Cincinnati Ballet is thrilled to continue its historic return to Music Hall with a dazzling premiere of Carmina Burana, coupled with George Balanchine’s “stunningly beautiful”* Serenade, for six performances this Valentine’s Day weekend – February 8 through 11.
Carl Orff’s powerful and evocative score comes brilliantly to life in the Cincinnati Premiere of the “wickedly fast-paced”* Carmina Burana, choreographed by the renowned Nicolo Fonte. Fonte has created a ballet that is as dynamic as the music of Orff’s score, featuring 18 Cincinnati Ballet dancers accompanied on stage by the May Festival Chorus and backed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Carmina Burana is an 11th-century text that was re-discovered in a Bavarian monastery in 1803. In 1936, composer Carl Orff set 24 of the poems to music, and it quickly became an extremely popular piece of classical repertoire, having been featured in major films, television, video games, and even sampled by Michael Jackson.
Carmina Burana is a co-production with Ballet West, which premiered the production in November. The costumes were built by Cincinnati Ballet, and a truss set was fabricated in Tennessee, which lifts the choir members high in the air above the dancers. Decorative set elements were built by San Diego Opera.
“World premieres of a reimagined iconic work – such as Carmina Burana – are rare. For this reason, I am so excited for our community of dance lovers to witness this unique collaboration with Ballet West,” said Victoria Morgan, Artistic Director for Cincinnati Ballet.
The entire evening has an arc, beginning with Balanchine’s sweeping and gently feminine Serenade, in its moonlit shadows and soft flowing skirts. This is then set in contrast to the boldly dramatic Carmina Burana and the physically powerful style of Nicolo Fonte.
“There’s no doubt that this program offers the most divergent of movement styles at the highest level of excellence on both sides of the spectrum. It is not to be missed,” said Victoria Morgan, Artistic Director for Cincinnati Ballet.
Serenade, the first work created by George Balanchine in America, was originally created in 1934 as an exercise for the newly formed School of American Ballet. Filled with lush musicality and moving drama, is recognized as one of Balanchine’s seminal works.
Nicolo Fonte is known for his daring and original approach to choreography, and has worked with esteemed companies such as The Dutch National Ballet, Houston Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. R.M. Campbell of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote, “Fonte is a thinker, an architect who creates the new rather than reinvent the old. He is a master of manipulating space and creating relationships.”
“Nicolo Fonte’s newly reimagined Carmina Burana, is an explosive study of ballet’s contemporary language, filled with athleticism, passion and drama” – Heather Hayes, Deseret News