Ballet San Jose's Song and Dance: Three Ballets
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The last date listed for Ballet San Jose: Song and Dance was Friday May 8, 2009 / 8:00pm.
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A heart-rending debut, a crowd-pleasing favorite and an iconic work are the highlights of Smuin Ballet's winter program XXtremes. For the first time ever in Northern California, the company will perform Jiri Kylian's acclaimed Return to a Strange Land, set to music by Czech composer Leos Janacek. Return expresses the journey from loss to hope with rare elegance and astonishing form. Brought back by popular demand, the company will also dance Dear Miss Cline, a buoyant and colorful romp through the music of Patsy Cline. Choreographed by the company's own Amy Seiwert, the piece features 10 Nashville tunes, including the immortal "Walkin' After Midnight." Finally, Smuin Ballet will pay tribute to its late, great founder Michael Smuin by performing his Carmina Burana. Set to the pulse-thumping cantata by Carl Orff, the choreography of Carmina Burana exemplifies the rhythm, speed and syncopation for which Smuin Ballet is beloved. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Phil
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This was truly something special. "Song and Dance" works as a concept and as a production. The live singing accentuates and enhances the choreography and each dancer's lines and movements. Antony Tudor's "Elegies" based on Mahler's "Kindertotenlieder" was heart-felt, due in no small part to Michael Tyalor's emotional yet nuanced singing. The showstopper was Twyla Tharp's "Nine Sinatra Songs" which brought down the house. She masterfully blends ballroom dancing with classical ballet. The choreography highlights the spectrum of emotions in the Sinatra songs, from love lost, loneliness, introspection to being hopeful and playful. The costumes were elegant and a treat for the eyes. Highly recommended if you have an opportunity to see this production.
<p>Ballet San Jose closes out its 2008-09 season with Song and Dance, three Company premieres of ballets set to music with songs. New York City Ballet principal dancer Nilas Martins has set Puccini Songs, his classical ballet for three couples, to eleven operatic songs by Giacomo Puccini. It will be performed with live voice and piano accompaniment. Antony Tudor’s Dark Elegies is regarded as one of the greatest ballets of the 20th century. Set to Gustav Mahler’s “Kindertotenlieder,” this 1837 setting of poems by Friedrich Rückert is a true masterpiece for the ages. And Twyla Tharp has set Nine Sinatra Songs to recordings by Ol’ Blue Eyes himself.
New York City Ballet principal dancer Nilas Martins’ Puccini Songs is a classical ballet infused with airy lightness for three couples. It is set to a score of eleven operatic songs by Giacomo Puccini performed live alternating between tenor (John Matz) and soprano (Olga Makarino) with piano accompaniment by Ron Valentino. Songs include: A te, Salve Regina!, Storiella d'amore, Ad una morta, Mentia l'avviso, E l'uccellino, Morire?, Casa mia,casa mia, Sole e amore, Sogno d'or, and Terra e mare. The songs span the length of the composer’s career and all of them are musical settings of lyrical poetry instead of passionate operatic arias. The six dancers are shown in a vaguely timeless setting, taking the stage individually and then pairing off. It is flirtatious, romantic and emotional.
Noted expert on Antony Tudor, Donald Mahler, will stage the penetrating Dark Elegies for Ballet San Jose. “Anthony Tudor’s ballets are about truth, the inner truth of each person,” says Mahler. “Tudor tackled many serious subjects in his ballets, but each ballet ends by being uplifting and positive.” Set to five songs from Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder cycle (“Songs on the Death of Children”) Dark Elegies is a virtually plotless but emotionally rich work danced by rough dressed village peasants expressing resignation and acceptance of some unspecified disaster—usually thought to be the death of a child or children. Tudor used a very free ballet style with very little pointe work for the piece, which often looks like a folk ritual. It premiered on February 19, 1937 by the Ballet Rambert in London (Duchess Theatre). The music for the 20-minute piece will be played by pianist Ron Valentino and sung by baritone Michael Taylor.
Twyla Tharp set Nine Sinatra Songs to some of Frank Sinatra’s most popular recordings. The songs are: “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” “Strangers in the Night,” “All the Way,” “That’s Life,” “My Way,” “Softly as I Leave You,” “Something Stupid” “Forget Domani.” and a second version of “My Way”, recorded later in his career than the first recording. It’s roots date back to a pas de deux with Twyla and Mikail Baryshnikov called ‘Once More Frank’ and research done on ballroom dance Twyla did for the movie ‘Ragtime.’ Danced by 7 men and 7 women, this 28-minute piece is elegantly costumed by famed couturier Oscar de la Renta. The choreography is delightfully sophisticated and witty.</p>