Nevada Ballet Theatre Launches Season with A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, 9/20

Nevada Ballet Theatre (NBT) will launch its 43nd (2014-2015) main stage performance season and its third year as Resident Ballet Company of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts with A Midsummer Night's Dream Act I and Seasons on Saturday, September 20 at 7:30 pm andSunday, September 21 at 2 pm. Tickets from $29 (plus fees) may be purchased by calling The Smith Center Box Office at (702) 749-2000 or by visiting

Whimsical and charming; delightful and fanciful; William Shakespeare's classic comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, embodies all of these feelings and more as George Balanchine's masterful ballet brings this story to life on the Reynolds Hall stage--giving audiences a chance to experience Shakespeare's complete tale as told in one act by New York City Ballet's legendary Co-Founder. Mischievous spells and mistaken identities abound as the theme of reality versus illusion is explored in this captivating, hilarious and romantic adventure about a pair of mortals and immortals.

Inspired by the brilliant score of Felix Mendelssohn, Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream premiered in 1962 as his first full-length ballet for America. In April of 1964, it opened New York City Ballet's first season at the New York State Theater.

"It is a thrill to see how Mr. Balanchine captures the beauty and magic of Shakespeare's greatest comedy," saidNBT Executive Director & CEO, Beth Barbre. "We are lucky to open our 43rd Season with this unforgettable ballet. Our good fortune includes performances by Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) Principal Dancers Lesley Rausch and Karel Cruz, Members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and our own splendid dancers and Academy students. "

Rausch and Kruz will perform the roles of Titiana and her Cavalier. NBT's presentation will also include nearly 30 young dancers from the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre who will make their debut as fantastical fairies and fireflies.

Felix Mendelssohn's magnificent score will be performed by Members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and led by PNB Music Director Emil de Cou, who has conducted for ballet companies around the world including the National Ballet of Canada, New York City Ballet and the Netherlands Dance Theatre. This production will also feature lush sets and costumes designed by award-winning designer Martin Pakledinaz, courtesy of PNB and lighting design by Randall Chirarelli.

A Midsummer Night's Dream is staged by The George Balanchine Trust Repetiteur, Sandra Jennings. At the age of 13, Jennings received a Ford Foundation scholarship to the School of American Ballet in New York and at the request of George Balanchine, joined New York City Ballet in 1974. For the next nine years, she danced principal and soloist roles in important works by Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.


With music provided by Members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Antonio Vivaldi's revered score "The Four Seasons" comes alive on stage as the backbone and inspiration for Paul Vasterling's ballet. Lauded for being as "intricately designed as the music," Seasons has been described in the press as "simultaneously formal and spontaneous, the way Vivaldi's score sounds." Consisting of four violin concertos, which replicate the nuances and aesthetic of each of nature's four seasons, Vivaldi's score remains one of the most recognized pieces of music in the classical repertoire.

Seasons showcases the moods and colors of the four seasons while humorous and sensuous movements in elegant costumes provide a deeper look into the relationships and differences between men and women. "The ballet looks like a moving impressionist painting," said Choreographer Paul Vasterling.

"Seasons was commissioned by Oregon Ballet Theatre as part of a new works program and had its premiere in Portland in May 1997," said NBT Artistic Director James Canfield. "Paul Vasterling's 29 minute gem of a ballet is brilliantly structured to showcase the artistic and technical talents of 6 women and 6 men as they ebb and flow with one another, much like the four seasons in which they dance. I am pleased to share this great work with you."

Acclaimed choreographer Paul Vasterling has created more than 40 works including classical ballets, full-length story ballets and contemporary one act works that have been performed around the world to critical acclaim. As Artistic Director of Nashville Ballet, he has grown the company, expanded its repertoire and elevated its reputation.Seasons has been performed in over 10 cities around the world and continues to be one of Vasterling's most requested ballets.


Subscriptions are available from $169 with up to 35% in savings for an entire year of extraordinary dance experiences. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Single tickets to select 2014-2015 Season Performances range from $29* (plus fees) and up and can be ordered by calling The Smith Center Box Office at(702) 749-2000 or by visiting *For balcony seating on select dates.


Under the artistic direction of James Canfield, Nevada Ballet Theatre is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Las Vegas and the largest professional ballet company and dance Academy in the state. Committed to the highest artistic standards, this classically-based company is at home in an eclectic repertory, moving easily from the classics to the high-energy contemporary ballets. The mission of Nevada Ballet Theatre is to educate and inspire statewide, regional and national audiences and vitally impact community life through professional company productions, dance training and education and outreach. Nevada Ballet Theatre is the resident ballet company of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, visit NBT on the web:; Like NBT on Facebook: or Tweet: @NVBallet.



Lesley Rausch is from Columbus, Ohio. She studied with Shir Lee Wu at Columbus Youth Ballet and also trained at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as member of the corps de ballet in 2001. She was promoted to soloist in 2007 and principal in 2011.In addition to her performing career, Ms. Rausch has been a guest teacher at New American Youth Ballet in Fort Wayne, Indiana.


Karel Cruz is from Holguin, Cuba, and received his training at Cuba's Escuela Nacional de Artes. He joined Ballet Nacional de Cuba in 1996 and left in 1998 to join Ballet Clasico de Camara in Venezuela. From 1999 to 2000, he danced with Teatro Teresa Carreno, also in Venezuela. After coming to the United States, Mr. Cruz spent a year at the Rock School before joining Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2002. He was promoted to soloist in 2007 and principal in 2009.


Emil de Cou assumed the full-time position of Pacific Northwest Ballet's Music Director and Principal Conductor at the start of the 2011-2012 season. Previously he was associate conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, and 2014 will mark his 10th season as conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra performances at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. Mr. de Cou debuted at Carnegie Hall as guest conductor for the New York Pops and has also conducted Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and Colorado Symphony Orchestra. He was Principal Pops Conductor for the San Francisco Symphony and served as musical consultant for NASA collaborations, including "Salute to Apollo, the Kennedy Legacy" at the Kennedy Center. In 1985, Mikhail Baryshnikov hired Mr. de Cou to conduct American Ballet Theatre and in 1994, he joined the staff of San Francisco Ballet. He has also conducted New York City Ballet, Suzanne Farrell Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Netherlands Dance Theatre, Hong Kong Ballet, and National Ballet of Holland, among others. Mr. de Cou was born in Los Angeles and studied at the University of Southern California. He was the subject of a documentary on National Public Radio and was chosen from 200 candidates to study in Leonard Bernstein's master class at the Hollywood Bowl.

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