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2011-2012 Season to Feature Many New Works for Triangle

Lilyan Vigo, Gabor Kapin and Company in Carolina Ballet's A Midsummer Night's Dream; Choreography by George Balanchine (c) The George Balanchine Trust; Photo by Russ Howe

Lilyan Vigo, Gabor Kapin and Company in Carolina Ballet's A Midsummer Night's Dream; Choreography by George Balanchine (c) The George Balanchine Trust; Photo by Russ Howe

Carolina Ballet is pleased to announce the line-up of programs for the company’s 2011-2012 season, offering many new works for the Triangle audience. Once again there will be seven programs from September 2011 to May 2012 – plus the annual Nutcracker. The productions will be performed at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium (RMA), the AJ Fletcher Opera Theater (AJF) and this year, for the first time, one weekend of Nutcracker at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC). The schedule of productions for Carolina Ballet’s 14th season is as follows:

  • Black & White Swan – September 15-October 2, 2011 (AJF)
    Choreography, Marius Petipa; Music, Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky
  • Dracula / The Masque of the Red Death – October 13-30, 2011 (AJF)
    Choreography, Lynne Taylor Corbett and Robert Weiss; Music, J. Mark Scearce
  • Oblique Dreamscape & Cinderella – November 23-27, 2011 (RMA)
    Choreography, Robert Weiss; Music, Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky & Karl Moraski
  • Balanchine Rarities (Raleigh premiere) – February 16-March 4, 2012 (AJF)
    Choreography, George Balanchine; Music Jean Francais, Mikail Glinka & Ludwig Minkus
  • The Little Mermaid (world premiere) – March 15-April 1, 2012 (AJF)
    Choreography, Lynne Taylor-Corbett; original score Michael Moricz
  • Carmina Burana & a new Robert Weiss Ballet – April 19-22, 2012 (RMA)
    Choreography by Lynne Taylor-Corbett & Robert Weiss; Music, Carl Orff
  • Beethoven’s 9th (world premiere) & Beauty and the Beast – May 17-20, 2012 (RMA)
    Choreography, Robert Weiss; Music, Ludwig van Beethoven & Karl Moraski

As in previous seasons, Carolina Ballet is presenting a mix of new works with favorite ballets from the repertory. For the 2011-2012 season some of the new works are world premieres such as The Little Mermaid and Beethoven’s 9th and some are Raleigh premieres as in the case of the three George Balanchine ballets. The Petipa “Black Swan and White Swan” pas de deux have only been presented in the Triangle by the famed Bolshoi Ballet when it performed Swan Lake at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill in 2009. Carolina Ballet has created 87 new works in the company’s first 13 years, more than any other company in the country during that time period other than New York City Ballet. Artistic director Robert Weiss says “it is so important for my dancers to have new choreography created on them. It pushes them artistically to higher levels.”

Carolina Ballet considers its self very fortunate to have Tony Award nominee Lynne Taylor-Corbett as the company’s principal guest choreographer. Over the years she has created such popular programs as Carolina Jamboree with the Red Clay Ramblers, Cabaret featuring Andrea Marcovicci, and The Ugly Duckling. Two of Taylor-Corbett’s most successful productions for Carolina Ballet will be revived next season – Carmina Burana, and Dracula which premiered in October 2010. Both of these programs will be performed to live music, and Carmina Burana will also be accompanied by the North Carolina Master Chorale conducted by Alfred Sturgis. Her new ballet for the company, Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved The Little Mermaid, will be performed to specially commissioned music by Michael Moricz who composed the score for The Ugly Duckling.

The Balanchine program in February 2012 includes three ballets that are rarely performed today but ones that offer examples of Balanchine’s great artistry. They will be staged by Marina Eglevsky, daughter of famed dancer Andre Eglevsky. The ballets are A La Francais, one of Balanchine’s few comic story ballets to the music of Jean Francaix; Glinka Pas de Trois and Minkus Pas de Trois to the music of Mikail Glinka and Ludwig Minkus respectively. This production is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts as part of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius.

With all the excitement and Oscar buzz over the movie The Black Swan, Robert Weiss thought it would interesting to have his dancers dance the original Marius Petipa choreography for “Black Swan” and “White Swan” pas de deux from Swan Lake. When Weiss premiered his own choreography for Swan Lake in 2005 he rearranged the music for the Black Swan pas de deux so there could be no comparison to Petipa’s choreography which is so well known.

Other ballets to be presented during the season include Weiss’ popular Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. Both ballets have original scores by Karl Moraski, performed live by him on the piano. Oblique Dreamscape was presented during Carolina Ballets’ tenth anniversary celebration in February 2009. Weiss will make a few revisions to this “intriguing” ballet that will be presented with Cinderella during the Thanksgiving holiday at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.

Perhaps the biggest news regarding the 14th season will be the changes to Nutcracker that Robert Weiss is planning for December 2011. Carolina Ballet premiered the current Nutcracker in 2001 with the very generous support of Progress Energy. In talking about making the decision to revamp Nutcracker, Robert Weiss explains “over the past ten years (and more than 150 performances) there has been considerable wear and tear on the sets and costumes.” One aspect of this new Nutcracker will be the addition of Las Vegas style magic never before seen or tried in a ballet. Carolina Ballet will present Nutcracker in Durham at the Durham Performing Arts Center December 10 and 11, before opening at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium December 16-24.

Information about becoming a subscriber or choosing the subscription package that best suits one’s schedule may be obtained by calling the Carolina Ballet box office at 919 719-0900. A special family package includes Cinderella, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. There are many benefits to being a subscriber including being able to buy tickets for Nutcracker before they go on sale to the public.

In its thirteenth season, Carolina Ballet, Inc. has taken its place among America’s premiere 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. The company represents the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and ever-increasing quality of life experienced here in North Carolina.

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