Diablo Ballet to Close 22nd Season with CELEBRATED MASTERS This May

Diablo Ballet presents the final program of its 22nd season celebrating the power of dance with Celebrated Masters, May 6 & 7 at the Del Valle Theatre in Walnut Creek.

This performance includes the highly anticipated production of Carnival of the Imagination choreographed by Robert Dekkers and set to Camille Saint-Saëns's famous 'The Carnival of the Animals.' The ballet follows a young child named Seven on a magical journey through their world of make believe. Filled with dragons and unicorns, pixies and panda bears, a phoenix and a jackalope, this coming-of-age adventure celebrates creativity and inspires imagination. Dekkers' Carnival of the Imagination will awaken your fascination and connect with the child-like heart that's bursting at the seams within each of us.

The May program also features the breathtaking Hamlet and Ophelia by acclaimed dance maker Val Caniparoli set to the largo from Bohuslav Martinu's "First Symphony." Caniparoli, originally choreographed Hamlet and Ophelia for Joanna Berman at San Francisco Ballet in 1985, which helped launch Berman's career, so it is only fitting that Berman will once again stage the ballet for this performance.

Also included in Diablo Ballet's program is Mythic Place, a new work by Isadora Duncan Dance Award Winner Gary Masters. According to Masters, "This dance explores, through varied rhythms and multiple dynamics, the mythic place of origin of the Aztec peoples - "Aztlan." Though abstract in nature, the dance will demonstrate some of the ritual, the power and poetic nature of these people." Set to "Toccata for Percussion" by Carlos Chavez, the music will be performed live by Diablo Ballet's Music Director, Greg Sudmeier.

Celebrated Masters will be presented May 6 & 7 at the Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd. in Walnut Creek. The performances are: Friday, May 6 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 7 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Each performance is followed by an interactive Q&A with the dancers and choreographers, and includes a complimentary dessert & coffee reception, with an opportunity for the audience members to get up close and personal with the artists.

Tickets are $24.00-44.00. For tickets, call 925-943-SHOW (7469) or visit www.lesherartscenter.org or for more information visit www.diabloballet.org.

For 22 years, Diablo Ballet has been the award-winning, professional dance company for Contra Costa County. Presenting acclaimed classical and contemporary works, the Company is committed to exposing youth to the arts through the renowned PEEK Youth Outreach Program, bringing arts education to over 5,000 elementary school students in under-served Alameda and Contra Costa counties each year. PEEK has been recognized by policy makers of the Senate, Congress and Assembly for its outstanding contribution to the community.

Pictured: Christian Squires, Jamar Goodman and Tetyana Martyanova in Carnival of the Imagination. Photo by Bérenger Zyla.

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