Just Balanchine, from City Ballet of San Diego
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The last date listed for City Ballet of San Diego: Just Balanchine was Sunday March 8, 2009 / 2:00pm.
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City Ballet of San Diego, under the direction of Steven and Elizabeth Wistrich, continues its role as the major presenter in Southern California of works by George Balanchine, one of the greatest choreographers in dance history, with performances at the Birch North Park Theatre.
Two historic ballets will be performed by City Ballet for the first time: “The Four Temperaments” (1946), with music by Paul Hindemith, and “La Source” (1968), a romantic neoclassical ballet with music by Leo Délibes. The program also includes Balanchine’s iconic ballet “Serenade” (1934), music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, which the company last performed to great acclaim in 2007. “Serenade” was the first ballet Balanchine choreographed in the United States and is widely considered to be his signature masterpiece.
As a company, City Ballet has a strong connection with George Balanchine. Artistic Director Steven Wistrich performed with “Mr. B” in the 1970s, and the company is one of a very few around the country given permission by The Balanchine Trust to present the master’s works. Former New York City Ballet dancers will be in San Diego to stage the works with City Ballet company members.
“The Four Temperaments”
Music: Paul Hindemith
Choreography: George Balanchine (1946)
Called “still an extraordinarily exciting piece” by The New York Times’ Rosklyn Sulcas, “The Four Temperaments” was named by Time magazine as “The Best Dance of the 20th Century.” Also writing in The New York Times, Alastair Macauley said the piece “…exemplifies Balanchine’s most characteristic form of modernism, paring away all other matters to concentrate on the union of academic ballet and music, and building that into one castle in the air after another... In ‘The Four Temperaments,’ Balanchine’s pared-down conception of ballet became a brave-new-world breakthrough. It is one of many Balanchine ballets so extraordinary in their architecture and its conception that many new dance-goers must surely feel that they still matter now; I can only say it mattered more.”
Music: Leo Délibes
Choreography: George Balanchine (1968)
“Like a fancy dessert or stylish hat or dress, ‘La Source’ is not a necessity of life. Yet, like sampling pastries or wearing new clothes, watching ‘La Source’ is certainly one of life’s small pleasures.” – Jack Anderson, The New York Times
Set to music that Délibes wrote in 1866 for a French ballet of the same name, Balanchine's “La Source” does away with the original ballet’s plot and Persian setting, but the choreography is reminiscent of 19th-century French ballets, with many small, precise, delicate steps that make it a showcase for City Ballet’s women.
Music: Serenade for Strings in C, Op. 48, by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreography: George Balanchine (1934)
“Some ballets endure, renewing themselves for each generation of bodies and sensibilities. Such a ballet is George Balanchine’s ‘Serenade.’” — Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times
Named after its Tchaikovsky score and created for the Balanchine’s first New York City Ballet dancers, “Serenade” was the first ballet Mr. B. created after coming to America and heralded the greatness to come, fully synthesizing classic and contemporary influences.
“Although Balanchine's repertory of more than 400 dances brims with classics, ‘Serenade’ occupies a pinnacle in American dance history.” – Janice Steinberg, The San Diego Union-Tribune
Programming, musical selections, and artists are correct as of publication, but subject to change without notice.