Ballet Tucson announces its 2019 opening night gala and Fall concert—Highlights include the revival of the company’s “steampunk” version of “Jekyll & Hyde” and the Ballet Tucson premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Five Movements, Three Repeats.
For the 2019 Season Opener, Founding Artistic Director Mary Beth Cabana has selected an exciting triple bill of works:
“Jekyll & Hyde”
Concept and Choreography: Chieko Imada, Mary Beth Cabana
Ballet Tucson’s fanciful “steampunk” rendition (originally premiered in October 2015 as part of the company’s 30th anniversary season) is based on the gothic novella by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson about the strange occurrences between the mysterious Dr. Henry Jekyll and the evil Edward Hyde, first published in 1886.
“Five Movements, Three Repeats” (Ballet Tucson premiere)
Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
This piece by choreographic superstar Christopher Wheeldon features a cast of 4 dancers (including Guest Artist Eugene Barnes) and was originally created for Wendy Whelan (former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer). The choreography combines modern dance with ballet in a beautiful piece that glows with inventiveness – dance alchemy transpires between the two styles that is both eclectic and riveting. Mr. Wheeldon joined New York City Ballet in 1993 and was promoted to Soloist in 1998. He served as NYCB’s first-ever Artist in Residence in 2000/01 and was named NYCB’s first Resident Choreographer in July 2001. He has created productions for all the world’s major ballet companies including New York City Ballet, The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, and National Ballet of Canada.
“In The Mood”
Choreography: Mark Schneider
Former Ballet Tucson Resident Choreographer Mark Schneider’s homage to big-band era is an upbeat and romantic ballet with the full ensemble. Popular tunes including Moonlight Serenade, Song of India, Tuxedo Junction and Little Brown Jug are at the heart of this charming, swing-style piece which closes out the company’s 2019-2020 season opener.
Eugene Barnes was born in Louisville, Kentucky and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Barnes received his formal ballet training at The Baltimore School for the Arts under the direction of Norma Pera, Tony Wilson, and Debra Robinson. Mr. Barnes danced with Carolina Ballet from 2004 to 2014, rising to the rank of Soloist in 2009. During his tenure at Carolina Ballet, Mr. Barnes originated many roles by Robert Weiss, Tony Award nominee Lynne Taylor-Corbett, and current Carolina Ballet Artistic Director Zalman Raffael. Mr. Barnes has appeared as a guest artist with Avant Chamber Ballet, Paul Mejia, and Grand Rapids Ballet. Currently, Mr. Barnes is the Associate Director of Training and dancer with Avant Chamber Ballet.
PERFORMANCE DATES/TIMES Opening Night Gala Thursday, October 31
Gala – 6:30 p.m.
Performance – 8:00 p.m.
The Opening Night Gala includes:
- Pre-performance wine and hors d’oeuvres reception
- Live musical entertainment by Heather Hardy and Ed DeLucia
- Silent auction
- Post-performance champagne and dessert reception with company artists
Other Performances: Friday, November 1 – 7:30 p.m. Sunday, November 3 – 1:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.
Stevie Eller Dance Theatre
1737 E. University Blvd.
Opening Night Gala $100
ABOUT BALLET TUCSON
Now in its 34th season and 16th year as the only professional dance company in Tucson and Southern Arizona, Ballet Tucson presents the highest quality dance productions with a full range of historic classics and contemporary works.
The company has been hailed as “a treasure in our community” by the Arizona Daily Star. Chuck Graham (Tucson arts writer) exclaims that the company “proudly maintains its place as the keeper of the flame of classical ballet in the Old Pueblo.”