Saturday Nov 7, 2015 2 pm
Saturday Nov 7, 2015 7 pm
Sunday, Nov 8, 2 pm
Tickets start at $20
George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, an unrivaled modern masterpiece, still remains one of the defining works within the New York City Ballet repertory, even 70 years since its creation. The first of Mr. Balanchine’s sparse, “black and white ballets”, aptly named for the black and white practice clothes the dancers don on stage, was inspired by the medieval belief in the four psychological humors which determine a person’s temperament: “Melancholic,” “Sanguinic,” “Phlegmatic” and “Choleric”. Together with Paul Hindemith’s stirring music for piano and string orchestra, Mr. Balanchine’s architectural choreography for The Four Temperaments not only set the stage for a new era in American dance, but established the neoclassical style for which the New York City Ballet and the master himself came to be known.
Stoner Winslett’s Windows will celebrate its much-anticipated return to the Richmond stage this season. Windowsuses dance as a means to paint a beautifully-articulated vision of styles from the mid-19th century to the turn of the 21st century. Style formed the essence of life, and defined a period, or ‘window’ in history. Ms. Winslett’s original work created three ‘windows’ that celebrate the style of the cultures in which ballet blossomed: French Romanticism, with its softness and mysticism; Russian imperialism, with its rigid, sparkling classicism; and lastly, contemporary, 20th-century stages, where sleek, angular athleticism became standard. Each set to music written as variations on the same theme, Paganini’s 24th Caprice for Violin, the echoing musical leitmotif is the through-line that connects the generations.
The work’s fourth movement, added on the cusp of the millennium and composed from the same musical theme by Jonathan Romeo, sets a single pair from each era amid a large ensemble in constant motion. Accented with dazzling lighting, this final vignette looks forward, offering a vision of our own time that is layered with new challenges and cau- tious hopes. With a hopeful charge for future generations to remain ever mindful of our heritage while also advancing forward - Windows celebrates both the promise of progress and the promise of potential.