Butler Ballet Presents Midwinter Dance Festival Feb. 25-26
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Butler Ballet continues its 2010-2011 season Feb. 25 and 26 at Clowes Memorial Hall with the annual Midwinter Dance Festival, featuring the Walpurgisnacht Ballet, one of George Balanchine’s historical works of choreography.
Show times are 8 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $21.50-$28.50 for adults; $17-$23 for children/students/seniors; and $14-$20 for groups of 15 or more. They're available at the Clowes Hall box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, (800) 982-2787, and online at ticketmaster.com. The box office is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
In addition to the Walpurgisnacht Ballet, this year’s Midwinter Dance Festival will feature Butler Ballet dancers performing five pieces choreographed by the Butler Dance Department faculty: 1st of 3 in 17 by Cynthia Pratt; Church Song by Susan McGuire; Karelia Suite by Stephan Laurent; La Bayadère by Marek Cholewa; and Hong by Tong Wang.
The approximately 17-minute Walpurgisnacht Ballet will feature choreography George Balanchine created for a 1975 production of Faust by the Théâtre National de l'Opéra, danced by the Paris Opera Ballet. The version we see today was premiered by the New York City Ballet in 1980.
Former New York City Ballet ballerina Deborah Wingert visited Butler in January on behalf of The George Balanchine Trust L.P. to set the piece and will return for production week to refine the material and prepare the dancers for the performances. Associate Professor of Dance Derek Reid is serving as the ballet master.
Walpurgisnacht Ballet will feature 25 dancers – 24 women and one man – and features Lily Rupp and Garrett Glassman, and Mary Agatha Schmank.
“I urge people to come to see the Balanchine piece,” Dance Department Chair Larry Attaway said. “It’s really quite beautiful.”
The faculty choreography in Midwinter Dance Festival features these selections, which generally run 12 to 15 minutes each:
La Bayadère, set by Marek Cholewa, is “a charming piece of the classical repertoire,” Attaway said. The ballet is based on tales from India. Heather Brustolon and Sean Sessions are the soloists.
Karelia Suite, featuring the music of Jean Sebelius, is choreographed by Stephan Laurent. Attaway described Laurent’s choreography as “lively and entertaining.” Andrea D’Annunzio and Matt Doolin are the lead couple.
Church Song is a “very intricate, delicate modern dance” created by Susan McGuire as a tribute to the victims of the tsunami that hit Indonesia. Anna Peters and Karl Watson are the featured dancers.
1st of 3 in 17, choreographed by Cynthia Pratt, which Attaway describes as “a very powerful movement piece set to the music of Mozart,” was originally performed at Butler’s Mozart Project in 2006.
Hong, “swan goose,” is a brand new work by Tong Wang based on the migration habits of the “swan geese” that reside in Mongolia.
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