Ballet San Jose's "Just Balanchine"


Ballet San Jose


Ballet San Jose Spring Repertory Apr. 8-11, 2010; May 6-9, 2010


Ballet San Jose:  Location: San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, 255 Almaden Blvd., San Jose, CA. Time: Thurs, Fri, and Sat at 8 p.m.; Sun 1:30 p.m. Cost: $25-$82. Call: (408) 288-2800 x 204. balletsanjose.org


Honoring the founder of the American Ballet, Giorgi Melitonis dze Balanchivadze, orr  George Balanchine, this ballet features the creative works of one of the best known choreographers in history. As a fan of Fred Astaire and choreographer for a wide range of performing groups from Zegfield Follies to Richard Rodgers, Balanchine choreographed well over 100 works during his life (died in 1983), and left an incredible legacy with the popular Nutcracker Ballet, a holiday tradition around the globe. The Russian born dancer and choreographer spent much of his adult life in the United States.


In the Ballet San Jose presentation, several of his popular works are performed as part of a unique and exciting season from one of California's and America's leading dance organizations. The costumes and staging, plus exceptional lighting all come together to create a memorable show. 


We've written about San Jose and the fantastic getaway a weekend visit to the city provides. We like to fly into the city and stay downtown where the San Jose Center for Performing Arts is located. With lots of nice hotels and restaurants, art museums and theater, you can take in many sights, sounds and activities during a trip to see ballet.


In former productions such as Just Balanchine, the ballet presentation featured the choreography of George Balanchine with Serenade, Theme and Variations, and The Four Temperaments. The Ballet San Jose features many ballets and performances throughout the year and is considered the finest ballet troupe in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you've never seen them perform, you are in for a treat. Tickets are offered in an affordable range from $25 - 82, with senior and student discounts. 


Serenade  is set in four movements, and danced without interruption. 28 dancers perform on a bare stage in moody, ethereal light of the moon, showing off the lyricism of the female corps to music by Composer Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky.

Themes and Variations is classic ballet in a formal setting of a great ballroom. The dance steps are tightly tied to the music as illustrated by the opening work of the ballerina to the principal theme played by the violins. It concludes with a regal polonaise for the entire ensemble emphasizing rapid regroupings and shifting of partners.

The Four Temperaments, a  “Dance without a Plot”, is an abstract work in five parts features dancers clothed simply in black leotards and pink tights. It explores four distinct “humors”... melancholic, sanguinic, phlegmatic and choleric.  abstract piece is danced in a Neo-Classic style that showcases the complexity of this sentiment, and evokes meditation on the different types of human personalities. The dancers are simply clothed in black leotards and pink tights.


Choreography: GEORGE BALANCHINE
Music: Piano and a few Strings
Composer: PAUL HINDEMITH
Lighting: KENNETH KEITH


Former productions from Ballet San Jose include: The Firebird, danced to the music of Igor Stravinsky. With colorful costumes and ample use of imagination, this is one of the most compelling productions to watch. It will be presented along with Mendelssohn's Symphony.

 



 


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