Ballet West presents Carmina Burana five years after its initial success.
In 2017, the company’s premiere of Nicolo Fonte’s Carmina Burana was instantly in demand and is now in the repertoire of three companies around the country.
Carmina Burana has a long history with Ballet West. In 1974, founder William Christensen introduced Utah audiences to this provocative work with John Butler’s historic 1959 version. It quickly became one of the most often requested ballets in the company’s history.
In 2017, Artistic Director Adam Sklute commissioned Resident Choreographer Nicolo Fonte to create a new, 21st century production of this seminal work, and the new production became an immediate hit.
Carl Orff’s 1936 cantata about the wheel of fate in Medieval times is likely familiar to many audiences. The music has appeared for decades in many films, including Glory, The Hunt for Red October, and The Doors. It is also, thanks to its drama and power, a regular staple of television shows, commercials, and movie trailers.
For this production, Ballet West is partnering with Utah County-based Cantorum Chamber Choir directed by Steve Durtschi, Artistic Director and Westminster College Director of Choral Activities Jane Fjeldsted to provide this huge chorus of over 60 dancers who sing on a platform suspended over the dancers.
The leading singers are Melissa Heath, soprano; Christopher Puckett, tenor; and Christopher Clayton, baritone, who interact with the dancers below on stage.
Ballet West Presents Carmina Burana
Opening the program – which runs from April 1-9, 2022 – is Glass Pieces, one of Jerome Robbins’ most recognized works.
In 1983, Robbins created the groundbreaking work Glass Pieces to the pulsating, minimalist music of iconic American composer Philip Glass. The ballet reflects the hectic drive of our time as it juxtaposes with the magic in our souls. As the curtain rises to a graph paper backdrop, wave after wave of people randomly cross the stage as mystical dancers appear in their midst, unnoticed by the hordes. The work follows an hypnotic path to a spectacular conclusion.
Adam Sklute said of Glass Pieces,
“This world-renowned ballet is a reflection of our times. It is also a great showpiece for our corps de ballet as they are ultimately the stars of this magnificent work.”
Leave a Reply