Oregon Ballet Theatre Announces 2013-14 Season
Oregon Ballet Theatre (OBT) is pleased to announce its upcoming 2013-2014 performance season, which includes several noteworthy items.
- New Artistic Director Kevin Irving
- First-ever production of a Nacho Duato ballet
- Welcoming Helen Pickett, dynamic American choreographer
- Final season of Principal Dancer Alison Roper after 18 seasons with OBT
- 2013-2014 season preview
This will be the company's first season under newly appointed Artistic Director Kevin Irving, and he has seized the opportunity to inject a spirit of renewal into the company's profile, and to introduce exciting new works to Portland audiences.
Highlights of the upcoming season include OBT's first-ever production of a Nacho Duato ballet - the dreamy and romantic Por Vos Muero, which will share the bill with former artistic director Christopher Stowell's witty and ebullient A Midsummer Night's Dream in the company's fall performances at the Keller Auditorium (October 12 - 19). Duato, currently Artistic Director of the Mikhailovsky Ballet in St. Petersburg Russia and Artistic Director designate for Berlin Staatsopera, is one of the dance world's most sought-after stars. Companies the world over vie for the chance to present his ballets, and the Spanish choreographer has been awarded numerous prizes and medals in recognition of his contribution to dance. Irving has staged Por Vos Muero successfully on many companies, including The Royal Ballet Covent Garden and Australian Ballet, and will be doing the honors here in Portland as well. Work on this first program of OBT's season begins when the company presents OBT Exposed at Director Park August 26-29.
Another new name for Portland audiences is Helen Pickett, a dynamic American choreographer. Currently Pickett is Choreographer in Residence at Atlanta Ballet and is internationally known for her fusion of classical ballet technique and contemporary sensibilities. Pickett's Petal will be the opening work in the company's April performances at the Newmark Theater. That program will also bring another new acquisition: Nacho Duato's riveting Cor Perdut - a tour de force pas de deux.
These new works signal the beginning of a new era for Oregon Ballet Theatre as it builds upon years of artistic high points: many of the most beloved works presented in the past ten years will be danced in the balance of the season's offerings. Significantly, OBT looks forward to a new work to be created by former artistic director Christopher Stowell that will premiere February 12, 2014 at the Keller.
The 2013-2014 season will also mark another milestone for Oregon Ballet Theatre: after 18 seasons with the company, Principal Dancer Alison Roper will retire from dancing at season's end. Few dancers anywhere can equal the impact that this extraordinary dancer has had on OBT and the company plans to celebrate her unique qualities throughout the entire season. Roper will feature prominently in every program through April 2014, with leading roles in Duato's Por Vos Muero, Christopher Stowell's A Midsummer Night's Dream, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, James Kudelka's Almost Mozart and Christopher Wheeldon's Liturgy already planned.
From Alison Roper: Dance is, for me, just like breathing. I dance when I am happy and when I am sad. I dance around the house when I am not dancing at work. I dance at the beach when I am on vacation. None of that will change because I've left the stage. I hope that when the audience here in Portland remembers me that they'll think of me dancing my way through the next chapter in my life.
OBT is especially excited to announce that former Principal Dancer Artur Sultanov is coming out of retirement especially to reprise his partnership with Roper in Nicolo Fonte's spectacular Bolero: these two magnetic stars will dance at every performance at the Keller Auditorium in February! Roper and Sultanov were justly and loudly acclaimed for the sparks they set off in Fonte's hugely popular take on the Ravel score - this is one last time to soak up the magic that these incredible artists create in a program not to be missed.
From Artistic Director Kevin Irving: Alison Roper is a world-class ballerina who could have been a star in any company the world over - the fact that she made Portland and OBT her home for all these years was an incredible boon for dance lovers here. She leaves OBT at the peak of her abilities and we are looking forward to celebrating her this entire season.
Our celebration of all things Alison Roper will conclude next April in our performances at the Newmark Theater, during which we will not only take a fond look back on some of the many milestones in Alison's remarkable career, but also see a new facet of this incredible dancer as she makes her debut in Duato's Cor Perdut, a sultry and powerful duet to the music of Maria del Mar Bonet. This program is at one time both a going away party for one of Portland's most beloved performing artists and a chance to experience the exciting future of OBT and ballet in Portland.