Vivaldi’s Four Seasons / Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2

RALEIGH, NC —  In the past 15 seasons, artistic director Robert Weiss has created 49 new ballets on Carolina Ballet, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, to premiere February 13-March 2, his 50th new work on his company.   His ballets range from full evening story ballets (Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, etc.) to pas de deux, and include ballets to famous classical music such as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah and now the Vivaldi.  Also on the program is a ballet choreographed by dancer Zalman Raffael to Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 another very well known and popular piece of music.  The schedule of performances at the A.J. Fletcher Theater in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts is as follows:

Thursday, February 13 at 8pm

Friday, February 14, at 8pm

Saturday, February 15 & 22, and March 1, at 2 & 8pm

Sunday, February 16 & 23, and March 2, at 2pm


In talking about his decision to choreograph a ballet to Vivaldi’s famous score, Robert Weiss admitted that it was something he has wanted to do for a long time.  He explains, “With the company dancers at the height of their powers, it seemed a good time to choreograph these four violin concertos in the neoclassic style, using them as a spring board for the feelings, colors, and atmosphere that surrounds each season.”  He goes on to say that even if one is not familiar with the music, “one would immediately know which music depicts which season – the vitality of spring, the languor of summer, the melancholy of fall, or the exhilaration of winter.”

During the past three seasons, Robert Weiss has asked Zalman Raffael to create a ballet for a specific program a number of times.  In spring 2012, Carolina Ballet presented The Calder Project to coincide with the Calder exhibit at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.  Raffael created one of the ballets on the program inspired by a mobile called Ghost, to music of Darius Milhaud. The piece was praised as having a “pleasing airiness;” and the “clean, crisp choreography was a showcase for the dancers’ technical skills as well as Raffael’s own eye for detail.”  Last season Raffael created two works, Rhapsody to the music of George Gershwin, and a ballet to hip-hop called Street Symphony for the Rite of Spring program.  In 2013, Raffael was awarded a New York Choreographic Institute Fellowship grant which allowed him to create a ballet on nine Carolina Ballet dancers in a workshop environment last summer.  He chose Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto on which to choreograph and at the end of two weeks presented the ballet at a small showing in Carolina Ballet’s studios.

Now Zalman Raffael has created Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2, which he says it is an abstract look at coming to find love for oneself in order to find peace in one’s life.  This ballet is funded in part by the Jerome Robbins Trust and Foundation.

Single tickets for Vivaldi’s Four Seasons may be purchased through the Carolina Ballet box office at 919 719-0900, through Ticketmaster at 800 982-2787, or on the Carolina Ballet website.  Individual tickets range from $30-68 and there is a $10 student rush ticket that may be purchased with a student ID one half hour before the show.  Saturday matinee’s tickets are discounted to $25-58.

After fifteen seasons, Carolina Ballet, Inc. takes 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 continues to expose audiences to traditional ballet by legendary masters and new works of contemporary choreographers.  The company reflects the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and ever-increasing quality of life experienced in North Carolina.

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