It all begins this fall with Face to Face (October 15-16) a full-length program featuring powerful ballets that connect us with human nature. In Ben Stevenson’s romantic Three Preludes, a cautious studio flirtation transforms into passion as two dancers are swept away by their love. George Balanchine’s iconic The Four Temperaments adds a thrilling counterpoint. Sparse and mesmerizing, the work explores the four ‘temperaments’ of human disposition. But as with all things Balanchine, the ballet is ultimately an expression of the pure possibility and joy of dancing. We close with SculptedClouds an otherworldly exploration of man’s relationship with nature from rising star Jennifer Archibald. Dancers reach for the sky in soaring lifts set to the ethereal beat-driven music of Dead Can Dance. But the clouds are beyond them – boundless, airy, and free – and will not be controlled. SculptedClouds was commissioned for OBT LIVE, an outdoor concert presented to limited audiences. OBT is excited to bring this work to the Keller Auditorium with full production values. Single tickets are on sale now. Click HERE to learn more and purchase.
For the holidays, OBT brings George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (December 11-26) back to the Keller Auditorium. Last year this cherished tradition was suspended leaving an empty stage in place of a beloved production. The OBT dancers and OBT Orchestra are eager to bring it back!
In February, OBT shifts from the traditional to the unconventional with a uniquely Portland approach to the month of love with the premiere of Ben Stevenson’s deliciously spine-chilling Dracula (February 19-26), based on Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic novel of the same title. Dissatisfied with his bevy of undead brides, Count Dracula fixates on Svetlana, a young girl on the cusp of engagement, to satiate his thirst for fresh blood. Abducted by Dracula’s faithful henchman Renfield, Svetlana is dragged away to the Count’s castle from where she may never escape but for the heroism of her true love, Frederick. A haunting score by Franz Liszt – performed live by the OBT Orchestra! – sets the tone for this immersive fairy tale, with awe-inspiring theatrics, vampire brides, stunning sets, and exquisite dancing.
For its spring and summer performances, OBT takes up residency at the intimate Newmark Theatre – a perfect venue for its dynamic mixed repertory programs. In Dreamland (April 8-10), OBT presents the return of Matjash Mrozewski’s The Lost Dance. Set to Owen Belton’s eerie score, the riveting work evokes the cinematic world of David Lynch as seven mysterious figures emerge almost as ghosts to engage in a kind of ritual dance. Audience favorite Trey McIntyre takes inspiration from legendary Roy Orbison’s impassioned songs to create the achingly romantic In Dreams. The program closes with Dreamland, a highly charged work from choreographer and former Australian Ballet Principal, Danielle Rowe. Her powerful and mesmerizing ballet springs from a nightmare of being trapped and clawing to break free.
The season closes with the long-awaited return of The Americans (June 3 -11) series celebrating the unique voices and rich history of American choreographers. In this program we feature an OBT first time commission from rising star Michelle Manzanales whose piece Con Brazos Abiertos for Ballet Hispánico was lauded by the LA Times as one of “heart tugging beauty.” Rounding out this innovative production we are delighted to bring back two audience favorites: Darrell Grand Moultrie’s whimsical Fluidity of Steel celebrating maleness without conformity; and Ashley Roland and Jamey Hampton’s Big Shoes harkening back to that moment when we dressed in grown-ups’ clothes and imagined the vast road that stretched on ahead, forever beckoning, daring us.