Sending the season off in signature style, Madison Ballet presents two ballets by choreographer George Balanchine in the intimate setting of the Bartell Theatre on April 17th and 18th in the mixed program: Repertory II. The George Balanchine Trust has once again granted Madison's premier ballet company the rights to perform two iconic works by the celebrated 20th century choreographer, Elégie and Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux. This is a testament to the company's continued excellence in the presentation and performance of Balanchine's work. Rounding out the program are ballets by Artistic Director W. Earle Smith, Palladio and Expressions (both last seen in 2011), and the White Swan Pas de Deux, adapted from Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.
Repertory II opens with Balanchine's breathtaking duet, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux. Affectionately called simply "Tschai Pas" by balletomanes (ballet afficianados), the duet is merely 8 minutes in length, but is memorable for its rapid-fire footwork. The work is set to a piece of music Tchaikovsky originally composed for Act III of Swan Lake. The section was not included in the original published score, but was discovered a half a century later. Hearing of its historic discovery, George Balanchine asked for—and was granted—permission to use it for his own choreography.
The second Balanchine ballet on the program is Elégie, also set to the music of Tchaikovsky. Danced in bare feet, with hair down for women, Elégie represents the first section of a larger ballet Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3, but stands on its own with its moody romantic aesthetic. The ballet features a single man and his female partner, joined by a corps of women who seem to represent the many faces of the female lead. Elégie was considered edgy for neoclassical ballet in the 1970s, and that sense does not diminish for today's audiences.
By contrast, fans of classical ballet will love seeing the White Swan Pas de Deux, taken from the 1895 Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov version of Swan Lake, showing the pure and delicate Swan Princess Odette dancing and falling in love with her Prince Siegfried.
Artistic Director W. Earle Smith, will restage two pieces that premiered on the same program in 2011: Palladio and Expressions. Both are a treat for Madison audiences! Palladio is pure neoclassical ballet (right down to the dancers' stark white tutus) set to an orchestral work by Karl Jenkins, while Smith's Expressions is a crowd-pleaser that will complete the memorable program. Expressions features jazz standards that will be familiar to audiences of all ages, from the languid "Stormy Weather" to the swinging "Almost Like Being In Love."
"We close our season with something for everyone," says Artistic Director W. Earle Smith. "Expect a performance filled with stunning visuals and music that keeps you humming all the way home. From Balanchine to Swan Lake to contemporary ballet, and all in the incredibly intimate Bartell Theatre—you won't want to miss a moment of Repertory II!"
Tickets are available at the Bartell Theatre box office or online at madisonballet.org.
Dates & Times:
Friday, April 17, at 8pm
Saturday, April 18 at 2pm
Saturday, April 18 at 8pm
$25 child (12 and under)/senior
Children 2 and under free (lap seating only).
Student Rush Tickets $10 each, available at door with valid HS or college ID on day of performance (2 per ID may be purchased).