Ballet Tucson will tap into some classic literature when its dancers take the stage for its fall concert on Thursday, Oct. 31.
The company is kicking off the concert, part of its season opener, with “Jekyll & Hyde,” a steampunk take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella, devised and choreographed by artistic director Mary Beth Cabana and assistant artistic director Chieko Imada. The work first debuted as part of its 30th anniversary season in 2015.
In an interview with the Star that same year, Cabana said she and Imada had been talking about a steampunk ballet for several years.
“We are a classically based ballet company, but we want to keep current,” Cabana told the Star. “We want to attract new audiences. And a steampunk alternate version of Victorian history with sci-fi elements is a perfect fit for a ballet.”
The company will follow its gothic adaptation with the Ballet Tucson premiere of “Five Movements, Three Repeats” from famed choreographer and Ballet Tucson collaborator, Christopher Wheeldon.
Wheeldon debuted the piece at the Vail Dance Festival in 2012, but it is new to Tucson.
Dance Magazine praised the work at the time as “a beautifully patient piece that glows with inventiveness.”
The company will round out the evening with “In the Mood,” a piece by former resident choreographer Mark Schneider, set to big band tunes, such as “Moonlight Serenade,” “Tuxedo Junction” and “Little Brown Jug.”
The evening will kick off a 2019-20 season that includes performances at the Fox Tucson Theatre, the Tucson Music Hall, Stevie Eller Dance Theatre and the Proscenium Theatre at Pima Community College West Campus.