From The Four Temperaments (1946), made by New York City Ballet co-founder George Balanchine. In reference to medieval “humors” or personality types: choleric, sanguine, melancholic, phlegmatic (aggressive, outgoing, thoughtful, peaceful). Among Balanchine’s earliest experiments. Classical steps with lean, angular style.
Created fresh for OBT2, by OBT Soloist Matthew Pawlicki-Sinclair, this dance is a fitting coming-of-age narrative for young dancers. Contemporary infused with neoclassical style: off-balance work with ballet’s beloved “lines” and pointe shoes.
By George, by name, is a nod to both the composer, George Gershwin, and the choreographer, George Balanchine, who originated the neo-classical style demonstrated in this flowing and jazzy new work by Phillip Carman.
The Dying Swan
Set to Camille Saint-Sean’s ‘The Swan’ – is one of the most iconic female roles in all of ballet, epitomizing the beauty and fragility of the romantic-era ballerina.
Set to Duke Ellington jazz in 1979, by OBT founding Resident Choreographer Dennis Spaight. Joyous and jazzy; fluid and sassy. Oregon ArtsWatch critic Martha Ullman West called watching Spaight “a gift.” Inspired by Ellington – “America’s most important composer” – whose music is “a standard [of our] cultural heritage.”
Giselle – Peasant Pas de Deux
The scene is a village, where a young peasant couple entertain the visiting Prince Albrecht and the members of his hunting, in a show of bravura dancing.
Le Corsaire – Des Odalisques
From Act III of Le Corsaire (The Pirate), finalized in 1899 and choreographed by “the father of classical ballet,” Marius Petipa. A dance for three harem slaves; a proper example of Petipa’s aesthetic: steely technique meets inventive steps. Three female soloists, showcasing strength and delicacy at once.
OBT Principal Dancer Peter Franc explores the questions: What is strength? What does strong look like? How do we lose that strength and why? With music by Dead Can Dance and Max Richter, this piece shows glimpses of different people, times and relationships to reflect on these ideas…
Set to soul-stirring songs by Haitian actress-singer Toto Bissainthe. Choreographed in 1990 by one of the world’s best: Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato. A powerful appeal for human rights, a memory of Haitian slaves, and a longing for freedom. Traditional yet contemporary; resistance transformed into creation.
The Sleeping Beauty – Jewels Pas de Quatre
From Act 3 of The Sleeping Beauty (1890), by Petipa, the most influential choreographer in ballet history. Set to Tchaikovsky, the most popular Russian composer in classical music. Essential, challenging, and brilliant. Both ballet and theatre, with a story known the world over. The scene: a royal wedding with fairies as guests!
Initially choreographed by Balanchine for Paris Opéra Ballet’s Faust (1975). A scene at the beginning of the opera’s final act: Mephistopheles (the devil’s servant) brings Faust (a scholar) to watch May Day, when dead souls wander. Here, wild women soar across stage; as Balanchine once famously said, “Ballet is woman.”