THIS WEEK'S TOP BALLET NEWS
● Hong Kong Ballet and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra present Carmina Burana
● Boston Ballet’s My Obsession Program Launches October 6
● Joffrey Ballet Opens Season with Beyond Borders
● Ballet Arizona Presents Ballet Under the Stars
Hong Kong Ballet and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra present Carmina Burana
Headlining Hong Kong Ballet‘s next program at Hong Kong Culture Centre’s Grand Theatre on October 14-16, 2022 is the Asian Premiere of Artistic Director Septime Webre’s Carmina Burana. With dances from medieval times to the present, Webre’s choreography is influenced by Carl Orff’s iconic music and by themes from Virginia Woolf’s novella “Orlando” about our eternal search for love.
Rounding out the double bill is Hong Kong Ballet’s Choreographer-in-Residence Hu Song Wei Ricky’s world premiere of The Last Song. Hu’s work is inspired by selections by J.S. Bach and Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and the Rose and aims to explore the ultimate definition of beauty.
Boston Ballet’s My Obsession Program Launches October 6
Touted as a program that “explores our obsessions, devotions, and idols”, My Obsession features two ballets by George Balanchine and the return of works by Helen Pickett and Stephen Galloway to Citizens Bank Opera House.
“Boston Ballet returns to the stage with a program that will excite your passions and desires. From the masterful dancing of Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante and Apollo to Pickett’s sensually stunning 月夜Tsukiyo, and finally to the highly anticipated return of Stephen Galloway’s DEVIL’s/eye choreographed to the iconic music of The Rolling Stones, this season opener will stimulate the senses at every turn. I hope the enrapturing visuals and irresistible music has audiences dancing along in their seats,” said Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen.
Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante showcases Boston Ballet’s dancers’ athletic ability to execute rapid-fire choreography with precision timing, set to Tchaikovsky’s Third Piano Concerto, while his Apollo depicts the young Greek god of music who is ushered into adulthood by the muses of poetry, mime, and dance.
Pickett’s 月夜 Tsukiyo (which means “moonlit night”) is a pas de deux inspired by the Japanese fable of “The Woodcutter’s Daughter” and set to music by Arvo Pärt. This ballet which explores the complexities of human interaction and desire was commissioned by the company in 2009 and was last performed live in 2012.
The Rolling Stones serve as the music for Galloway’s popular DEVIL’S/ eye which premiered earlier this year. The setting for the work aims to evoke feelings of a concert arena where ballet goers will hear The Stones’ “Midnight Rambler,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Paint It Black,” “Wild Horses,” and “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.”
Joffrey Ballet Opens Season with Beyond Borders
Joffrey Ballet’s 2022-2023 season launches on October 12, 2022 at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago with a mixed repertory program – Beyond Borders – that pays tribute to the Joffrey’s maverick legacy with works by artists of its past and present.
Joffrey co-founder Gerald Arpino’s Suite Saint-Saëns weaves classical movement with the late choreographer’s signature neo-classical style of speed, energy, and quality. With its lilting score, this American masterwork was once described by choreographer Agnes DeMille as like “standing in a flight of meteors.”
Chanel DaSilva returns with a second original creation, following her powerful company debut in 2021 with Swing Low. One of the most in-demand artists working today, DaSilva brings her storytelling prowess back to Chicago for another world premiere created with the artists of the Joffrey.
And Liam Scarlett’s Vespertine takes inspiration from the great Baroque era artist Caravaggio in this hypnotic performance of stylistic sensualism and elegance. His dynamic technique provides elements of bright rays of light and darkening shadows. Illuminated under the subtle glow of intricate chandeliers, with chic costumes designed by the late choreographer himself, Vespertine puts a modern twist on the romantic era of the late 18th century.
Ballet Arizona Presents Ballet Under the Stars
The Phoenix-based company continues their annual tradition of offering free outdoor performances throughout the community. From September 8-11, 2022, Ballet Arizona will perform excerpts from classical and contemporary works at the following locations:
September 8 – Fountain Park, Fountain Hills
September 9 – Sahuaro Ranch Historic Park, Glendale
September 10 – Steele Indian School Park, Phoenix
September 11 – Estrella Lakeside Amphitheater, Goodyear
Ballet Under the Stars is the perfect show for the entire family and a great way to introduce ballet to young people for the first time. These performances allow Arizonans to experience dance in a unique outdoor setting complete with a professional stage, lighting, and costumes. Indulge in local food trucks with space for picnicking and for aspiring young dancers to move along with the performance.
Ballet Under the Stars also showcases world premiere performances choreographed by local school students through the Class Act program. Each year, Ballet Arizona’s professional dancers provide a three-week dance training class for students in four different elementary schools across the Valley. The culminating highlight of their work is delivered as a performance as part of the Ballet Under the Stars program.
“Ballet Under the Stars is one of our favorite annual traditions, and we’re proud to be able to present it again to the community this year,” said Artistic Director Ib Andersen. “These performances are an exceptional gathering and celebration of art that allows all people to be immersed in the world of ballet.”
Photo Credits: 1) Reina Sawai and Basil James, Photography by Bobyeah, Courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet; 2) John Lam in Stephen Galloway’s DEVIL’S/eye, photo by Liza Voll; courtesy of Boston Ballet; 3) Hyuma Kiyosawa and Stefan Goncalvez. Photo by Todd Rosenberg; 4) Jessica Phillips in Serenade. Choreography by George Balanchine. © The Balanchine Trust. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor.