Sarasota Ballet’s Tribute to Balanchine program closes the company’s season, paying homage to the great choreographer during the 40th anniversary year of his passing.
George Balanchine‘s timeless choreography is showcased in a triple bill:
- Divertimento No. 15
- The Four Temperaments
- Western Symphony
The Sarasota Ballet Orchestra, conducted by Music Director of Ballet West, Jared Oaks, will accompany the dancers at the Sarasota Opera House.
Balanchine choreographed Divertimento No. 15 in 1956 to celebrate the two-hundredth anniversary of Mozart’s birth, a a ballet which ultimately became one of his purest examples of dance for its own sake. This piece brings pleasure to the eye through inventive changes as dancers form varied partnerships and move through shifting partners.
n 1940, George Balanchine commissioned Paul Hindemith for a work for piano and string orchestra to be played at one of the musical evenings he liked to host; the result was the plotless The Four Temperaments, which premiered in 1946.
Balanchine closely followed the score’s structure, with its three-part Theme, set for three couples, followed by the four extended variations, realizing many of the details in the music. Movements are taken to extremes, reaching, turning, pushing and pulling.
“If you were to say to me ‘What’s the best thing in America’ I would reply ‘Cowboys! Westerns!’ The people are right for it, they know what they’re doing and to me it rings true.” – George Balanchine
George Balanchine’s Western Symphony, created in 1954, set such characters dancing to a score packed with familiar Western tunes like “Red River Valley” and “Oh, Dem Golden Slippers.” And, as Hershy Kay’s exhilarating score uses those tunes as the themes for a classical symphony, so Balanchine uses the classic ballet vocabulary to bring to life the Western movies he loved to watch on TV.
The ballet features many small jokes, some recalling other works – including his own, while dancers appear in frilly dance-hall costumes, extravagant hats, and true western wear.
Sarasota Ballet's Tribute to Balanchine Schedule
- Friday, April 28, 2023 at 7:30 PM
- Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 2:00 PM
- Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 7:30 PM
Featured Photo for Sarasota Ballet’s Tribute to Balanchine of Alessandra Nova, Lauren Ostrander, Ricardo Rhodes, Isabella Benton, Willa Frantz in The Four Temperaments. Photo by Frank Atura.
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