Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Ballet Ariel completes its 25th season with three ballets in Denver and Lakewood this April

Ballet Ariel rounds out its Silver Anniversary celebration season with a performance featuring “An American in Paris,” “Appalachian Spring,” and “Dances from Le Corsaire,” April 13, 27 and 28 in Denver and Lakewood.

“An American in Paris,” Ballet Ariel-style, combines Gershwin’s sweeping orchestral classic with a charming storyline to create a narrative ballet about a young American woman’s first visit to Paris. She is transformed by the magic and vibrancy of the beautifully historic and undeniably romantic city. Her awakening to life and its possibilities is exhibited in the jazzy undertones of Gershwin’s score. Ballet Ariel’s Director Ilena Norton, and Ballet Ariel’s choreographer Gregory Gonzales, have created whimsical dances that capture the joy of Paris.

“Appalachian Spring,” as explored by Norton, is a fresh interpretation of the music composed by Aaron Copland for modern dance pioneer Martha Graham. The ballet depicts the wedding day at a Pennsylvania farmhouse in the early 20th century. The young couple experiences a range of emotions over the course of the day many couples can relate to – apprehension, excitement, and finally, serenity. Ballet Ariel brings new life to the American classic from one of the great contemporary composers of the 20th century, incorporating classical movement and a dramatic narrative. Performed on pointe, Norton’s ballet includes choreography from Gregory Gonzales, whose contemporary style integrates wonderfully.

“Le Corsaire” (The Pirate) selected dances will also be part of Ballet Ariel’s Spring program. In its full three acts, the ballet is the story of Conrad who falls in love with the beautiful Medora during the Ottoman Empire. She and the three Odalisques are purchased by the Pasha for his harem. Conrad rescues her and they sail off for their life ahead, together. Dances from the ballet originally choreographed by Marius Petipa are staged for Ballet Ariel by Oleg Dedogryuk, assisted by Patricia Renzetti.