Posted 07 June 2004 - 01:24 PM
THE WASHINGTON BALLET ANNOUNCES ITS 2004-2005 SEASON
Highlights Include the Classic Ballet Giselle, the World Premiere of Septime Webre’s Nutcracker and World Premiere of Trey McIntyre’s Rite of Spring
(Washington, D.C.) The Washington Ballet announces its 2004-2005 season, a line-up of ballet favorites and world premieres with local performances at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the historic Warner Theatre and its own home on Wisconsin Avenue.
“The breadth of this season is unprecedented for The Washington Ballet,” says The Washington Ballet Artistic Director Septime Webre. “From a new production of the classic Giselle to Unplugged, the range of repertoire has never been more demanding on the dancers, and our dancers have never been more ready.”
The season begins as the Company takes on the exciting adventure of staging the classic favorite Giselle October 20-24 at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater. At the very heart of the romantic era, Giselle is the extraordinary story of absolute love and unconditional devotion, set to Adolph Adam’s poignant score. Audiences are consistently enraptured by this tale’s ethereal, mystical and sublime magnetism – from Giselle’s peasant village and the infamous mad scene, to the supernatural world of the Willis. A true vehicle to exemplify its technical and dramatic mettle, The Washington Ballet wraps its production of Giselle in emotional sensitivity and tenderness.
“The first 19th century ballet I ever saw was Rudolf Nureyev in Giselle; it took my breath away,” says Webre. “Seeing Giselle that first time, I was amazed with the beauty of its nuances and subtleties. I am thrilled we can tackle this great work.”
Beginning a new tradition for the holidays, The Washington Ballet premieres Septime Webre’s The Nutcracker December 9 – 26 at the Warner Theatre. Set in 1882 in Washington, D.C., Webre’s Nutcracker will be perfumed with references to the nation’s capital as well as America’s rich history: In Clara’s dream, the Nutcracker himself will have an uncanny resemblance to George Washington, the Rat King to George III, the rats to British Army Red Coats and the toy soldiers to a regiment of the Continental Army. Act II will take place on the banks of the Potomac River with the Cherry Blossoms in full bloom; various divertissements will be staged to reflect images of Americana including a duet for two Anacostia Indians, and Mother Ginger’s skirt will reveal a working American carousel with children as circus clowns. See your favorite Washington Ballet stars, together with budding talent from The Washington School of Ballet in a Nutcracker beaming with brilliant, neoclassical energy. It is the must-see of the holiday season.
“Washington, D.C. has such a unique character and is a symbol for our collective American heritage,” Webre says. “Threading these elements through the story of Clara and her journey seemed to offer a specific and special point of view that would resonate for Washingtonians for years to come.”
Wunderkind Trey McIntyre returns to The Washington Ballet to stage his world premiere interpretation of the scandalous and controversial Rite of Spring, February 23-27 at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater. Originally commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev for Igor Stravinsky and Vaslav Nijinsky, Rite of Spring evoked an outburst of controversy when it premiered in 1913. With its scandalous history, Rite of Spring awakens with a new stir of intrigue as McIntyre takes his innovative hand to this story about a primitive sacrificial rite. Barbaric, sexual and powerfully gripping, Rite of Spring witnesses the sacrifice of a young girl for the god of spring. Stravinsky’s angular and unpredictable score, as radical today as it was when it first premiered, builds a ritualistic rhythm as a Neanderthal-like tribe finds complete glory in their annual sacrifice.
Rite of Spring will be accompanied by George Balanchine’s steely and sophisticated Stravinsky Violin Concerto and a Company premiere. “Trey McIntyre’s unique sense of the moment and occasionally off-the-wall sensibilities will give life to one of the most powerful scores ever written,” says Webre. “ What a great match for Balanchine’s cool and intellectual invention Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto.”
The Company will present The Washington Ballet’s Gala Performance for Kids on February 26 at 2:30 p.m. An entertaining afternoon for the entire family, The Washington Ballet will perform excerpts from its extensive repertoire of family friendly productions in addition to the ever-popular interactive program “Make a Ballet” led by Septime Webre.
Balancing the boldness and primitiveness of Rite of Spring is the tender, romantic and tragic ballet Romeo and Juliet April 13-17 at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater. Septime Webre’s acclaimed interpretation of Shakespeare’s most revered romantic tragedy brings weighty dramatic roles and impassioned classical dancing to this intensely theatrical experience. Romeo and Juliet reminds its audiences of love, as only youth knows it – consuming, reckless and world forgetting. Inspired by Prokofiev’s expressive score, Webre captures the very essence of this masterpiece, taking us with the young lovers as they rush headlong towards their romantic destiny.
“Romeo and Juliet has it all — a fabulous score, cliff-hanging drama and meaty dramatic roles in which the dancers can grow,” says Webre.
Completing The Washington Ballet’s 2004-2005 season is Unplugged, May 3-15 at The Washington Ballet’s England Studio Theatre. Unplugged spotlights the thrilling marriage between live dance and live music with a collection of world premieres and Septime Webre’s Fluctuating Hemlines. Mounted by numerous companies throughout the nation, Septime Webre’s Fluctuating Hemlines follows a compelling percussion score and places an emphasis firmly on athleticism. Camille Paglia’s incendiary “Sexual Persona” lays out the premise that, underneath, we are all driven by our animalistic passions. Enthused by this idea, Webre molds it into an abstract, stripped-down work filled with the tense energies and urges of our unrevealed lives.
“Unplugged gives dancers an opportunity to tear through new repertoire full throttle and allows the audience to experience the dancing from within,” Webre says.
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Posted 21 September 2004 - 03:36 PM
Posted 21 September 2004 - 03:44 PM
I don't know about "Nutcracker" -- perhaps Victoria will see this thread and comment.
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