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Three of the Best

So it's late winter and what do you see if you've already seen everything currently playing on Broadway twice? (Well, except for Dame Edna, that is. She's worth seeing at least a dozen times.) How about a good old-fashioned dance show? You know - Ballet! (It ain't all tutus and too much eye shadow, you know!) Here's what we recommend.


Colorado Ballet

Colorado Ballet, the acclaimed ballet company under the artistic direction of Martin Fredmann, will makes its first ever Manhattan appearance with its Joyce Theatre debut, February 1 through 6. The program includes Sir Frederick Ashton's Facade, Peter Pucci's Picture of Sedalia and the New York premiere of Stanton Welch's Of Blessed Memory.

Colorado Ballet, founded in 1951, reflects the spirit of the state: exciting, dramatic, exuberant and experimental. It is considered by dance aficionados to be one of the top regional ballet companies in the country. Comprised of 33 dancers from the U.S. and abroad, the company is admired for its virtuoso dancing and its rich repertoire. Under the artistic direction of Martin Fredmann, Colorado Ballet has experienced unprecedented growth. The company remains one of Colorado's oldest and most respected arts institutions, upholding the strong tradition of classical ballet throughout the state and region. Colorado Ballet continues to introduce innovative works into the repertoire and collaborate with cutting-edge choreographers such as Peter Pucci, Stanton Welch and Christopher Wheeldon. In 1998, Colorado Ballet became the first company outside of her own to perform Martha Graham's Appalachian Spring.

Colorado Ballet's Joyce Theater program includes Sir Frederick Ashton's charming and satirical 1931 homage to vaudeville, Facade, a series of comic vignettes that pokes fun at such social dances as the waltz, tango and polka. As a showcase for theatrical hurnor, this engaging ballet demonstrates the fine comedic acting of Colorado Ballet's dancers. From the pretentious debutantes and the deadpan duo to the flirtatious milkmaid and the slick tango master, Facade is side-splittingly funny and a winning entertainment.

The company will also perform Stanton Welch's, Of Blessed Memory, set to Joseph Contaloube's haunting "Chants D'Auvergne." Welch, a principal dancer and resident choreographer with the Australian Ballet, is considered to be one of the dance world's up-and-coming choreographers. Inspired by his ballerina mother Marilyn Jones, Of Blessed Memory is a poignant work that concerns Welch's debt to her. This piece is an abstract work that celebrates the relationship between a mother and her children.

The program also includes Peter Pucci's Picture of Sedalia. Gritty and powerful, Picture of Sedalia is an examination of society at the turn of the century and looks at friendship, flirtation and rivalry and reveals conflicts with church and other types of social authority. Set to music by Scott Joplin, this ballet offers snapshots of life during America's Industrial Age.

Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM, Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM and Sunday at 7:30 PM.

Tickets for Colorado Ballet's Joyce Theater engagement are $30 and can be purchased through JoyceCharge at (212) 242-0300 or online at Joyce Theatre. Tickets are also available by going to the Box Office (175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street).

Colorado Ballet is sponsored by OPPENHEIMERFUNDS (1999-2000 Title Sponsor) and HEALTHONE (1999-2000 Season Sponsor.)


The Washington Ballet

Brash and bold in a classical tradition, The Washington Ballet will return to New York City's Joyce Theatre in February, under the artistic direction of Septime Webre, the Company's first new director since Mary Day founded The Washington Ballet in 1976. Highlights of the imaginative and contemporary program include Jiri Kylian's Nuages, Nacho Duato's Na Floresta, Kirk Peterson's The Eyes That Gently Touch, and Webre's Juanita y Alicia, and performances by American Ballet Theatre's Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner who are dancing with The Washington Ballet this Season as principal guest artists. The Company's week-long engagement includes seven performances, February 22 through 27, and a post-performance discussion on February 23 as part of the theater's Humanities Series.

Premiered by Nederlands Dance Theater on April 30, 1976, legendary choreographer Jiri Kylian's Nuages is a lavish and swirling pas de deux set to a haunting score by Debussy. Recognized for his unique and personal choreographic style, Kylian has been artistic director of Nederlands Dance Theater since 1975 where he is responsible for the artistic vision of the organization's three distinct troupes - NDT1, the world-famous Main Group; NDT2, a young, experimental company of 17 - 22 year-old dancers; and NDT3, a group of mature dancers over the age of 40. As a choreographer, Kylian has created more than 66 works that are performed around the globe today by such companies as American Ballet Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, Tokyo Ballet, the Australian Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, and Stuttgart Ballet.

A native of Czechoslovakia, Kylian began his ballet training at the Prague National Theatre and later studied at the Prague Conservatory and the Royal Ballet School in London. He began dancing with Stuttgart Ballet in 1968, under John Cranko's direction; and in 1973, joined Nederlands Dance Theater, choreographing his first dance for the company the same year.

Nacho Duato, artistic director of Spain's Compania Nacional Danza, has created a magnificent and passionate suite of dances in Na Floresta. Set to Heitor Villa-Lobos's music, and premiered by Les Grands Ballet Canadiens in 1989, Na Floresta celebrates the splendor of the Am&onian rain forest with speed, energy, and fluidity.

