Second Thoughts

Second Thoughts
By Henry C. Mayer

Local Ballet Season Promises to Be Memorable

By Henry C. Mayer

One of the more pleasing aspects of writing for Louisville Music News is the opportunity to preview the coming seasons for organizations that stage the performing arts. Recently, we did just that for Kentucky Opera.

Now we can do that again for Alun Jones and Louisville Ballet. Jones' work is a genuine masterpiece of beauty, so it is a joy to highlight what he will offer us this coming season, when we launch a new and delightful millennium in an art form we are finding increasingly pleasant and meaningful. I say "highlight" because this introduction can only sample what is on tap for local ballet lovers. They will find that, like the Queen of Sheba, "only the half has been told us."

One of this coming season's performances will be Antony Tudor's "Lilac Garden." One of Tudor's masterpieces, it portrays the conflicts between the passions of its characters and the demands of a highly standard world.

Then there'll be special guest Victor Wooten, bassist for Bela Fleck and the Flecktones offering "Freeform `99," interpretations in dance and music on September 4 at the Iroquois Amphitheater. On February 22, 2000 at the Palace Theater, the living legend in tap and jazz Gregory Hines will be here for only one performance.

There will be a super Halloween Party, as well as the 6th Annual Choreographic Showcase. This fascinating program will consist of new works choreographed and performed by Louisville Ballet members.

December will feature the 17th consecutive presentation of "The Nutcracker." Each year, something special is added to this extravaganza. This year's addition will be a new performance of "Waltz of the Flowers" with children's roles.

On January 27-29, there will be two special events, the celebration of the centennial of Aaron Copland's birth. Clark Reid will dance his farewell role in "Billy the Kid." The second event will be the world premiere of a new ballet, as yet unnamed, by LB member Mikella Bruzina.

In February, there will be a world premiere of "Peter Pan," based on J. M. Barrie's classic fairytale "who those of us who never want to grow up." The choreography is by Alun Jones and associate artistic director Helen Starr. The music is by 20th Century British composer Sir Malcolm Arnold. Jones said, "Arnold's music sounds almost as if it were written for this ballet."

The season will close on April 6-8 with "Giselle," music by Adolphe Adam. The Louisville Orchestra will perform.