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Balanchine "Divertimento No. 15" + Duell, Seymour, & Blair; Ballet Chicago, Harris Theater, 5/3/24

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Here’s a reminder that Ballet Chicago’s Spring mixed repertory program will go on in the Harris Theater in downtown Chicago in three weeks, on May 3 at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM.  When I last checked, good seats were still available.  (The Harris’s rows are more steeply-raked up toward the back: good sight-lines and acoustics.  And there’s a good sound system.)  


The program holds Balanchine’s “Divertimento No. 15” and several ballets by B.C.’s artistic director Daniel Duell and faculty of the excellent, pre-professional school Ballet Chicago is, most of which I haven’t yet seen, but it’s usually “well-heard”- I like to see what I hear, one way or another.  


But that’s the key to the moderate prices of these shows:  The dancers - the Studio Company, the cream of the school - are not on salary but paying tuition; the music is from well-chosen recordings; and most of the good-looking costumes - which also move well - are made by mothers of the dancers.  (The costumes for “Divertimento No. 15” may be a professionally-made exception.)    


Here’s a link to the relevant web page:  


Ballet Chicago - Balanchine and Beyond


That's an image of B.C.’s “Divertimento No. 15” across the top of the page - B.C. cares not only about the authenticity of the costumes but even more about the choreography and the way it’s danced - Duell did not only dance in New York City Ballet when Balanchine was supervising it, he is among the people the Balanchine Trust has authorized to stage Balanchine’s ballets, and B.C. uses mostly Balanchine choreography in its classes.


The last time I saw “Divertimento No. 15” danced by the B.C.S.C. I took along a friend deeper into modern dance than ballet, both as performer and scholar.  She told me the last time she looked at ballet was when her mother took her, age seven, and she fell asleep.  After the performance my sharp-eyed friend couldn’t get over it:  “That was beautiful!  That was beautiful!  I especially enjoyed their feet.”  I couldn’t resist:  “Modern dancers aren’t known for their feet,” I said.  I got her elbow in my ribs for that.  


Try this.  You won’t fall asleep.  


Edited by Jack Reed
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With a few days to go, Ballet Chicago has announced further details, not on the web page liked to above.  For one thing, the new Seymour ballet is choreographed to Mozart's Clarinet Quintet, a work by the mature composer, in contrast to the new Blair ballet, to the delicate, earlier Mozart work with the theme well-known as "Twinkle, twinkle, little star":

(Try copying and pasting the link in my subsequent post, below.)

Edited by Jack Reed
Trying to add recent details from my email.
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