Oregon Ballet Theatre's 2014-2015 Season Includes AGON, THE NUTCRACKER and More

The 2014-2015 Season marks a milestone for Oregon Ballet Theatre as it celebrates a quarter century of entertaining, exciting, and inspiring audiences in Portland and around the world. The 25th Anniversary season will also be the first programmed solely by Artistic Director Kevin Irving, who joined OBT in July 2013. Irving fills the season with nods to an impressive past while offering a clear vision of the company's bright future.

OBT 25, October 11-18, 2014, at the Keller Auditorium, will open this year of celebration. For the first time in over 12 years, George Balanchine's athletic contest for eight women and four men, Agon, will appear on the OBT stage. Created in 1957 and set to an original score by Balanchine's frequent collaborator, Igor Stravinsky, Agon's experimental nature remains fresh and challenging, even over half a century later. In tribute to three choreographers who have shaped OBT to date, we include Love x 3, featuring pas de deuxs by former Resident ChoreographerTrey McIntyre, former Artistic Director Christopher Stowell, and for the first time since 2003, the work of Founding Artistic Director James Canfield. The capstone of this program covering past, present, and future will be a world premiere for the whole company by Portland favorite Nicolo Fonte, set to live music.

Of course, no holiday season is complete without at least one viewing of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. In recent years, Portlanders have shown us just how much they enjoy this grand tradition, and we're responding by adding two performances after Christmas to ensure visiting friends and family have a chance to share in the wonder of little Marie's larger-than-life adventure. Six performances will feature the stellar OBT Orchestra. A total of seventeen shows of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker will be presented between December 13 and 27, 2014, at the Keller Auditorium.

There's no time like the 25th Anniversary to add a full-length ballet to our repertoire. February 28 - March 7, 2015,will see the company premiere of Ben Stevenson's Cinderella. Colorful and full of magic, Stevenson's version of this classic tale is one of the ballet world's most popular, performed by companies world-wide including American Ballet Theatre and Queensland Ballet of Australia, and Prokofiev's dramatic score demands repeat listening. We invite Portland to fall in love with Cinderella, from the hilarity of her Ugly Stepsisters to the fantasy of her Fairy Godmother, the opulent pumpkin carriage to the despair of losing one precious glass slipper, all resolving in the heart-warming promise of happily-ever-after with her Prince Charming. An entrancing experience for adults and children alike, we're thrilled to offer six memorable performances at the Keller Auditorium.

Wrapping up the main-stage programming for the season is Impact at the Newmark Theatre, April 16 - 25, 2015.Focused on the power of the relationship between audience and performer, patron and ballet

company, we present three striking works. The company premiere of Nacho Duato's compelling Rassemblement,set to the songs of Haitian artist Toto Bissainthe and inspired by the strength and resistance of slaves longing for a home where they could be free from oppression, offers a chance to see OBT's dancers at their most emotionally bare. We also tie our past to our future with performances of our first Resident Choreographer Dennis Spaight'sCrayola. Signifying a bright new direction for OBT's current Professional Division and Apprentice programs, we launch the newly established OBT II with this work. Rounding out this exciting program will be a world premiere by Darrell Grand Moultrie. A Princess Grace Choreography Award winner, Moultrie is known for his ability to weave between genres, and has created works for a great range of ballet companies as well as Beyoncé and Savion Glover.

SEASON AT A GLANCE:

OBT 25 - October 11-18, 2014, Keller Auditorium

Agon - Balanchine / Stravinsky

Love x 3 - McIntyre, Stowell, Canfield / Various

World Premiere - Fonte / TBA

George Balanchine's "The Nutcracker" - December 13-27, 2014, Keller Auditorium




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by Barnett Serchuk