The Suzanne Farrell Ballet
Suzanne Farrell, Artistic Director
with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra
PROGRAM A: NOV. 6, 7, 9 EVENING, 10 MATINEE
Romeo & Juliet (Mejia/Tchaikovsky) COMPANY PREMIERE
Timing: Piece 1: 28 min.; Intermission: 20 min.; Piece 2: 27 min.; Intermission: 20 min.; Piece 3: 25 min.
PROGRAM B: NOV. 8 EVENING, 9 MATINEE, 10 EVENING
Pas de Dix (Balanchine/Glazounov) COMPANY PREMIERE
Duo Concertant (Balanchine/Stravinsky)
Tempo di Valse (Balanchine/Tchaikovsky)
Timing: Piece 1: 18 min.; Intermission: 20 min.; Pieces 2&3: 26 min.; Intermission: 20 min..; Piece 4: 27 min.
"Renewing the Balanchine legacy with maximum luster"
--Los Angeles Times
"An exciting company to keep re-watching season after season"
--The New York Times
"Too distinctive, too juicy, too fabulously fearless to miss"
--The Washington Post
Suzanne Farrell--George Balanchine's most celebrated muse--continues to share her intimate understanding of the late choreographer's vanguard body of work through the Kennedy Center's own ballet company. For the 2013–2014 season, the company presents two mixed programs to include past audience favorites and new company premieres.
To mark the 30th anniversary of Balanchine's passing, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet revisits his last great masterpiece, Mozartiana, created for Suzanne Farrell and Ib Anderson in 1981. With music by Tchaikovsky, who composed his suite as a way to introduce Mozart's genius to Russia, the ballet is a tour de force for the solo couple. Ms. Farrell has said Mozartiana "changed my life more than any other ballet Balanchine made on me… it has an aura about it unlike any other."
Episodes (1959) is Balanchine's homage to the music of Anton Webern that ends with the composer's beautifully serene tribute to Johann Sebastian Bach. The work is performed in black and white leotards to showcase the choreography's purity of line and movement.
Celebrating the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare, the company will also present its first performances of Paul Mejia's Romeo & Juliet, a 25-minute ballet originally choreographed in 1977 to a score from Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture. Mejia's version depicts Shakespeare's tragic tale through Juliet's eyes, reminiscing on key moments from the lovers' star-crossed romance, from the ball to the tomb.
Paying tribute to Ms. Farrell's dear friend Maria Tallchief, who passed away earlier this year, the company will present its first performances of Balanchine's Pas de Dix. This infrequently performed ballet from 1955, with music by Alexander Glazounov, is one of the hallmarks of Tallchief's career. Audiences familiar with Russian music will recognize the infectious Hungarian flavor of this highly classical ballet.
The five-movement Duo Concertant, with a provocative score by Stravinsky, originally premiered as part of Balanchine's 1972 Stravinsky Festival a year after the composer's passing. Sharing the stage with a pianist and violinist, a man and woman are inspired to dance--at first fast, then slow, before breaking into individual variations and a dramatic finale of light and shadow.
Not seen by Washington audiences in 10 years, when Ms. Farrell first staged it for the Kennedy Center's Tchaikovsky Festival, Balanchine's Tempo di Valse (1981) is the "Waltz of the Flowers" music from The Nutcracker. Weaving the corps de ballet and ballerina through one delightful pattern after another, the ballet arrives just in time to warm your heart for the approaching holidays.
Finally, the incomparable 1957 collaboration between Balanchine and Stravinsky is witnessed in the revolutionary Agon, one of Balanchine's most iconic works, revered for taking modernist ballet further than ever before. Named for the Greek word for "contest," this athletic, epic work features a cast of 12 dancing in ever-changing duos, trios, quartets, and more to music inspired by French court dances.