New Orleans has been selected as one of only three US cities for the upcoming tour of Corella Ballet Castilla y León, Spain's only classical ballet company. Presented by the New Orleans Ballet Association, the company will take to the stage for one night only at the Mahalia Jackson Theater on May 14 at 8pm. Following their New Orleans debut, the Corella Ballet will also perform in Seattle, Wash. before closing their tour at the Spoleto USA Festival in Charleston, S.C.
To ballet fans all over the world, Angel Corella is the Spanish-born superstar of American Ballet Theatre (ABT) known for his technical precision, bravura dancing and intoxicating charisma. In 2008, this extraordinary dancer added artistic director to his title by founding his own ballet company. Corella, along with his company of 45, brings a stunning program to kick off this American tour.
The evening features Soleá (2010), a duet created by renowned Spanish flamenco dancer and choreographer María Pagés and performed by Corella and his sister, Carmen. This 8-minute piece features an intriguing melding of flamenco and classical ballet and is danced to music by guitarist Ruben Lebaniegos. "Solea is a tribute to flamenco's rich history in Spain. Carmen flies through fiery flamencoesque foot work en pointe while Angel slices through jumps with multiple beats. He is a ball of energy, every move bursting with such finesse and charisma; one can't help but love him." (Dance.com)
Also on the program is Christopher Wheeldon's DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse (2006) set to the exhilarating score by Michael Nyman. In 1993 the French railway company TGV commissioned Nyman to write a piece to commemorate the opening of a new high-speed train line between the cities of Lille and Paris. The outcome was MGV: Musique à Grande Vitesse, a 26-minute piece of vibrant rhythms which Wheeldon adapted for the ballet in 2006, and which premiered and until now was performed, exclusively by the Royal Ballet of London. Featuring big-scale choreography that remains delicate in its details, the Los Angeles Times declared, "The juxtaposition of speed and stillness created an intoxicating wave that announced the Corella Ballet has arrived."
The opening work is former ABT principal dancer Clark Tippet's Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 (1987), which was originally choreographed for ABT and was his second ballet for the company. The neo-classical piece was created about five years before Tippet's death in 1992 at the age of 37. "The company shows off a polished corps de ballet against four pas de deux" and combines sensitive drama, complex choreography, and intricate lifts and poses. (Santa Barbara Independent)
Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch's Clear (2001), an abstract work for seven men and one woman that showcases the male dancers, is also on the program. Set to music by Bach, the work is an artistic response to 9/11. Welch began choreographing Clear for ABT two weeks after terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan. The resulting critically acclaimed work explores his reaction to that time of crisis. "The dancers mirror Bach's rhythmic impulses and strict musical constructions in inventive geometrical patterns that only slowly begin to evoke images of grief or falling bodies and collapsing structures." (Los Angeles Times)
Tickets for the performance range from $20 to $80. Students and seniors (65 and older) receive a $6 discount off the regular ticket prices. Group discounts also are available. For tickets or information, call the New Orleans Ballet Association Box Office at (504) 522-0996. Tickets may be purchased online through www.nobadance.com, or via Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com.
In addition to the performance, the company will also conduct a master class on Saturday, May 14 at Tulane University's McWilliams Hall for the NORDC/NOBA Center For Dance. For more information, call (504) 522-0996 x. 207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A España Con Amor
In celebration of the highly anticipated debut of Spain's Corella Ballet Castilla y León, New Orleans Ballet Association and BRAVO (Ballet Resource And Volunteer Organization) will hold the annual gala fundraiser, A España Con Amor, on Friday, May 13 at Gallier Hall. In recognition and honor of New Orleans' unique Spanish heritage, the glamorous evening will feature delicious cuisine by a team of culinary experts led by Café Adelaide Executive Chef Chris Lusk, wines, music, dancing, and live and silent auctions. The Patron Party, chaired by Charlotte Bollinger, will be held before the gala at Gallier Hall and will feature the beautiful classical guitar and vocals of Julio and Cesar. On May 11, benefactors will join the special guest of honor Angel Corella at the exclusive Benefactor Dinner. Chaired by Gregory Curtis and Jacquee Carvin, this seated dinner will take place at the elegant Windsor Court Hotel. For more information, call NOBA at (504) 522-0996. Proceeds from the evening will support NOBA's nationally award winning programming.
The performance and ball are sponsored by Chevron and the Betty S. and James A. Noe Jr. Foundation, with additional support by Peoples Health, Superior Energy Services, and Xenia Krinitzky Roff. The Official Airline of the New Orleans Ballet Association is American Airlines, and the Official Hotel is Sheraton New Orleans.
Corella Ballet Castilla y León Company History
Established in April 2008, Corella Ballet is currently the only company specializing in classical dance that exists in Spain. Since its foundation, it has premiered two full length classical productions: La Bayadere and Swan Lake, as well as three combination programs with three world premieres, including String Sextet by Ángel Corella, Soleá by María Pagés, and Epimetheus by Russell Ducker. Corella Ballet has 24 works in its current repertoire.
In 2001, Corella formed a foundation to promote classical dance in Spain and to offer the opportunity for the finest professional training to all dancers, regardless of their economic or social condition. After years of work, one of the main projects, the Corella Ballet, came to birth and started its activity.