CAROLINA BALLET OPENS SECOND HALF OF SEASON WITH RARE BALANCHINE BALLETS
RALEIGH, NC — Over the past thirteen-plus years Carolina Ballet has presented a program highlighting George Balanchine ballets each season. Considered to be the greatest choreographer of the 20th century, Balanchine, the founder of New York City Ballet, was a mentor to artistic director Robert Weiss who danced for him for over 17 years in New York. Balanchine choreographed several ballets on Weiss during that time as well. Now for the opening of the winter / spring portion of the 14th season, Carolina Ballet will present three ballets by George Balanchine that are rarely performed today – A La Francaix, Minkus Pas de Trois and Glinka Pas de Trois. The program, Balanchine Rarities, will be presented at the A.J. Fletcher Theater at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts February 16-March 4, 2012. The schedule of performances is as follows:
Thursday, February 16 & Friday, February 17 at 8:00pm
Saturday, February 18, 25 & March 3 at 2:00pm & 8:00pm
Sunday, February 19, 26 & March 4 at 2:00pm
George Balanchine choreographed the three ballets on Andre Eglevsky, a Russian émigré, who in the early days of ballet in the United States was a “super star” of the dance world. Today Eglevsky’s daughter, Marina, a dancer in her own right, stages her father’s ballets around the world. With a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, Robert Weiss invited Ms. Eglevsky to stage these three ballets on Carolina Ballet, and they will be filmed for statewide broadcast by UNC-TV.
The Minkus Pas de Trois was choreographed in 1948 and is a very close adaptation of the pas de trios by Marius Petipa from his 1881 ballet Paquita to the very circus-like music of Ludwig Minkus. Balanchine’s pas de trois was choreographed originally on Eglevsky, Rosella Hightower and Marjorie Tallchief (the sister of Maria Tallchief one of Balanchine’s four wives.) The Glinka Pas de Trois (1955) on the other hand is a much more neoclassical ballet. Robert Weiss in discussing the two ballets says this is “a virtuoso piece for two ballerinas and one man – an intricate and exquisite work to the music of Mikhail Glinka, often called the Mozart of Russia.” It was choreographed on Melissa Hayden, Allegra Kent and Eglevsky.
Choreographed in 1951 to music of the French neoclassical composer Jean Francaix, A La Francaix shows a rarely seen lighter or humorous side of George Balanchine’s choreography in which he exposes the fickleness of love. According to Marina Eglevsky, Balanchine apparently liked the phrase “to each man a Sylph” and this ballet is a parody on Bournonville’s La Sylphide. There are five characters – originally danced by Maria Tallchief as the Sylph, Andre Eglevsky as the “Dandy,” Janet Reed, Frank Hobi and Roy Tobias.
Also on the program will be a reprise of Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Lost and Found first presented in 2003 as a tribute to the survivors of 9/11. Lost and Found is to music of Robert Schumann, played live on the piano by Karl Moraski. The final work on the program is Robert Weiss’ Moving Life I, II, & III choreographed to music of Erik Satie for the opening of the new building at the North Carolina Museum of Art in April 2010.
For ticket information, please call the Carolina Ballet box office at 919 719-0900 or Ticketmaster at 800 982-2787. Ticket prices range from $65-25; and $10 student rush tickets, with valid student ID, are available one half hour before the performance.
Carolina Ballet, Inc. has taken its place among America’s premier arts organizations. Under the innovative direction of artistic director Robert Weiss, a talented company, fiscally responsible management and community support, Carolina Ballet exposes audiences to traditional ballet by legendary masters and new works of contemporary choreographers. This fourteenth season represents the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and ever-increasing quality of life experienced here in North Carolina.