More ambitious program for ballet, orchestra

August 1, 2010
HudsonHub Times
April Helms


Those who attended and enjoyed last year's joint artistic venture with the Joffrey Ballet and the Cleveland Orchestra can anticipate a more ambitious program this year, according to Ashley Wheater, artistic director of the ballet company.


Highlights will include classic works such as "Le Corsaire," based on the choreography by Marius Pepita, and new dances such as Pretty BALLET by James Kudelka. "It's a huge and ambitious program, and I'm really excited to bring it here," said Wheater. The Joffrey Ballet and Cleveland Orchestra will perform Sept. 4 and 5 at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls.


The Cleveland Orchestra had a tradition of working with ballet companies in the past said Ana Papakhian, media relations contact with the Cleveland Orchestra. The orchestra decided to bring back the tradition last year after a lengthy hiatus. "It was such a huge artistic success that we asked them to come back right away," said Papakhian.


Members of the media were invited to take a sneak peak at selections of two of the ballets, shown on video, before the orchestra's July 11 concert at Blossom. Shown were "Pretty BALLET" and "Reflections," another new piece by Gerald Arpino, danced to Tchaikovsky's "Variations on a Rococo Theme." "It is hauntingly beautiful," Wheater said of "Pretty BALLET." "The complexity of the music is shown in the complexity of the dance. It's a huge ballet, it involves 26 to 28 people." "Reflections" will highlight "some of the younger dancers in the company," Wheater said. Wheater added that he had enjoyed the collaborations the Joffrey Ballet has had with The Cleveland Orchestra, and hinted that he would be willing to work together at other venues such as the State Theatre in Playhouse Square in Cleveland.


Orchestra concert

The Cleveland Orchestra, led that evening by Tito Muñoz, performed Symphonic Dances from "West Side Story," Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major, and Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar.


The highlight of the evening was the Violin Concerto, featuring violinist Giora Schmidt. The finale of the concerto earned Schmidt and the orchestra an enthusiastic standing ovation.


Upcoming concerts

The Cleveland Orchestra will next perform at Blossom Music Center Aug. 7 and 8. Music Director Franz Welser-Möst will conduct a program featuring Brahm's Second Symphony, Strauss's "Ein Heldenleben" and Schubert's Fourth Symphony.

For details, contact the Cleveland Orchestra at 216-231-1111, or 800-686-1141, or visit online.

Blossom Music Center is at 1145 Steels Corners Road in Cuyahoga Falls.

E-mail: ahelms [at] recordpub [dot] com

Phone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3153