Calaveras County Arts Council is proud to present the Diablo Ballet
When: 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 26, 2017
Where: The Bret Harte Theatre in Angels Camp
The Diablo Ballet brings passion, fun, and fantasy to Angels Camp
Humor. Romance. Passion. There’s something for everybody in the upcoming performance by the Diablo Ballet out of Contra Costa County in the Bay Area. “It will please everyone,” said artistic director and co-founder Lauren Jonas. “Even people who say they are not ballet lovers.”
Certainly you don’t have to be a classical ballet fan to appreciate the passion and steam in Three to Tango, set to the fiery music of Astor Piazzolla. There’s no denying the tension that fuels the tango-infused ballet. “It’s a story within a story,” said Jonas. “There are three dancers: one girl and two men who vie for her attention.”
Dancers will retrace the original 1994 choreography by Diablo Ballet’s artistic advisor and dance legend Sally Streets; the footwork is special to Jonas. “Three to Tango was originally set for me. It was my very first performance,” Jonas said. Now she is teaching it to a new troupe of dancers, a process that is “really rewarding, because I’ve danced it myself.
The second piece, the pas de deux from the traditional Raymonda is no less passionate, although more formal than Three to Tango. First performed in 1898, in Russia, “It’s for classical ballet lovers,” Jonas said.
Closing the first act with a film
Midway through the performance, the audience will be treated to a film—“Libera,” by director Walter Yamazaki—about the dancers in Diablo Ballet, who are, of course, the central reason-to-be for the ballet company. “You really get to know the dancers,” Jonas said. “We have a varied repertoire with many different dancers. Our dancers are high caliber dancers from around the world, dancers at the pinnacle of their careers.”
Exploratory, exuberant; this ballet will charm your socks off
Dancing with animals and light
The second act is where things get fun. Robert Dekkers, once called a “mad genius” by Huffington Post, has choreographed a fantasy called Carnival of the Imagination. This ballet is set to the music of Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint Saëns, a humorous symphony written as a lark by Saint Saëns, who said that, although he should be working on his symphony, writing Carnival was “so much fun.”
The ballet is a sideways jog on the symphony. “It’s about a boy named Sevin,” said Jonas. “He takes you on an adventure that’s full of animals. A unicorn, a phoenix, Pixies, a butterfly, a panda—there are 30 costumes with 10 dancers,” which makes for a lot of quick changes. The costumes were designed by one of the dancers, Christian Squires, and in perhaps one of the most stunning scenes, dancers spin in costumes that glow in the dark to form a constellation.
According to the company’s press release, this dance was “created to awaken one’s fascination and connect with the child-like heart that’s bursting at the seams within each of us.” The ballet is exploratory and exuberant and will charm your socks off.
Choreographer and founder of the New York City Ballet once famously said “Dance is music made visible.” The Diablo Ballet has earned their reputation of trying to make ballet accessible to all audiences. At the Diablo Ballet’s performance, you’ll see more than music made visible; you’ll see a professional troupe of dancers that will make you sigh, giggle, and learn to love dance.
The Diablo Ballet concert is part of the Ovations 2017 Performing Arts Series, a concert series presented by the Calaveras County Arts Council, a 35-year old non-profit organization, partially funded by the California Arts Council, a State agency.
Tickets are available at calaverasarts.org, 209/754-1774, at the office/gallery at 22 Main St. in San Andreas, or at the theatre box office starting at 2:30 pm the day of the concert.
The Bret Harte Theatre is located at 323 Highway 49, Angels Camp, where there’s plenty of free parking and many designated handicapped seats.
Many thanks to Signal Service of Vallecito for sponsoring the Diablo Ballet. The continuing support of the community makes programs like Ovations possible.
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