THIS WEEK'S TOP BALLET NEWS
● Sarasota Ballet Presents At Night
● Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker Returns to the Benedum Center
● New York City Ballet Presents George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
● Hong Kong Ballet’s Romeo + Juliet Premieres in the US
Sarasota Ballet Presents At Night
Sarasota Ballet‘s third program of the season, titled At Night, features three ballets that explore the theme of ever-changing relationships. The Sarasota Ballet Orchestra will accompany the dancers in Sir Frederick Ashton’s Les Patineurs, the Company Premiere of Jerome Robbins’ In the Night, and the return of Robbins’ Fancy Free.
Les Patineurs is an audience favorite one-act ballet that takes place in a Victorian winter wonderland, skaters gliding amongst each other on a tree-adorned frozen pond. In the Night‘s romanticism is captured in a starry night, Chopin’s nocturnes, and elegant costuming. The tone changes for Fancy Free which is set to Leonard Bernstein’s energetic score, the musical accompaniment for the three sailors on leave in Manhattan vying for the attention of two ladies.
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker Returns to the Benedum Center
Next month marks 20 years of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre performing former Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr’s production of The Nutcracker.
“Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker is a magical experience for families year after year,” said PBT Acting Executive Director Kathryn Gigler. “The stunning costumes, beloved characters and Pittsburgh touches like the Kaufmann’s clock make it a holiday classic. We love performing this ballet, and can’t wait to see audiences back at the Benedum again this December!”
This version features five scenes, over 150 costumes and more than 100 artists from the professional company and PBT School. A Christmas tree that grows to 15 times its size, falling snow and over 30 sleight of hand tricks created by a professional magician add to the production’s enchantment.
New York City Ballet Presents George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
As is tradition, New York City Ballet will perform The Nutcracker at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center this holiday season. George Balanchine‘s Nutcracker premiered in February of 1954 and since then has established its place in history as helping to make the show a perennial favorite.
“New York City Ballet and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® are an essential part of the holidays in New York and we are extraordinarily grateful for the generous continued sponsorship from The Travelers Companies, Inc. This season marks the 11th year that Travelers has supported the production and helped to make this treasured holiday favorite possible,” said Katherine Brown, NYCB’s Executive Director.
Set to Tchaikovsky’s score, this production features costumes by Karinska and lighting by Mark Stanley, after the original design by Ronald Bates. The Company’s entire roster of more than 150 dancers and musicians will perform, as well as more than 125 children, in two alternating casts, from the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet.
Hong Kong Ballet’s Romeo + Juliet Premieres in the US
January 13, 2023 will mark the United States premiere of Septime Webre’s Romeo + Juliet danced by Hong Kong Ballet. The company’s artistic director’s version of this ballet inspired by Shakespeare’s tragic love story is set in Hong Kong during the turbulent 1960s thus an adaptation of the characters from the classic tale to fit the unique setting.
Juliet’s father is an unrelenting Shanghainese tycoon who is determined to marry his only daughter off to a wealthy gweilo (Caucasian), and Webre’s original choreography seamlessly incorporates intense street battles rendered in traditional Hong Kong-style kung fu. Accompanied by Prokofiev’s dramatic score, retro Hong Kong is vividly brought to life in the epic love story’s captivating dancing, complex drama and sumptuous cheongsams. This brilliantly imagined adaptation is especially relevant for contemporary audiences as it fuses dance and drama against a backdrop of a world in flux.
Photo Credits: 1) The Sarasota Ballet in Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free – Photo by Frank Atura; 2) Jessica McCann and Lucius Kirst perform Snow in The Nutcracker. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor; 3) Sterling Hyltin as the Sugarplum Fairy in New York City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Phot by Paul Kolnik; 4) Ye Feifei and Garry Corpuz in Romeo + Juliet. Photographyby Conrad Dy-Liacco, Courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet.