THIS WEEK'S TOP BALLET NEWS
● Ballet Arizona Announces World Premiere of The Rite of Spring
● Virginia Johnson Steps Down as Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem
● Avant Chamber Ballet Celebrates 10 Years
● Kansas City Ballet Opens Season with Giselle
Ballet Arizona Announces World Premiere of The Rite of Spring
Next year, Ballet Arizona‘s popular annual performance series An Evening at Desert Botanical Garden will feature Artistic Director Ib Andersen’s premiere of The Rite of Spring set to Stravinsky’s powerful work of the same name. Andersen has modernized the composition with transformational choreography that captures the energetic and emotional feel of the music through ballet.
“Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is one of the most challenging scores composed for ballet,” said Andersen. “It’s a score I have lived with for almost 40 years, always thinking about how to deal with the extraordinary energy the music creates. I have decided now is the time to face and embrace this masterpiece for Desert Botanical Garden with new added visual elements.”
Following in the pattern of years past, Andersen has created or recreated contemporary ballet works with the Dessert Botanical Garden’s unique and special ambience in mind. His Round, Eroica, Topia, and The Four Seasons have all been performed there with the Garden serving as a natural backdrop for all of the pieces.
Virginia Johnson Steps Down as Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem
The legendary Virginia Johnson will become Artistic Director Emeritus of Dance Theatre of Harlem at the end of the current season. She will be succeeded by Robert Garland whose current position as Director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem School will be filled by former DTH Principal Dancer Tai Jimenez.
Read the full story here.
Avant Chamber Ballet Celebrates 10 Years
A special gala performance at Moody Performance Hall on October 15 marks the decade anniversary of Dallas-based Avant Chamber Ballet. Two world premieres highlight a program that also feature’s George Balanchine‘s Concerto Barocco danced to Bach’s Double Violin Concerto. Jock Soto’s My Soul Remainer, in collaboration with world-renowned musician and composer Laura Ortman, is a poignant and modern ballet that will reflect on Soto and Ortman’s indigenous heritage. And Puder’s Rhapsody in Blue will be accompanied by international piano soloist Anna Bulkina.
“I am thrilled to present this meaningful and exciting evening of dance and live music! This will be our biggest performance yet with audience favorites and two world premieres,” said Artistic Director Katie Puder.
Also on the program is Christopher Wheeldon’s The American pas de deux, beloved for its complex partnering and romantic tone.
Kansas City Ballet Opens Season with Giselle
Artistic Director Devin Carney’s production of the quintessential romantic ballet Giselle will kick start Kansas City Ballet’s 2022-2023 season. From October 14-23, the ballet company will be accompanied by the Kansas City Symphony at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts as theater goers experience dance set to Adolph Adam’s iconic score. Carney details:
“Giselle is a one-of-a- kind production that is near and dear to me, having played all male roles including the lead, Albrecht. At 181 years old, this masterpiece is one of the oldest continually performed classics in the world of ballet. My approach to this work has been entirely about the preservation of style and artistic intent. Presenting the great classical works is a key part of my artistic vision. It remains one of the most popular works of the dance canon for a reason: It is a love story full of endearing pas de deuxs, gorgeous and challenging solos, and one of the most renowned and ethereal corps de ballet scenes in the history of dance. I am happy to have our company perform my interpretation of this classical favorite that is sure to please our audiences.”
Photo Credits: 1) Ballet Arizona Dancers in Topia, Photo by Alexander Iziliaev; 2) Virginia Johnson, Photo from Dance Theatre of Harlem; 3) Avant Chamber Ballet Dancers, Photo by Sean Sullivan; 3) Amaya Rodriguez, Photo by Kenny Johnson.