programme in the UK and abroad.

 

PERFORMANCE DIARY FOR THE 2014 BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME SPRING SEASON

THREE OF A KIND

(CARD GAME / SLAUGHTER ON TENTH AVENUE / ELITE SYNCOPATIONS)

Birmingham Hippodrome: Wednesday 19 to Saturday 22 February

Wednesday 19 February – 7.30pm

Thursday 20 February – 2pm and 7.30pm

Friday 21 February – 7.30pm

Saturday 22 February – 2.30pm and 7.30pm

 

THE PRINCE OF THE PAGODAS

Birmingham Hippodrome: Tuesday 25 February – Saturday 1 March

Tuesday 25 February – 7.30pm

Wednesday 26 February– 2pm and 7.30pm

Thursday 27 February – 7.30pm

Friday 28 February –7.30pm

Saturday 1 March – 2.30pm and 7.30pm

JEAN-YVES ESQUERRE APPOINTED NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE DUTCH NATIONAL BALLET ACADEMY

JEAN-YVES ESQUERRE APPOINTED NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE DUTCH NATIONAL BALLET ACADEMY

jeanThe directorate of de Theaterschool of the Amsterdam School of the Arts has appointed Jean-Yves Esquerre to become the new artistic director of the Dutch National Ballet Academy from 3 March 2014.

Jan Zoet, director de Theaterschool: “I am proud that, together with our
partners of the Dutch National Ballet, we have been able to appoint a person
with such an impressive professional background. I am convinced that with
Jean-Yves we can continue to improve the high international level of the Dutch National Ballet Academy, that was achieved under his predecessor Christopher Powney.”

Ted Brandsen, director of the Dutch National Ballet and artistic advisor of the
Dutch National Ballet Academy: ” I am very much looking forward to working together with Jean-Yves and am convinced that he is able to continue where Christopher Powney left off, who did an excellent job . Jean-Yves has an impressive background and his tremendous experience will really benefit the Academy.”

Jean-Yves Esquerre

Jean-Yves Esquerre first studied dance with Monique Malo and received his artistic training at the  multidisciplinary school, Mudra, in Brussels. He then danced with Maurice Béjart’s Les Ballets du XXème Siècle, John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet and Jiri Kylian’s Nederlands Dans Theater.

In 1986, Esquerre was appointed ballet master of Le Ballet du Louvre, originally formed by Rudolf Nureyev, and staged a production of Giselle. In 1987, he was offered the position of Artistic Director of Les Ballets de
Monte Carlo. During his tenure, the company’s repertoire expanded significantly to include works by George Balanchine, Pierre Lacotte, Anthony Tudor, John Neumeier, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Roland Petit, Maurice Béjart and masterpieces from Les Ballets Russes.

Throughout the years, Esquerre traveled the world to teach mindfulness techniques and developed a program of therapeutic dance exercises designed for injury prevention and post-surgery rehabilitation. He worked as a guest ballet master/teacher for English National Ballet and School, Boston Ballet and
School, Le Cirque du Soleil, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, Royal Winnipeg Ballet and School, Banff Center for the Arts, Royal Ballet School of London, Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Paris Opera Ballet and National Ballet of Canada to name a few. He also served as a juror/chairman in several international ballet competitions such as Prix de Lausanne.

Between 2007 and 2010, Esquerre worked with the San Francisco Ballet in several capacities, including company teacher, coach and school faculty member. In 2008, he was appointed Assistant to the Artistic Director for San Francisco Ballet’s 75th anniversary season. During these three years, as Trainee Program
Director, he developed a teacher-training program, led improvisation & choreography workshops and offered performances throughout California.

Since 2010, while guesting around the world, Esquerre was entrusted by the Government of Canada with the artistic evaluation of l’École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec, the National Ballet School of Canada and the School of Alberta Ballet. He also staged works for the Béjart Ballet Lausanne, the Royal Ballet School and the English National Ballet School.

Dutch National Ballet Academy

The Dutch National Ballet Academy is affiliated with the Dutch National Ballet. Together, they train talented children to become top dancers. After their study these young dancers are capable of dancing both romantic classical and modern ballet repertoire. Studying to become a ballet dancer is extremely demanding
and begins at the tender age of 10.  Every day aspiring dancers undergo a strenuous dance training and perform at a superior physical and artistic level. Dancers who graduate from the Dutch National Ballet Academy dance with top international companies. In collaboration with the Dutch National Ballet the
Dutch National Ballet Academy has founded the Junior Company for talented graduating and graduated dancers.

The Dutch National Ballet Academy is part of de Theaterschool, one of the faculties of the Amsterdam School of the Arts (AHK), which also comprises Academie voor Beeldende Vorming (Academy of Fine Art in Education), Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Nederlandse Filmacademie (Netherlands Film Academy), Reinwardt Academie and Academie van Bouwkunst (Academy of Architecture).

Royal New Zealand Ballet announces 2014 line up

Royal New Zealand Ballet announces 2014 line up

61 performances in New Zealand and a four centre US tour

rnzb

The Royal New Zealand Ballet today announced the company’s 2014 season, opening in January with performances in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Minneapolis and New York. Following the US tour, the RNZB will present three New Zealand tours, with a total of 61 performances in centres from Auckland to Invercargill.

“I am excited to be returning to the US as Artistic Director of the RNZB’ says Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel. ‘The ballets we are taking, including our acclaimed production of Giselle and a trio of contemporary works, will show the RNZB and New Zealand at its very best.”

The RNZB’s New Zealand season opens in April with Coppélia, an enduring classic which combines ballet with comedy and a touch of magic. The production, designed by Kristian Fredrikson (creator of the RNZB’s stunning Swan Lake) for The Australian Ballet, opens in Wellington on 17 April before touring to Palmerston North, Invercargill, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua, Takapuna and Auckland City.

The winter will bring one of the RNZB’s popular mixed programmes of short ballets. Making the most of the company’s versatility in styles from classical to contemporary, Allegro: Five Short Ballets, includes works by ballet great George Balanchine, Johan Kobborg (co-creator with Stiefel, of the RNZB’s Giselle), Larry Keigwin and the world premiere of a new work by New Zealand choreographer Daniel Belton. Allegro: Five Short Ballets will have its opening night in Auckland on 30 July, touring to Hamilton, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Invercargill and Dunedin.

The RNZB year ends with The Vodafone Season of A Christmas Carol, a dazzling retelling of Dickens’ classic yuletide tale, perfect for family celebrations and festive treats. The production, new to New Zealand, comes from the UK’s Northern Ballet, a company renowned for its story telling and stylish productions – including previous RNZB favourite Dracula. The original score is by film and television composer Carl Davis, and incorporates Christmas carols. The Vodafone Season of A Christmas Carol will open in Wellington on 30 October, touring to Dunedin, Christchurch (where the company will perform for the first time in the rebuilt Isaac Theatre Royal), Palmerston North, Napier, Auckland City and Takapuna.

“Having just celebrated the RNZB’s first sixty years in 2013, the 2014 season has the company looking forward to the next sixty. The programming includes a bright and charming classic, a night of energetic and inventive works and a ballet that couldn’t be better suited for getting everyone into the holiday spirit. All of the productions have their own distinct personality and come together to form a year of performances that offer audiences an extensive and entertaining experience in dance.”

The RNZB’s last tour of 2013 kicks off in Wellington on 23 October, taking in 47 centers nationwide  from Kaitaia to Stewart Island.

TOWER Tutus on Tour: 23 October – 4 December 2013

TOWER Tutus on Tour will appeal to all ages, with a first half of highlights and hits from the RNZB’s first 60 years, including the pas de deux from Flower Festival at Genzano, ‘Charlie’ from Ihi FrENZy, Through to You, the New Zealand premiere of Antony Tudor’s Little Improvisations and the show-stopping pas de deux from Don Quixote. The second half features a fresh new version of Peter and the Wolf, choreographed by RNZB dancers turned choreographers Brendan Bradshaw and Catherine Eddy, and narrated by Te Radar.  

2014 programme

Coppélia – touring to Wellington, Palmerston North, Invercargill, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua, Takapuna and Auckland City, 17 April – 31 May 2014.

Choreography:                   after Marius Petipa
Music:                                 Léo Delibes
Design:                                Kristian Fredrikson
Lighting:                             Jason Morphett
Conductor:                         Nigel Gaynor

 

Allegro: Five Short Ballets – touring to Auckland City, Hamilton, Napier, Palmerston North, Wellington, Invercargill and Dunedin, 30 July – 23 August 2014. Lighting design for all five ballets by Nigel Percy.

 

Allegro Brillante
Choreography:                      George Balanchine
Music:                                    Tchaikovsky

Les Lutins (‘The Goblins’)
Choreography:                      Johan Kobborg
Music:                                    Bazzani, Wieniawski-Kreisler

Satellites (world premiere)
Choreography:                      Daniel Belton
Music:                                    Jan-Bas Bollen
Animation:                            Jac Grenfell
Kinetic sculpture:                 Jim Murphy
Costumes:                             Donnine Harrison

Mattress Suite
Choreography:                      Larry Keigwin
Music:                                    Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Giuseppe Verdi and Etta James

Megalopolis
Choreography:                      Larry Keigwin
Music:                                    Steve Reich and MIA

 

The Vodafone Season of A Christmas Carol – touring to Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Palmerston North, Napier, Auckland City and Takapuna, 30 October – 14 December 2014.

Director:                                Christopher Gable
Choreography:                      Massimo Moricone
Production design:               Lez Brotherston
Music:                                    Carl Davis
Original lighting:                   Paul Pyant
Conductor:                            Nigel Gaynor

 

The Royal New Zealand Ballet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) was founded in 1953 by Danish dancer Poul Gnatt, as a touring professional ballet company for all New Zealanders. Now based at Wellington’s St James Theatre, the Royal New Zealand Ballet is an intrinsic part of New Zealand’s national heritage, and has the largest following of all New Zealand performing arts companies. The Royal New Zealand Ballet continues to invest in live music, performing with Orchestra Wellington, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the Southern Sinfonia and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra for both Coppélia and The Vodafone Season of A Christmas Carol. Live music will also feature in Allegro: Five Short Ballets, with Johan Kobborg’s Les Lutins incorporating a live pianist and violinist onstage.

The RNZB enjoys a reputation for strong and unique interpretations of full-length dramatic works. To this base have been added many masterworks and major ballets of the 20th century, such as Balanchine’s works and the Stravinsky ballets. The company has an enviable track record in commissioning new works from New Zealand and international choreographers. The RNZB regularly represents New Zealand on the international stage, with recent tours to the UK, Australia and China.