King Arthur's Camelot [World Premiere]




World Premiere

Choreography: Victoria Morgan |
Original Musical Composition: John Estacio | Dramaturge: Eda Holmes
Costumes: Sandra Woodall | Set Design: Joe Tilford
| Puppet Design: Erik Van Wyk | Projection Design: John Boesche | Lighting Design: Trad A Burns
Live music performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Carmon DeLeone

The highlight of our 50th Season comes in February when we bring you a major, world premiere ballet based on the legendary tale of King Arthur's Camelot. The brand-new work includes costumes by Sandra Woodall, one of the dance world's most sought-after designers, an original musical composition by John Estacio and sets by Joe Tilford, familiar to Cincinnati audiences through his long-time relationship with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Complete with magic, projections, puppets, jousting and all things Camelot, this will be Cincinnati Ballet's biggest full-length ballet adventure in decades.

Performance Dates and Times
Thursday, February 13 - 8:00 pm Saturday, February 15 - 8:00 pm
Friday, February 14 - 8:00 pm Sunday, February 16 - 2:00 pm
Saturday, February 15 - 2:00 pm  
Meet the Artists will take place at 7:00 pm, February 14. [Learn More]


February 13 at 8:00 pm, February 15 at 8:00 pm, February 16 at 2:00 pm
King Arthur: Cervilio Miguel Amador
Guinevere: Janessa Touchet
Merlin: Liang Fu
Lancelot: Patric Palkens
Mordred: Rodrigo Almarales

February 14 at 8:00 pm  and February 15 at 2:00 pm
King Arthur: Joseph Gatti
Guinevere: Adiarys Almeida
Merlin: Liang Fu
Lancelot: Romel Frometa
Mordred: Rodrigo Almarales


Costume and Set Design




The story begins in a land torn apart by the chaos of war. The only survivor is a boy named Arthur. The passionate powers of chaos embodied by the swirling Ladies of the Lake try to destroy Arthur but the Sorcerer Merlin emerges from the stone to adopt him. He teaches him to lead men with honor and brotherhood, and when the fighting begins to re-ignite, young Arthur pulls the sword Excalibur from the stone and is proclaimed king.

Once Arthur is crowned, Merlin helps him to win the affection of the girl who has been chosen as his Queen, the young princess Guinevere. Their youthful infatuation blooms and they are married in a joyous celebration uniting all the people of the land. Even the arrival of the pompous knight Lancelot, who has come to prove he is the greatest knight in the kingdom, cannot undo the joy of the event. The King and the knights perform the Dance of Honor and inaugurate the legendary peace of Camelot.

The Ladies of the Lake know that deep in the souls of men lurk passions that are not so easily tamed by marriage and honor. They create an ambitious and devious mortal named Mordred to infiltrate the kingdom and help them undo the peace and honor that King Arthur has brought to the land.

During the picnic to celebrate the peace, Guinevere becomes frustrated that King Arthur spends the afternoon deep in conversation with his newest knight Lancelot. To get some attention and to punish Arthur, she proposes a tournament of jousting. Lancelot and Gawain are the first combatants. What is meant to be all in good fun, turns deadly. Tragedy is averted by Merlin but not before the Ladies of the Lake, with the help of Mordred, instill a desperate seed of passion in the hearts of Guinevere and Lancelot. Before Merlin can intercede, he is captured by the Ladies of the Lake leaving King Arthur alone to deal with Mordred and his dark plans. 


Alone with his thoughts, Arthur is haunted by a nightmare in which the Ladies of the Lake torment him with his worst fears. He awakes from it troubled by the presence of Mordred in the kingdom.  

With faith in the bond of brotherhood, King Arthur plans to knight Mordred and prepares to initiate him in the Dance of Honor. Mordred has no interest in honor and mocks the solemnity of the ceremony angering everyone – especially King Arthur who rips the crest of Camelot from his chest.

Lingering near the throne, Mordred hears people coming and hides to spy. Drawn by their newly kindled passion, Lancelot and Guinevere find each other in the hallway and dance without touching. Arthur enters not realizing what is happening and joins the dance. Lancelot is unable to participate and leaves as Guinevere takes her leave in the opposite direction. Mordred seizes the opportunity to plant a seed of doubt in King Arthur’s ear about Lancelot and Guinevere. Angry, Arthur sends Mordred away. The doubt haunts him and he dances a tortured solo longing for the guidance of Merlin.   

In the forest, the knights are hunting game and Lancelot has not shown up. Mordred joins them to spread the rumor of Lancelot and Guinevere. Someone is heard approaching and all hide to spy.   

Guinevere enters – she and Lancelot plan to meet in the forest one last time before Lancelot leaves forever so that their love will not be discovered. They try to remain chaste with one another but their passion overwhelms them. Infuriated by the betrayal, Gawain and the knights confront Lancelot. Arthur has been watching at a distance and blinded by passion he goes to kill Lancelot but Guinevere comes between them. The scene descends into confusion and Lancelot escapes. Guinevere is seized and Mordred insists that Arthur condemn her to death.

In despair Arthur finds Merlin, but the Ladies of the Lake have rendered him powerless with blindness. A pyre is erected and Guinevere is bound to it. As it begins to burn Arthur finds it unbearable and braves the flames freeing Guinevere. Lancelot charges in. Mordred, driven by the curse of chaos, is determined to destroy Arthur and everything he loves. The kingdom descends into confusion and war as Arthur and Mordred fight. Mordred delivers a mortal blow to Arthur just as Lancelot, coming to Arthur’s aid, is slain by Mordred. Barely alive, Arthur kills Mordred.  

A young boy wanders among the carnage. He picks up Excalibur and wields it playfully. Arthur, with his last bit of strength, grabs it from the boy and hurls it into the stars. He wants the child to find a way without the sword. He teaches the boy the Dance of Honor and then sends him into the world to tell their story. 


Immerse yourself in the chivalry and magic of King Arthur's legendary Camelot with Cincinnati Ballet's world premiere of King Arthur's Camelot. Relive the elegance and charm of Princess Diana as the world-renowned exhibit Diana: a celebration makes its final stop at Cincinnati Museum Center. Together these experiences will delight and inspire you, and through Cincinnati Museum Center and the Cincinnati Ballet's Royal Weekend package, you can enjoy enjoy both for just $60. Click the image below to purchase SOLD OUT!

A production of this magnitude would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors:

The Sheakley World Premiere Fund
Margaret & Michael Valentine
Rosemary & Mark Schlachter

The John A. Schroth Family Charitable Trust,
PNC Bank, Trustee

John Steele
Mr. & Mrs. Rick Reynolds
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Barbara & Lorrence T. Kellar
Brian & Lynn Good
Dr. & Mrs. Robert E. Heidt Jr.
The Austin E. Knowlton Foundation
The TenderLand Foundation in honor of Barbara & Lorrence T. Kellar
The Thomas J. Emery Foundation

Guinevere: Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Lancelot: The Griswold Foundation
Merlin: Thompson Hine
Knights of the Round Table: Mr. & Mrs. John Boorn
Ladies of the Lake: The H.B., E.W. & F.R. Luther Charitable Foundation, Fifth Third Bank
and Narley L. Haley, Co-Trustees

Mordred: National Endowment for the Arts 
Gawain: The Sutphin Family Foundation 

Donald Calvin
David Cook
James May
John Morgan
Tony & Keke Sansalone

2015-2016 Season Sponsors