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The Russian Masters
(Dallas / Fort Worth, TX – October 2009)… Texas Ballet Theater’s Artistic Director Ben Stevenson O.B.E. is proud to present The Russian Masters, an evening of classic and contemporary ballet featuring the work of George Balanchine, Michel Fokine, Alexander Borodin and more for a one weekend only exclusive engagement in Fort Worth, October 2 – 4, 2009 at the Nancy Lee & Perry R. Bass Performance Hall. This is the first weekend of performances in Texas Ballet Theater’s 2009 – 2010 Season.
“We are very excited to begin our 2009 – 2010 Season at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth,” states Mr. Stevenson. “We are proud to present a wonderful evening of classic and contemporary ballet with a Russian flair that highlights the power and grace of our talented company.”
The first act of The Russian Masters features George Balanchine’s Serenade. Widely recognized as the “Father of American Ballet”, Georgian born, Russian trained George Balanchine was the co-founder and Ballet Master for New York City Ballet. Serenade was the first work that Balanchine created in America for his students at the School of American Ballet in 1934. This moving piece opens with a stage full of female dancers in diagonal lines, one hand raised in graceful salutation. As Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade in C for String Orchestra” unfolds around them, Balanchine’s masterful choreography shows off the abundant talent of every member in the company. Ballet aficionados will instantly recognize the long, flowing, pale blue skirts for the women, and the dark blue unitards for the men. Celebrating its 75 year anniversary since its creation, Serenade is now a staple in the repertoires of ballet companies around the world.
The second act of The Russian Masters features one breathtaking pas de deux after another, including Three Preludes, Flames of Paris, and Le Corsaire Pas De Deux.
The international award winning Three Preludes was created by Ben Stevenson in 1969 and is performed to selections of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Preludes.” This popular work has been performed in the repertoires of many companies around the world, including American Ballet Theater, The Paris Opera Ballet, and the La Scala Ballet in Milan. The gentle, loving pas de deux focuses on the characters of two dancers who fall in love while working in a dance studio. The three movements develop in both speed and intensity as the emotion between the dancers evolves into passion. Now celebrating its 40th Anniversary, Ben Stevenson’s Three Preludes was awarded the Gold medal for choreography at the International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria in 1972.
Flames of Paris is a classical ballet based upon the historic events of the French Revolution. This four act ballet originally premiered at the Kirov Theater in Leningrad in 1932, with music by Boris Asafiev and choreography by Vasily Vainonen. The pas de deux is taken from the fourth act of the ballet, as the people are celebrating their victory over the aristocracy. The strong and expressive movements convey the energy and spirit of the crowd.
Le Corsaire Pas De Deux is one of the most famous excerpts from the three act ballet Le Corsaire. This grand pas de deux was not part of the original ballet, but was added in the third act of later productions. It received its world premiere at the Theatre Imperial de l’Opera, Paris in 1856. The ballet concerns a band of pirates, a princess and a wicked, wealthy merchant. With music composed by Riccardo Drigo, Le Corsaire Pas De Deux is a show stopping duet that has become a major repertory staple of ballet companies all over the world.
The third and final act of The Russian Masters features master choreographer Michel Fokine’s Polovtsian Dances from Alexander Borodin’s Prince Igor. First appearing as part of the "Russian Seasons" program shown in Paris on May 19, 1909, the program was a demonstration of Fokine's effort to create a ballet focused on the corps de ballet, rather than a soloist. The action takes place at the Polovtsian camp, as the warriors and slave girls entertain the Duke with their dances. Ballet aficionados will easily recognize the ceremonial dances, and opera aficionados will recognize the music from Alexander Borodin’s memorable score. Now celebrating its 100th Anniversary, the Polovtsian Dances are striking, emotionally powerful and a fitting finale for this magnificent evening at the Bass Performance Hall.
The performance dates at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth are: Friday, October 2 at 8:00pm; Saturday, October 3 at 8:00pm; and Sunday, October 4 at 2:00pm.
This show is suitable for all audiences. Tickets for The Russian Masters are now on sale and can be purchased by calling the Texas Ballet Theater ticketing hotline at 877-828-9200. Patrons may also visit the box office at Texas Ballet Theater’s Administrative Offices, 6845 Green Oaks Road, Fort Worth, 76116. Tickets are $19 to $99 per person, depending upon seating location. For more information, visit www.texasballettheater.org.
About Texas Ballet Theater
Founded in 1961, Texas Ballet Theater is the premier professional ballet company in North Texas. Under Artistic Director Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., the ballet brings unprecedented talent, beauty and artistic expression to the stages of the Nancy Lee & Perry R. Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth and the new Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House in Dallas. For more information, please visit www.texasballettheater.org.