The Kennedy Center

<i>Ballet Across America III</i>

Ballet Across America III

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - Sunday, June 9, 2013


Since its debut in 2008, the Kennedy Center's Ballet Across America series continues to showcase the best of ballet from regional companies across the nation. 

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Ballet Across America III
with the
Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra
Celebrate Dance Theatre of Harlem's triumphant return to the stage, witness the Kennedy Center debut of Richmond Ballet and the Center premieres of multiple repertoire pieces, and delight in Ashton's rarely seen Les Patineurs. Returning after successful runs in 2008 and 2010, the Kennedy Center's Ballet Across America series continues to showcase the extraordinary breadth and depth of American ballet through three mixed repertory programs.
Program A (June 4 & 5 eve.)
Premiered in the Richmond Ballet (Stoner Winslett, Artistic Director) New Works Festival, Ershter Vals features music based on poems from the Jewish ghettos of World War II. The captivating choreography focuses the ballet on the moments of light that can be found in even the darkest of times, creating a penetrating message of hope. Oregon Ballet Theatre arrives from the west to present James Kudelka's riveting Almost Mozart, which juxtaposes a gorgeous Mozart score with stunning moments of complete silence. And Boston Ballet (Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director) brings Balanchine's complex and energetic Symphony in Three Movements, set to Stravinsky's music and marked by its turned-in movements and athletic sequences.
Program Timing: 1 hour, 44 minutes, including two 20-minute intermissions
Program B (June 6 eve. and 8 mat. & eve.)  
Other east coast companies include The Sarasota Ballet (Iain Webb, Director) with Les Patineurs, in which Sir Frederick Ashton's choreography brings a skating rink to life on stage, complete with vivid scenes of couples skating hand in hand, the bravura "blue boy" dazzling the crowd, and beginners clinging onto the nearest support. D.C.'s own The Washington Ballet (Septime Webre, Artistic Director) performs Edwaard Liang's dazzling Wunderland, known for its mesmerizing partnerings and performed to an alluring score by Philip Glass. Pennsylvania Ballet (Roy Kaiser, Artistic Director) offers the purity and angular architecture of Balanchine's The Four Temperaments, set to Paul Hindemith's commissioned score and inspired by the medieval belief of the four humors.
Program Timing: 2 hours, 7 minutes, including two 20-minute intermissions
Program C (June 7 eve. and 9 mat.)
North Carolina Dance Theatre (Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Artistic Director) brings Rhapsodic Dances, a contemporary take on classical ballet with inspiration from Rachmaninoff's music. From Texas, Ballet Austin (Stephen Mills, Artistic Director) stages Mills's enlightened and inspiring Hush, organically entwining dance with a spiraling score by Philip Glass. Finally, Dance Theatre of Harlem (Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director) returns to the stage after closing in 2004. The company brings Robert Garland's urban/post-modern/neoclassical confection Return, making use of the music of Aretha Franklin and James Brown, in a brilliant tribute to American social dances of the '60s and '70s.
Program Timing: 1 hour, 46 minutes, including two 20-minute intermissions

Explore the Arts
Free Post-Performance Discussions feature artistic directors from the participating companies offering insights into their creations and eliciting your comments and reactions: Program A (June 4), Program B (June 6), Program C (June 7).