Cincinnati Ballet’s 2016-2017 Season marks Artistic Director & CEO Victoria Morgan’s 20th. To celebrate, the new season features unique collaborations, world premieres and the return of treasured family classics performed at the Aronoff Center for the Arts, including Director’s Cut, Coppélia, Frisch’s Presents The Nutcracker with a Washington, D.C. debut, King Arthur’s Camelot, Bold Moves and The Kaplan New Works Series. The commemorative season of dance is complemented with a series of special events celebrating Victoria Morgan’s tenure.
Cincinnati Ballet’s Otto M. Budig Academy hosts a kick-off event August 27 at the Cincinnati Ballet Center chaired by Michelle Frodge and Erin Starkey. An exciting season of dance kicks off with an invitation-only black tie gala in honor of Victoria Morgan, September 15. An Intimate Evening with Victoria Morgan is chaired by Rhonda Sheakley, Dianne Dunkelman and Larry Kellar.
The gala is followed by a special presentation of the Director’s Cut series September 16 and 17, for which Victoria Morgan has curated a diverse, mixed-repertoire performance of her favorites including world famous dancer/choreographer Justin Peck’s Capricious Maneuvers, a farewell performance of Raymonda from retiring dancers Sarah Hairston and Zack Grubbs with students from the Otto M. Budig Academy, Victoria Morgan and Ma Cong world premieres and more. A star in the making, Justin Peck was recently the subject of the documentary Ballet 422, chronicling the creation of a brand new work. Ma Cong’s stunning piece, Mind on the [Re]Wind, was met with admiration by Cincinnati audiences last season as part of The Kaplan New Works Series. Hairston and Grubbs take their final bow on stage as Principal and Senior Soloist, respectively, before going on to serve as the new Academy leadership. Director’s Cut performances close out with a celebratory Homecoming Brunch on September 18 at the Transept, chaired by long-time Cincinnati Ballet supporter Ronna Willis.
Coppélia will captivate audiences of all ages when it takes the Cincinnati stage for the first time in 15 years, October 21 through 23. Dr. Coppélius’ dream comes true when his latest creation, a doll named Coppélia, comes to life – or so he thinks! Unbeknownst to him, the doll has caused quite a stir in the village. This comedic story of love and mistaken identities features the challenging, yet charming choreography of Kirk Peterson. The treasured ballet classic is set to the melodic music of Léo Delibes, played by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Frisch’s Presents The Nutcracker, Cincinnati’s favorite holiday tradition, makes its Washington, D.C. debut at the famed Kennedy Center, November 21-28 with music performed by The Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. The Nutcracker returns to Cincinnati’s Aronoff Center December 9 through 18. A Cincinnati tradition spanning more than four decades, The Nutcracker is a joyful holiday celebration for the entire family. Re-envisioned by Victoria Morgan in 2011, Cincinnati CityBeat says this version “strikes a delightful balance between light family fare and serious technical ballet.” The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky’s magical score live at each Cincinnati performance.
King Arthur’s Camelot is one of the few ballet incarnations of the legendary tale and saw a world premiere of epic proportions in 2014. A highlight of a momentous season, the legendary tale of love and honor returns to delight audiences of all ages, February 10 through 12, featuring choreography by Victoria Morgan and an original musical composition by John Estacio, performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. A visually stunning display of dance and drama, the production features larger than life puppets, projections, special effects and exquisite costumes by one of the most sought after designers, Sandra Woodall.
Bold Moves joins a weeklong series of cultural events by showcasing Israeli artistic innovators, March 17 and 18. A mixed-repertoire series focused on innovation that defies traditional expectations of classical ballet, Bold Moves includes the world famous Ohad Nahrin’s Minus 16, a collection of vignettes incorporating improvisation and his acclaimed “Gaga” method. “Gaga” is a language of movement created by Naharin that challenges dancers to liberate themselves from old habits and explore new and inventive ways to use their bodies. The San Francisco Chronicle describes Minus 16 as, “delighting in its own wackiness, while celebrating the joy of dancing.” Resident Choreographer Adam Hougland presents his seventh world premiere for Cincinnati Ballet with the music of the award-winning Ariel Quartet. The quartet, which originally formed in Israel during the members’ early years, is now internationally recognized and serves as the Quartet-in-Residence at University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. Hougland is known for his creation of the spectacular productions of The Firebird and Mozart’s Requiem specifically for Cincinnati Ballet, and in 2011 he was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch.” He contributed his talent to a piece in the collaborative performance of Frampton & Cincinnati Ballet Live, which was performed at the Joyce Theater in New York City in 2014, and audiences may remember his piece All My Favorite People, set to the music of Over the Rhine, performed in last season’s New Works.
Ballet Toybox returns offering the perfect opportunity to introduce young children to the joy of dance, Sunday, March 19 at 2 pm at the Aronoff Center. The program features the Cincinnati Ballet Second Company in a mix of ballet and storybook classics. At under an hour and only $20 a ticket, Ballet Toybox is an interactive adventure where the audience learns about the essential elements that make up the beauty, humor and inspiring discipline of dance.
Known as Cincinnati’s hottest dance party of the year, Club B returns in April 2017, chaired by long time Cincinnati Ballet supporters Keke Sansalone, Cynthia Henderson, Halle Quinn and Chris Lippert. The date and location are still to be announced.
A special spring presentation of The Kaplan New Works Series runs April 20 through 29 in the Aronoff’s intimate Jarson–Kaplan theater, rounding out the season with a tradition of innovation in dance. New Works brings acclaimed choreographers from all over the world to Cincinnati Ballet. This season features an impressive roster of female choreographers in a continued effort to shine a spotlight on the talented women who are underrepresented in the dance world. The lineup includes Cincinnati Ballet’s own Artistic Director and CEO, Victoria Morgan along with Jennifer Archibald, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Heather Britt. Jennifer Archibald, the founder and artistic director of New York City’s acclaimed Arch Dance Company, presented her piece Sit in the 2014 Kaplan New Works Series, described by the Cincinnati Enquirer as, “…voluptuous…fiery…sensual…” This time she teams up with fellow female innovator, the artist known as Swoon, to present an unparalleled collaboration of performance and visual art. The experience is augmented by a presentation of Swoon’s work at the Contemporary Arts Center in the fall of 2017. Cincinnati audience favorite and the creator of DANCEFIX, Heather Britt returns with her anticipated choreography that exudes an energy of fearless confidence and innovation. New Works will also feature the U.S. premiere of Eros Redux, a mythical piece by international choreographer extraordinaire Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Temecula Performing Arts Examiner describes Ochoa as, “a truly masterful choreographer with an edge for what dance can and should be in this constantly changing industry.”
Cincinnati Ballet 2016-2017 Season Sponsors: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation, ArtsWave, PNC Bank, Rhonda & Larry A. Sheakley Family Foundation, Rosemary & Mark Schlachter, The Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, Ohio Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Frisch’s