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Minnesota Ballet opens with ‘Rite of Spring and Other Dances’

The Minnesota Ballet will launch its 2018-19 season with Rite of Spring and Other Dances, a grand sweep of choreography, at 7 p.m. Friday, October 19, and Saturday, October 20, at DECC Symphony Hall.

The performance features Robert Gardner’s vision of “Rite of Spring” to Igor Stravinsky’s monumental score, pulsing with ritual, renewal, fear and hope. In contrast, Salvatore Aiello’s playful “Senza Fretta” [without worry] captures life’s twists and turns in an athletic romp at times frenetic, comic, and gravity-defying, all to the Kronos Quartet’s “Pieces of Africa” and “Mai Nozipo.” Jerri Kumery, Curator of the Salvatore Aiello Trust, set the work on the Minnesota Ballet in August.

To foster new works by emerging choreographers, the Minnesota Ballet commissioned three works by emerging choreographers. Nikolaus Wourms, who retired last season as performer and now serves as the ballet’s Artist-in-Residence, has created “Under the Parasol,” a celebration with parasols woven into the choreography, set in a park to a march, polka and waltz from “Suites for Variety Orchestra,” by Dmitri Shostakovich.

Laura Goodman, a former company member and present choreographer, has created “Curl, Uncurl and…” portraying Lake Superior’s rhythms, set to three works by Icelandic composer Olafur Arnalds and featuring projections of Lake Superior paintings from “The Wave Series,” by Karen Owsley Nease.

Dan Westfield, company member and choreographer, has created “Unnamed (#12),” a poignant duet to “Adagietto” from Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. Accompanying this choreography will be by violinist Erin Aldridge, UWS associate professor of music and director of the University of Wisconsin Superior Orchestra, and pianist Alexander Sandor, UWS senior lecturer in piano and class piano.

Tickets are $19–$44 for adults; $14–$34 for students; $12–$29 for children (12 and under) and may be purchased at the Minnesota Ballet, the DECC Ticket Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, and on-line at ticketmaster.com. For more information visit www.mnballet.org; to arrange for special group-rate tickets for groups, call the Ballet, 218-529-3742.

The Ballet’s season is sponsored by Essentia Health, the fall performance by the Duluth News Tribune.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

. The Minnesota Ballet will launch its 2018-19 season with Rite of Spring and Other Dances, a grand sweep of choreography, at 7 p.m. Friday, October 19, and Saturday, October 20, at DECC Symphony Hall.