Nevada Ballet Theatre announced today it will present Brave New World, featuring three world premiere works: Song of the Nightingale, a story ballet based on the original Hans Christian Andersen tale, The Nightingale, choreographed by local artist Gail Gilbert; a fascinating new work by Wideman/Davis Dance Company Artistic Director Thaddeus Davis; and Cyclical Night, a tango-inspired piece by Nevada Ballet Theatre’s own Artistic Director James Canfield (Photo credit: Jeff Speer).
This eclectic program will be presented on Saturday, March 27 at 8 pm and Sunday, March 28 at 2 pm at UNLV’s Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway. Ticket prices range from $10 – $75 and can be purchased by calling the UNLV Performing Arts Center Box Office at (702) 895-ARTS (2787) or ordering online at www.nevadaballet.com.
Set to Igor Stravinsky’s riveting score by the same name, Song of the Nightingale tells the story of an emperor who covets the beautiful voice of a nightingale living in his kingdom. When he is presented with a mechanical jewel-encrusted version, he loses interest in the real one. The mechanical bird eventually breaks, and as the emperor nears death, he realizes the treasure he pushed aside. The struggle between reality and imagination leave the emperor longing for the beauty he has lost.
Described by Gilbert as “a play without words,” Song of the Nightingale uses imagery and symbolism, with strong movement and props used to tell the story. “Many older story ballets have moments where the dancers use pantomime to convey the story,” said Gilbert. “In Song of the Nightingale, I am not interested in “telling” the story; rather, I want to allow the audience to witness the story as it unfolds.”
As a graduate of the famed North Carolina School of the Arts, and a former dancer for the renowned modern troupe Parsons Dance in New York City, Gilbert’s accomplished career has included setting Parsons’ work on dance companies throughout the world, leading the Taos Dance Festival as artistic director and choreographing her own works on companies, colleges and universities. The New York Times once described Gilbert as having “one of the most vivid, bizarre imaginations in New York Modern Dance.”
Next on the program is a compelling and purely contemporary piece by the talented and creative Thaddeus Davis, choreographed especially for Nevada Ballet Theatre. Davis’ rhythmic aesthetic will captivate Las Vegas and inspire local dance lovers. Deemed one of “25 to watch” by Dance Magazine in 2002, Davis has worked with numerous companies, setting works and teaching master classes around the world. As a teacher and choreographer, Mr. Davis has participated in residencies at The Julliard School and Alvin Ailey among others. The premiere of his first work, Once Before Twice After, was named one of the top ten moments in dance by The New York Times, calling it “reassuring evidence of New York Dance’s promising future.”
Nevada Ballet Theatre rounds out the program with James Canfield’s Cyclical Night, his first original work for Nevada Ballet Theatre. Set to the music of Argentine Tango composer, Astor Piazzolla, dancers will bring to life the composer’s unique blend of jazz and classical music. This sultry ballet will showcase physically-appealing movements based on the famous “forbidden dance,” the Tango.
Prior to Brave New World, “Insights,” a free pre-performance perspective will offer patrons an insider’s view into the performance they are about to see. Held in the lobby, “Insights” will take place 45 minutes prior to curtain. Furthering this, the company will present “Talk Back,” an interactive Q & A following the performances that will lend patrons a greater understanding into the world of dance and the artists who make it happen.
This is the first in Nevada Ballet Theatre’s new “Signature Series,” Sponsored by Wendy & Richard Plaster.
Special Event: Dinner & The Ballet
Mix and mingle with an exclusive VIP circle of patrons. In celebration of Brave New World, the company will host a special pre-performance dinner on Saturday, March 27 at Lawry’s The Prime Rib at 5:30 pm. Tickets are $100 per person. For reservations, please call Jessica Erali Milazzo at (702) 243-2623 ext. 222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.