Ballet Across America II
"Ballet Across America is a success, not least in audience terms. More, please."
--The New York Times
The Kennedy Center's Ballet Across America returns to the Opera House after a successful debut in 2008. The biennial program is an exploration of the breadth and depth of the art form, showcasing companies from across the nation. Tulsa Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Ballet Arizona, The Joffrey Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and North Carolina Dance Theatre present three programs highlighting their talents and offering a wide range of music and choreography.
Program A (Performance timing: 1 hour, 50 minutes)
Tue., June 15* & Wed., June 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Stanton Welch, Artistic Director
Set to Mozart's Salzburg Symphonies, Stanton Welch's playful, pure dance work is sprightly, intricate, and immediately inviting. (24 min., followed by a 20-min. intermission)
The Suzanne Farrell Ballet
Suzanne Farrell, Artistic Director
Monumentum Pro Gesualdo & Movements for Piano and Orchestra
(Balanchine/Stravinsky) (17 min., followed by a 15-min. intermission)
North Carolina Dance Theatre
Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Artistic Director
Shindig (Bonnefoux/traditional bluegrass)
This rollicking ballet by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, with live music by the Greasy Beans, is "a lively mix of toe shoes and bluegrass to set the audience cheering" (The New York Times). (30 min.)
Program B (Performance timing: 1 hour, 30 minutes)
Thu., June 17* at 7:30 p.m. and Sat., June 19 at 1:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Dorothy Gunther Pugh, Founder and Artistic Director
In Dreams (McIntyre/Orbison)
Created in 2007 by Ballet Memphis's resident choreographer Trey McIntyre, the work makes heartbreak look like fun when set to music by the late Roy Orbison, who recorded some of his early tunes at Sun Studio in Memphis. (17 min., followed by a 15-min. intermission)
Ib Andersen, Artistic Director
Formed in 1986 with an emphasis on commissioning innovative new works, Ballet Arizona under the leadership of Ib Andersen has become a provocative company that creates, performs, and teaches outstanding classical and contemporary ballet. They are bringing a new Andersen work danced to Britten's Diversions for Piano (Left Hand) and Orchestra, Op. 21. (25 min., followed by a 15-min. intermission)
Pacific Northwest Ballet
Peter Boal, Artistic Director
3 Movements (Millepied/Reich)
Benjamin Millepied's work is danced with a whipped-up fierceness, its 16 dancers seemingly lit by cool fire. On one hand it's tricky and technically challenging, on the other it brims with insouciance. (17 min.)
Program C (Performance timing: 2 hours)
Fri., June 18* at 7:30 p.m. and Sun., June 20 at 1:30 p.m.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
Tom Mossbrucker, Artistic Director
Red Sweet (Elo/Vivaldi and Biber)
A leader in the dance world and one of the largest dance presenters in the country, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet performs a commission by Jorma Elo. (22 min., followed by a 20-min. intermission)
Marcello Angelini, Artistic Director
Por Vos Muero (Duato/Old Spanish Music)
Since its founding in 1956, Tulsa Ballet has remained constant in its artistic mission: combine the beauty and joy expressed by dance with the drama and entertainment of the theater. The company is dancing Nacho Duato's Por Vos Muero, set to 15th- and 16th-century Spanish music and recorded lines from a love poem by Garcilaso de la Vega. (30 min., followed by a 20-min. intermission)
The Joffrey Ballet
Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director
Age of Innocence (Liang/Glass and Newman)
Inspired by the novels of Jane Austen, Age of Innocence is a nostalgic work by former NYCB soloist and rising star Edwaard Liang which investigates the sensations and emotions roused by an empty ballroom. (30 min.)
*Explore the Arts: Free post-performance discussion with company Artistic Directors