Kennedy Center: Beautiful Ballet

Classic Arts Features   Kennedy Center: Beautiful Ballet
San Francisco Ballet returns to the Kennedy Center in November with a full-length Giselle and a mixed repertory program.

America's oldest professional ballet company, San Francisco Ballet, returns to the Kennedy Center for the first time in six years to celebrate its landmark 75th season with two exhilarating programs.

November 28 _30 in the Opera House is Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson's staging of the two-act Giselle, first brought to the Kennedy Center in 1999 and based on the original 1841 production. The San Francisco Chronicle lauded the production as "Tomasson's finest achievement...a breathtaking contribution to the Giselle tradition." This timeless ballet follows a beautiful young peasant girl driven to madness and an untimely death upon discovering that her true love, the dashing prince Albrecht, has deceived her. Transcending to an otherworldly forest of scorned female spirits, Giselle protects her remorseful lover from their wicked vengeance, despite his betrayal. San Francisco Ballet's critically acclaimed production is replete with lavish scenery and costumes, lyrical music, and dance epitomizing the pure classicism that defines the romantic ballets.

The Company's engagement also features a mixed repertory program on November 25 & 26. The program includes two ballets from the company's 2008 New Works Festival that will receive their Washington, D.C. premieres, plus a classic by George Balanchine.

The San Francisco Chronicle says, "If you appreciate a ballet that offers dazzlingly sophisticated musicality, that takes classical attention to form and channels it into a modern ethos: if you cherish a ballet sure to show you something new every time you see it: then you could hardly do better than Mark Morris's Joyride."

Christopher Wheeldon's Within the Golden Hour, danced to music by Ezio Bosso, "shows from first to last that Mr. Wheeldon's gifts of construction are more complex and skilled: it's generally beautiful" (The New York Times).

One of George Balanchine's finest works, The Four Temperaments, to music by Paul Hindemith, is a vibrant exploration of the body's four humors.

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