Originally choreographed in 1959 for New York City Opera, John Butler’s powerful, impassioned masterwork uses the full breadth of Carl Orff’s choral score to explore the melding of classical ballet’s structure with the earthiness of contemporary dance. As the score progresses and changes, so too does the character of this groundbreaking work. Butler’s steps seem intimately tied to the extremes of human emotion, as expressed through movement: rapture and release, torture, and true love, all that may succumb to an overwhelming fear of our own morality.
Theme and Variations
George Balanchine’s virtuosic choreography and the sumptuous music of Tchaikovsky’s third orchestral suite evokes the era of Imperial Russia when grand classical dancing was at its peak.
This performance is made possible in part by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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