Diablo Ballet celebrates the New Year

Presenting the second program of its 2019-2020 season, Balanchine & Beyond this February.

(December 23, 2019) WALNUT CREEK — Diablo Ballet presents the second program of their 26th season, Balanchine & Beyond, Feb 7 – 8 at the Del Valle Theatre in Walnut Creek.  The programs features selections from five ballets including George  Balanchine’s, Who Cares? set to the music of Gershwin; the choreographic debut of company dancer Michael Wells; the bravura Esmerelda; and the celebration of female choreographers with works by Sally Streets and Penny Saunders.

Diablo Ballet presents George Balanchine’s iconic Who Cares?, which has been in the Company’s repertoire since 2002. When George Gershwin gave Balanchine a book of his songs, the gift sparked the idea for Who Cares?, one of the most joyous of the Balanchine ballets. This fast-stepping ballet evokes the lively spirit of Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and the 1930s and portrays an exuberance that is broadly American and charged with a distinctive energy. Excerpts of George Gershwin arranged by Hershy Kay highlight eight songs Gershwin composed between 1924 and 1931.

The program also features two celebrated female choreographers with works by Penny Saunders and Sally Streets.  The intricate duet Berceuse by Penny Saunders, is set to orchestral excerpts from French composer Benjamin Godard’s opera “Jocelyn”.  The ballet, which originally made its debut in 2011 for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, explores the nuanced line between classical and contemporary dance with a sweeping and intricate vocabulary that expresses the cadence of a love affair.  Sally Streets’ Bach Suite for Strings was originally created for Diablo Ballet in 1995.  This lyrical and classical ballet features three couples and is set to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Gavotte and Praeludium from the Partita in E major and Sonata in A minor for violin.

Also included on the program is the bravura Esmeralda Pas de Deux, variations and Coda inspired by the novel “Notre-Dame de Paris” by Victor Hugo.  The ballet was originally choreographed by Jules Perrot to music by Cesare Pugni and premiered in London in 1844. The selection will feature the whole company and will be staged by Ballet Mistress Sherri LeBlanc and Company Regisseur Joanna Berman.

Company dancer Michael Wells will make his choreographic debut with Forward Thinking. The ballet is set to music composed by Justin Levitt and will be performed live by a string chamber ensemble.

Following each performance, ticket holders are invited to stay for a dessert and coffee post-performance reception where they can meet and mingle with the dancers.  Tickets are $15-48.  For tickets, call 925-943-SHOW (7469) or visit lesherartscenter.org or diabloballet.org.

Following each performance, ticket holders are invited to stay for a dessert and coffee post-performance reception where they can meet and mingle with the dancers.  Tickets are $15-48.  For tickets, call 925-943-SHOW (7469) or visit lesherartscenter.org or diabloballet.org

Balachine & Beyond performs February 7-8 at the Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Boulevard in Walnut Creek.

Performances:

Friday, February 7 at 8 pm 
Saturday, February 8 at 2 pm & 8 pm 

Season Subscriptions are available.  Please visit www.diabloballet.org for information or to subscribe. 

About Diablo Ballet

Since 1994, Diablo Ballet has been the award-winning, professional dance company for Contra Costa County. Presenting acclaimed classical and contemporary ballets, the company is committed to exposing youth to the arts through its renowned PEEK Outreach Programs which have reached over 68,000 underserved school children in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties since 1995. Diablo Ballet has also served hundreds of at-risk teenage girls incarcerated within the Juvenile Justice system since 2015, and in 2019 the company began working with adolescents housed at the Behavioral Health Unit at John Muir Hospital, Concord. Diablo Ballet opened the first Ballet School in Contra Costa County run by a professional ballet company, located in Pleasant Hill in 2019.

Diablo Ballet celebrates the New Year with the second program of its 26th Season, Balanchine & Beyond featuring George Balanchine’s iconic Who Cares? set to George Gershwin’s award-winning Broadway tunes. The program salutes female choreographers showcasing the deeply musical pas de deux Berceuse by Penny Saunders, set to a lullaby by Benjamin Godard; and the lyrical Bach Suite for Strings by Sally Streets, set to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The program also includes the exciting Esmeralda and a lush ballet, Forward Thinking, by company dancer Michael Wells, set to Justin Levitt’s poetic composition which will be performed live.

 Following each performance, ticket holders are invited to stay for a dessert and coffee post-performance reception where they can meet and mingle with the dancers. 

Performance Information:

WHAT:  Diablo Ballet presents Balanchine & Beyond

WHEN:  8 pm – February 7 & 8 and 2 pm – February 8

WHERE:  Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek

RUNNING TIME:  1 hour 25 minutes, one intermission

TICKETS:  $15-$48  925-943-7469; lesherartscenter.org, diabloballet.org

Press Contact

Krissy Gray
Marketing Director
Diablo Ballet
925/943.1775
krissy@diabloballet.org

Shannon Stowe
Public Relations Manager
Diablo Ballet Diablo Ballet
925/943.1775 
marketing@diabloballet.org