Segerstrom Center For The Arts Announces World Premiere Of American Ballet Theatre's OF LOVE AND RAGE
Segerstrom Center for the Arts proudly presents the World Premiere of American Ballet Theatre's Of Love and Rage, a new work choreographed by ABT Artist-in-Residence and MacArthur Genius Alexei Ratmansky. Sets and costumes are by award-winning designer Jean-Marc Puissant, with lighting by designer Duane Schuler. Inspired from the first century Greek novel, Callirhoe, the libretto for Of Love and Rage was adapted by actor, director, screenwriter and Molière Award winner Guillaume Gallienne. The ballet is set to music by Aram Khachaturian with arrangements by Philip Feeney and performed live by Pacific Symphony. There will be five performances: March 5 - 8, 2020 in Segerstrom Hall. The ballet will have its New York Premiere during ABT's 2020 Metropolitan Opera House season June 2 - 6.
Alexei Ratmansky said, "Of Love and Rage is not a fairytale. Although it was written thousands of years ago, with the complexity of the relationship [between Callirhoe and Chaereas] at its core and the tough choices they face, it feels very modern and relevant. Callirhoe is a strong woman in a world where women had very limited options and no power. After early experiences where her fate is determined by men, she learns that she can use her beauty and her brains to shape her fate." Ratmansky added, "I am fascinated by the topic of forgiveness. This is a story about how anger and jealousy tear two people apart - two people who are madly in love. Forgiveness is the only way they can reunite, and forgiveness requires strength. As Mahatma Gandhi said, 'The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.'"
Single tickets for American Ballet Theatre's Of Love and Rage at Segerstrom Center for the Arts start at $29 and are now available online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787. For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236.
Declared "the most gifted choreographer in classical ballet today" (The New York Times) Ratmansky was introduced to the ancient Greek text Callirhoe by his friend and colleague Guillaume Gallienne. Written by Chariton of Aphrodesias, Callirhoe is widely acknowledged to be the oldest novel ever written, set around 400 BC in the ancient Greek world, which, at that time, sprawled across the Mediterranean. A ballet in two acts, Of Love and Rage follows the novel's powerful love story of Chaereas and Callirhoe as they struggle with the tragic consequences of their mistakes and, ultimately, find redemption through forgiveness.
Of Love and Rage pulls inspiration from the Greek aesthetic of beauty and harmony, incorporating many elements from ancient Greek drama. Ratmansky employs his expansive knowledge of classical ballet's history and the rhythms, harmonies and orchestrations of Aram Khachaturian's score, Gayane, to create a powerful, story-driven piece, utilizing the full company of dancers. The corps de ballet, dancing as one unit, will portray supporting emotions in the commentary role found in Greek theater.
Callirhoe is a young noblewoman living in the city of Syracuse, Sicily. She is acknowledged as the most beautiful woman in the world, compared often to the goddess Aphrodite. She has many suitors, but when she and the handsome Chaereas see each other, it is love at first sight. Although her father Hermocrates and Chareas's father Ariston are bitter enemies, the families are convinced to put aside their feud for the sake of love. Callirhoe and Chaereas are married.
Callirhoe's rejected suitors, now jealous of Chaereas, deceive the groom into thinking that Callirhoe is unfaithful. He becomes consumed by his own jealousy and confronts Callirhoe. In the course of the confrontation, she collapses, causing Chaereas to believe that his beloved is dead. Callirhoe is entombed along with a large cache of treasures. Pirates have secretly observed the funeral and, after the mourners leave, they plunder the tomb. Callirhoe awakens - she is not dead. The pirates kidnap her and sail to the city of Miletus in Cyprus. They sell her as a slave to the benevolent and wealthy Dionysius, who instantly falls in love with her. Meanwhile, she discovers that she is pregnant with Chaereas' child. To save her child from being born into slavery, and thinking she will never see Chaereas again, Callirhoe takes control of her destiny and marries Dionysius. He doesn't know Callirhoe is pregnant and assumes that the child is his. Chaereas, in the meantime, has returned to the tomb and finds it ransacked and Callirhoe gone. He gathers a ship and sets sail to find her.
Following a series of coincidences, adventures, and near-reunions, Callirhoe and Chaereas finally see each other again. Dionysius, who loves Callirhoe and her son as his own, allows Callirhoe to decide whether to stay or return to Syracuse with Chaereas. Fate has imposed this decision on Callirhoe. Neither situation is perfect, but she must make a choice.
About Alexei Ratmansky, Choreographer
Alexei Ratmansky was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow. His performing career included positions as principal dancer with Ukrainian National Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet. He has choreographed ballets for the Mariinsky Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Kiev Ballet and the State Ballet of Georgia, as well as for Nina Ananiashvili, Diana Vishneva and Mikhail Baryshnikov. His 1998 work, Dreams of Japan, earned a prestigious Golden Mask Award from The Theatre Union of Russia. In 2005, he was awarded the Benois de la Danse prize for his choreography of Anna Karenina for the Royal Danish Ballet. He was made Knight of Dannebrog by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in 2001. He won his second Benois de la Danse for Shostakovich Trilogy in 2014. Ratmansky was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow for 2013.
Ratmansky was named artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet in January 2004. For the Bolshoi Ballet, he choreographed full-length productions of The Bright Stream (2003) and The Bolt (2005) and re-staged Le Corsaire (2007) and the Soviet-era Flames of Paris (2008). Under Ratmansky's direction, the Bolshoi Ballet was named "Best Foreign Company" in 2005 and 2007 by The Critics' Circle in London, and he received a Critics' Circle National Dance Award for The Bright Stream in 2006. In 2007, he won a Golden Mask Award for Best Choreographer for his production of Jeu de Cartes for the Bolshoi Ballet. In 2009, Ratmansky choreographed new dances for the Metropolitan Opera's production of Aida. Ratmansky joined American Ballet Theatre as Artist in Residence in January 2009.
For American Ballet Theatre, Ratmansky choreographed On the Dnieper (2009), Seven Sonatas (2009), Waltz Masquerade, a ballet honoring Nina Ananiashvili's final season (2009), The Nutcracker (2010, West Coast Premiere at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in 2015), Dumbarton (2011), Symphony #9 (2012), Firebird (World Premiere at Segerstrom Center for the Arts 2016), Chamber Symphony, Piano Concerto #1 and The Tempest (2013), The Sleeping Beauty (World Premiere at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in 2015), Serenade after Plato's Symposium (2016), Songs of Bukovina (2017), Whipped Cream (World Premiere at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in 2017), Harlequinade (West Coast Premiere at Segerstrom Center for the Arts 2018) and The Seasons (2019).