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Saturday, May 7, 2022
2 & 7:30 p.m.

In its return to the Harris Theater stage before a live audience, the acclaimed Ballet Chicago Studio Company takes on new works by choreographers Daniel Duell, Ted Seymour, and Durante Verzola, as well as the sizzling audience favorite Who Cares?  by George Balanchine.

 

The wide-ranging program explores music from the Baroque’s Joseph Bologne (the “Black Mozart”), to the 20th Century impressionism of Maurice Ravel, the modernist innovations of Igor Stravinsky, and the irrepressible jazz delights of George Gershwin.

Artistic Director, Daniel Duell, and Resident Choreographer, Ted Seymour, will host a 30-minute lecture in the intimate setting of the Harris Theater's Donor Room, providing an inside perspective on this year's adventuresome program. An annual tradition, these lectures are always informative, entertaining, and well-attended. The lecture begins at 1:00 PM, and seating is available starting at 12:30 PM. Admission is free - just show your performance ticket to Harris Theater ushers.

The Secret Garden

Choreography by Daniel Duell

Music by Maurice Ravel

 

Based on the original Secret Garden story by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Duell’s ballet adaptation depicts the miraculous growth of Mary and Colin, two ten-year-olds who are brought together through tragic family events at Misselthwaite Manor, owned by Mr. Craven. Mostly absent from his estate due to sorrow over the loss of his wife, Mr. Craven is Colin’s father and Mary’s uncle. Entrenched in poor behaviors reflecting their original circumstances, Mary and Colin change into different people through the discovery of a secret garden that has languished unseen and untended for ten years. They are joined by a brother-sister pair who help “bring out the best” in both as the four tend and grow the garden. A mysterious, aged gardener and a bold English robin are in the picture, as is the household’s head housekeeper Mrs. Medford. The secret garden literally dances itself into being in two phases, an early spring garden, and then the full rose garden. The ballet ends with the reunion of Mr. Craven and his transformed son and niece.

Who Cares?

Choreography by George Balanchine
© The George Balanchine Trust

Music by George Gershwin, arr. by Hershey Kay

 

First performed in February 1970 by the New York City Ballet, this ballet is a jazzy romp through the songs of the inimitable George Gershwin, delightfully arranged for full orchestra by Hershey Kay. Featuring a large ensemble cast supporting three ballerinas and their partners, the ballet displays ingenious rhythmic footwork and dazzling technique. Its three central duets are charmingly romantic in a decidedly American vein, and its closing movement, set to Gershwin’s “I’ve Got Rhythm”, sizzles with irrepressible brio.

Chevalier

Choreography Durante Verzola

Music by Joseph Bologne Chevalier de Saint-Georges

 

Originally making its premiere in November, 2020, for Ballet Chicago’s DanceVision, “The Music of Black Voices”, Chevalier has become a fresh and exciting piece of repertoire for the Studio Company. Choreographer, Durante Verzola, uses his brilliant ability to make the ballet pedagogy sing with the score of Joseph Bologne Chevalier de Saint-Georges string quartet. New for the 2022 Harris theater program, Durante will be creating an accompanying 1st movement to the existing work. It’s hard to believe that this piece began in the dancers living rooms over zoom and taping themselves, then being filmed for Harris Theaters virtual stage, through the Creative Future Fund, and now making its way to live audiences. Experiencing this ballets energy as it forged though, is a true testament to the creative process and the power of artistic desire.

Stravinsky Miniatures

Choreography by Ted Seymour

Music by Igor Stravinsky

 

Years in the making, it is an absolute joy to finally bring “Stravinsky Miniatures” to the stage! The score is a woven fabric of short Stravinsky pieces that showcase the range and intricacies of the composers creations. A group of 12 performers confidently proceed in lively dances that expose the inter-workings of Stravinsky’s unique formations of melody. Resident Choreographer, Ted Seymour, sees this ballet as an ode to Mr. Balanchine and his magnificent dancers that pass on his work with such care and imagery to this day. There is a treasure trove of hidden references all through out the piece for one to discover. The historic Balanchine/Stravinsky collaboration and friendship set off inspiration for a whole future of new works. Stravinsky Miniatures aims to look at that moment through a microscope and highlight the beautiful nuances.