BANGOR — Bangor Ballet will present “A Tribute to Balanchine” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Husson University’s Gracie Theatre. Bangor Ballet dancers will be joined by dancers from the Portland-based Maine State Ballet for this unique collaboration between the two dance companies.
Artistic Director Ivy Clear-Forrest of Bangor Ballet and Artistic Director Linda MacArthur Miele of Maine State Ballet were both students of George Balanchine and made their professional debuts with his New York City Ballet.
Miele remained with the NYC Ballet and Forrest joined the Joffrey Ballet while both were attending New York’s Professional Children’s School and living in the same apartment building.
Now, as master teachers, they have brought their professional training and experience to Maine. For the Nov. 5 program, each will contribute an original piece of choreography which demonstrates the style and technique they learned from Balanchine.
George Balanchine is regarded as the foremost contemporary choreographer in the ballet world and is a “major artistic figure of the 20th century [who] revolutionized the look of classical ballet. Taking classicism as his base, he heightened, quickened, expanded, streamlined, and even inverted the fundamentals of the 400-year-old language of academic dance. This had an inestimable influence on the growth of dance in America,” according to the George Balanchine Foundation.
Balanchine was born in 1904 in St. Petersburg, Russia. He came to the United States in 1933 and, with Lincoln Kirstein, dreamed of creating a ballet company in America and an American academy of ballet to rival the schools in Europe. Together they founded the School of American Ballet in 1934 and the New York City Ballet in 1948.
Balanchine served as artistic director and principal choreographer for the New York City Ballet until his death in 1983. The School of American Ballet continues to train dancers for the New York City Ballet as well as dance companies worldwide. Bangor Ballet dancer August Eaton has studied at the School of American Ballet the past two summers.
Balanchine created more than 400 ballets in his lifetime. He also choreographed for films, operas, revues and musicals, including “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” for the Broadway musical “On Your Toes” in 1936. Among his well-known ballets are “Firebird,” “Western Symphony,” “Agon,” “Stars and Stripes,” “Jewels,” “Stravinsky Violin Concerto,” “Symphony in C,” “Concerto Barocco,” “Orpheus,” “Tzigane,” “Prodigal Son,” “Apollo” and “Serenade.”
Tickets for “A Tribute to Balanchine” are $12 for adults, $8 for children and students, at Thomas School of Dance, Patrick’s Hallmark Shop in Bangor and Sherman’s Books and Stationery in Ellsworth, or call 945-3457.
For information, call 945-3457, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.bangorballet.com.