Media City Ballet Presents The Music of Aram Katchaturian
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The last date listed for An Evening of Aram Khachaturian, the Composer and His Ballets was Saturday August 16, 2008 / 7:30pm.
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Composer Aram Khachaturian is author of the worldwide known ballets Gayane and Spartacus and of the symphonic suite, Masquerade. The creation of these pieces not only raised Armenian national ballet to the world level, but also noticeably enriched the treasure house of the world musical-dramatic art. Khachaturian’s music is noted for its modal, harmonic, melodic and orchestral generosity, all of which are connected with a broad gamma of thoughts and feelings in his scores.
_Gayane _means happiness and is a celebration of life events in which composer Aram Khachaturian wanted the folk songs and dancing melodies to be integrated and inseparable from the whole of the ballet. Gayane is the story of a young Armenian woman whose patriotic convictions are in conflict with her personal feelings upon discovering her husband has committed treason. The Gayane score includes the famous Saber Dance. The late filmmaker Stanley Kubrick used the Adagio from _Gayane _for his film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Likewise, filmmaker Joel Coen used music from Gayane in his film, The Hudsucker Proxy.
The well-known tale of Spartacus is written in modern language, with application of contemporary methods of the musical-theatre form. The main characters in the ballet are represented with specific and repeated musical themes. The storyline concerns the ultimately unsuccessful revolt of the slaves led by Spartacus, a Thracian slave and gladiator, against the Roman Empire in the years 73 – 71 BC. Music from Khachaturian’s Spartacus was most recently heard in the film, Ice Age: The Meltdown.
Masquerade was written for the 25th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. It is a symphonic suite in the tradition of lavish classical Russian music. Natasha Middleton will stage the piece to enhance the fantasy and put a modern face on this elaborate party, featuring eccentric costuming. The plot concerns a missing bracelet and a woman named Nina who is falsely accused of giving the bracelet to Prince Zvezditch, As a result, Nina’s husband, who thinks she is cheating on him, poisons her at the end of the ballet, only to realize she was innocent. The bracelet had actually been stolen by the Baroness and given to the Prince, who later gave it back to Nina. Natasha Middleton said: “Theatergoers who enjoy _Phantom of the Opera, _will enjoy _Masquerade, _as there are similarities in style.”