Born in Valencia, Spain, Duato has risen quickly to international fame, having choreographed pieces for American Ballet Theatre, Nederlands Dance Theater, The Frankfurt Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Cullberg Ballet, and Compania Nacional Danza. After training at London's Rambert School, Maurice Bejart's Mudra School in Brussels, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New York, he began dancing with Cullberg Ballet in 1980 and a year later joined Nederlands Dance Theater, where he received the Golden Dance Award in his first year. Duato was named resident choreographer at Nederlands Dance Theater in 1988, and remained there until assuming the artistic directorship of Compania Nacional Danza in 1990.

Kirk Peterson's tender rendering of romantic love, The Eyes That Gently Touch, is set to a mesmerizing piano score by Philip Glass. Premiered by Hartford Ballet in April 1994, the ballet, which will be performed to live music, shines with poetic images and complex partnering. Peterson, most recently artistic director of Hartford Ballet for three seasons, has received wide praise for his choreography, which has been showcased by San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, BalletMet, Hartford Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Atlanta Ballet; and in the Broadway productions of Anything Goes starring Patti Lupone, and the musical Shogun. Distinguished as the first American male to win a medal (bronze) at the Intemational Ballet Competition in Vama, Bulgaria, Peterson was a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, London Festival Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and the National Ballet of Washington.

Septime Webre, whose work has been described in The New York Times as "sleekly explosive and exhilarating," will add a Latin flavor to the program with his exuberant Juanita y Alicia, based on stories of his mother's life in Havana in the 1920's and 1930's. Premiered by The Washington Ballet on September 17, 1999, Webre's work is set to Cuban music of the era, which will be performed live by the Washington-based group, Sin Miedo. Juanita y Alicia was funded in part through The Washington Ballet's "New Ballets Program," sponsored by Philip Morris Companies Inc., with additional support from the Harkness Foundations for Dance and the Lois and Richard England Perpetual Endowment Fund.

Prior to joining The Washington Ballet, Webre served for six years as artistic director of American Repertory Ballet, following several years as its resident choreographer. While there, he staged more than 17 works including full-length productions of Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake, a highly successful collaboration with renowned author/illustrator Maurice Sendak on his book Where the Wild Things Are, and Carmina Burana. Other companies performing his works are Pacific Northwest Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Dayton Ballet, Ballet Austin, Fglevsky Ballet, Aspen Ballet, and Sacramento Ballet. Webre began his formal ballet training at Austin Ballet Theatre under former Royal Ballet soloist Stanley Hall, and later danced principal and solo roles in works by Balanchine, Taylor, Tudor, Ailey, Cunningham and others. Listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Entertainment in America, and Outstanding Young Men in America, he has served on NEA selection panels and received a fellowship for choreography from the New Jersey State Council on the Art/Department of State.

Tickets to The Washington Ballet's Joyce Theater performances are $32. They can be purchased by calling JoyceCharge at (212) 242-0800, or online at Joyce Theatre. Tickets are also available by going to the Box Office (175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street).

Performance schedule:
Tuesday, February 22 - 8:00 PM / Wednesday, February 23 - 8:00 PM
Thursday, February 24 - 8:00 PM / Friday, February 25 - 8:00 PM
Saturday, February 26 - 2:00 PM / Saturday, February 26 - 8:00 PM
Sunday, February 27 - 2:00 PM

Program subject to change.


Russian Seasons Dance Company

Russian Seasons Dance Company, under the artistic direction of Nicolai Androsov, will perform A Celebration of World Dance at BCBC (Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College) on Saturday, March 4, 2000 at 8 PM. Russian Season Dance Company's performance at BCBC is part of its World of Dance series.

In A Celebration of World Dance, Russian Seasons Dance Company takes its audience on a breathtaking journey through the folk dances of many nations. From the athletic hopek of Russia and the wild energy of Gypsy to the passionate flamenco of Spain and the tangos of Argentina, this exhilarating performance displays dazzling pyrotechnics by the Moiseyev-trained dancers - a thrilling one-of-a-kind performance.

Russian Seasons Dance Company was founded in the early 1990's by a group of dancers from the Moiseyev Company including Nicolal Androsov. The goal of the newly formed group of dancers was to bring to dance, in Ballet Russes-fashion, a whole new set of innovative and imaginative productions. Russian Seasons Dance Company takes its name from the theater in Paris where Diaghilev's legendary company first broke ground.

Tickets for Russian Season Dance Company are $30 & $25. All BCBC performances are at the Walt Whitman Theater located on the campus of Brooklyn College (one block from the junction of Flatbush and Nostrand Avenues). Tickets can be ordered by calling the BCBC box office at (718) 951-4500 or online at BCBC. Tickets are also available through TicketMaster at (212) 307-7171. Box office hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 1 to 6 PM. For Group Sales, call (718) 951-4600 ext. 27.

The 1999-2000 season at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Assemblyman N. Nick Perry, Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden, Lila Acheson Wallace Theater Fund, Independence Community Foundation, The Louis Calder Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance, Philip Morris Companies Inc. and Fleet Bank. Brooklyn Center gratelully acknowledges its major sponsors Air Jamaica, Chase Manhattan, Con Edison, EAB, Emigrant Savings Bank, Health Plus, Keyspan and Western Union. New York Marriott Brooklyn is the official hotel for BCBC.

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