The Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre, under the direction of Natasha Middleton and Ruben Tonoian, will present "The Best of Khachaturian" on Sunday, September 17, 2017 at the beautiful Alex Theatre. The afternoon will include selections from such famous ballets as “Spartacus,” “Gayane,” “Masquerade” and a new ballet by Natasha Middleton, "Remember" dedicated to the memory of the Armenian Genocide.
Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre presents BEST OF KHACHATURIAN "Spartacus"
“This show is dedicated to the Armenian Genocide," says co-artistic director Natasha Middleton. "We chose Aram Khachaturian because he is Armenia's preeminent composer. His ballets “Gayane,” “Masquerade” and “Spartacus” are the most famous. Our principle ballerina for “Masquerade,” Alina Bormotova (North Hollywood local) originally danced with the Moscow Festival Ballet and the Russian National Ballet. She will be dancing with Grigori Arakelyan, principle dancer from the Opera and Ballet Theatre of Armenia and Alexander Fost, finalist in “So You Think You Can Dance.” “Spartacus” will be danced by Inga Demetryan and Eduard Sargsyan also both from the Opera and Ballet Theatre of Armenia. “Gayane” will be performed by principle dancers Elen Harutyunyan (another North Hollywood local) from San Francisco Ballet and National Ballet of Armenia and Edgar Nikolyan of the Staats Opera Ballet in Vienna, Austria."
Sunday, September 17, 2017 – 5PM
The Alex Theatre
216 No. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91203
alextheatre.org | 818-243-2539
Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre presents BEST OF KHACHATURIAN "Gayne"
Soviet-Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian is known worldwide for his ballets, “GAYANE” and “SPARTACUS,” the symphonic suite, “MASQUERADE” and his “CELLO SUITE IN E-MINOR.” The creation of these pieces not only raised Armenian national ballet to the world level, but also noticeably enriched the treasure house of the world musical-dramatic art. Khachaturian’s music is noted for its modal, harmonic, melodic and orchestral generosity, all of which are connected with a broad gamma of thoughts and feelings in his scores.
“GAYANE” means happiness and is a celebration of life events in which composer Aram Khachaturian wanted the folk songs and dancing melodies to be integrated and inseparable from the whole of the ballet. “GAYANE” is the story of a young Armenian woman whose patriotic convictions are in conflict with her personal feelings upon discovering her husband has committed treason. The “GAYANE” score includes the famous Saber Dance. The late filmmaker Stanley Kubrick used the Adagio from “GAYANE” for his film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Likewise, filmmaker Joel Coen used music from “GAYANE” in his film, The Hudsucker Proxy.
The well-known tale of “SPARTACUS” is written in modern language, with application of contemporary methods of the musical-theatre form. The main characters in the ballet are represented with specific and repeated musical themes. The storyline concerns the ultimately unsuccessful revolt of the slaves led by Spartacus, a Thracian slave and gladiator, against the Roman Empire in the years 73 – 71 BC. Music from Khachaturian’s “SPARTACUS” was heard in the film, Ice Age: The Meltdown.
“MASQUERADE” was written for the 25th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. It is a symphonic suite in the tradition of lavish classical Russian music. Natasha Middleton will stage the piece to enhance the fantasy and put a modern face on this elaborate party, featuring eccentric costuming. The plot concerns a missing bracelet and a woman named Nina who is falsely accused of giving the bracelet to Prince Zvezditch. As a result, Nina’s husband, who thinks she is cheating on him, poisons her at the end of the ballet, only to realize she was innocent. The bracelet had actually been stolen by the Baroness and given to the Prince, who later gave it back to Nina. Natasha Middleton said: “Theatergoers who enjoy Phantom of the Opera, will enjoy “MASQUERADE” as there are similarities in style.”
Aram Khacaturian wrote his “CELLO CONCERTO IN E-MINOR” in 1946. It was the last of the three concertos he wrote for individual members of a renowned Soviet piano trio. The Concerto was premiered on October 30, 1946 in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, with dedicatee Sviatoslav Knushevitsky as soloist. The work is said to be representative of Khachaturian’s painful experience of wartime and contains many allusions to folk material and dance rhythms such as the ashoug.
Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre, originally named Media City Ballet, announced its formation on September 30th of 2001. Over the past decade, the company has gained a notable following and has grown to become one of the major dance companies within the greater Los Angeles area. Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre attracts first-class talent from around the world, including Armenia, Asia, Russia, Mexico and Spain. Company dancers possess credentials of study and performance from such companies as Armenian National Opera Ballet, the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet, the Kirov Opera and Ballet Company, the Korean National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Cirque du Soleil. Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre boasts a large, varied repertoire and produces several major programs annually. Educational outreach programs and performances to enrich our sponsored youth ballet.
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