The Kennedy Center

The Washington Ballet, Les Sylphides by Dean Alexander

The Washington Ballet presents Russian Masters

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Washington Ballet opens its 2017-2018 Kennedy Center season with Russian Masters, an evening of works that clearly reveal where classical ballet began and how these choreographers have shaped and influenced our art form over the last 175 years.

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The Washington Ballet
Julie Kent, artistic director
Russian Masters
Featuring The Washington Ballet Orchestra

Les Sylphides is a one-act romantic reverie as a poet dances with exquisite sylphs in a forest. The corps de ballet is onstage almost throughout, used in decorative groups when not dancing. The ballet is in the repertory of nearly every company in the world. Choreography by Michel Fokine with music by Frédéric Chopin.

Alexei Ratmansky’s interpretation of Boléro reveals the end at the beginning and then unveils the chain of events that give rise to the ending. Set to Maurice Ravel’s famous orchestral piece of the same name, Boléro is a reflection on modern society and how its pressures reveal our inner demons and struggles.

Marius Petipa (1818–1910) was one of the most influential figures of classical ballet. His ballets were grand spectacles that made magnificent use of the corps de ballet and placed the lead ballerina center stage. The Le Corsaire Pas de Deux is one of the most famous in the classical ballet repertoire. This audience favorite showcases thrilling virtuoso technique performed to the music of Adolphe Adam.

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, George Balanchine (1904-1983) is regarded as the foremost contemporary choreographer in the world of ballet. The story of Prodigal Son comes from the parable in the Gospel of St. Luke. Set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev and reflecting themes of sin and redemption, the work ends with the prodigal's return. Choreography George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

Performance Timings: Part I - 34 min.; Intermission - 20 min.; Part II - 25 min.; Intermission - 20 min.; Part III - 36 min.