Carolina Ballet is poised to open the second half of its twelfth season, February 18 – March 7, 2010, with selections from its repertoire that offer something for every age and taste. The program opens with Robert Weiss’ Cinderella, and after the intermission it switches gears with several shorter works by Weiss’ mentor George Balanchine. The program will be presented at the Fletcher Opera Theater of the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.
The schedule of performances is as follows:
- Thursday, February 18 at 8:00pm
- Friday, February 19 at 8:00pm
- Saturday, February 20, 27 and March 6 at 2:00pm & 8:00pm
- Sunday, February 21, 28 and March 7 at 2:00pm
When artistic director Robert Weiss set out to create a new Cinderella in 2006 at the close of the company’s eighth season, he commissioned Cary resident Karl Moraski to compose a score for the production which The New Republic called “melodic and danceable.” The classic fairy tale of the scullery maid who turns into a Princess needs no elaboration, but this production offers plenty of energy, humor, elegance and magic to bring it to life in such a way that it appeals to children and adults alike. Roy Dicks wrote in the News & Observer, “Robert Weiss has created many enduring works with Carolina Ballet in its eight seasons. His new Cinderella goes right to the top of the list. It has all the elements for popular success – classic story, colorful scenery, dazzling costumes, attractive music, humor and romance. But its artistic achievement sets it apart: choreography fitted perfectly with each moment and each dancer.” Moraski will accompany the ballet on the piano for these performances.
For the Balanchine portion of the program Weiss has selected two pas de deux that are great favorites with Triangle audiences – the technically challenging Tchaikovsky Pas Deux; and Tarantella to the vibrant fast-paced music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Both ballets give Carolina Ballet the opportunity to showcase several of the company’s soloist dancers. This year Mr. Weiss is also introducing a new Balanchine work for a Raleigh premiere with the company, the “Fourth Movement” of Brahms Schoenberg Quartet which New York City Ballet premiered in 1969. Former New York City Ballet dancer Colleen Neary describes Brahms Schoenberg Quartet as four ballets in one, with the fourth movement being “wild and exhilarating…it leaves you on the edge of your seat.” She says “its feeling in costumes, choreography, and mood is gypsy.” Robert Weiss was in the corps de ballet at New York City Ballet in 1969 and danced in the premiere production.
As an extra bonus for this production, Robert Weiss is choreographing a new ballet to Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.” This will be a pas de deux accompanied by four male corps dancers. Weiss likes to emphasize that performing in the Fletcher Theater over three weekends gives “us the opportunity to have several casts for each ballet.” He suggests that if patrons “like what they have seen they should come back to see a different cast. The choreography will be the same but each dancer brings a slightly different interpretation to the role.”
The Cinderella production is offered as part of a “family series” with Sleeping Beauty (May 20-23, 2010). Patrons buying tickets to both productions will receive a 15% discount on the tickets. For ticket information, please call the Carolina Ballet box office at 919 719-0900 or Ticketmaster at 919 982-2787. Ticket prices range from $63-18 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 twelfth season represents the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and ever-increasing quality of life experienced here in North Carolina.