Diablo Ballet Presents Its First World Premiere by Internationally Acclaimed Choreographer Val Caniparoli on 11/18/11-11/19/11 at Lesher Center

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This weekend’s upcoming Diablo Ballet program has the entire San Francisco Bay Area dance community abuzz; world renown choreographer Caniparoli, who also sports several other hats as former Principal Dancer, current Principal Character Dancer, and (too infrequent for my taste) choreographer of San Francisco Ballet, has created a brand spanking new dance on the talented dancers of Diablo Ballet. Set to some gorgeous music for two cellos by Elena Kats-Chernin, Val describes his ballet to be a collaborative effort with the dancers themselves.

(San Francisco Balletomanes will also delight in reacquainting themselves, if they haven’t already, with the lovely former SFB Dancer Mayo Sugano. After Mayo’s 2000-2004 stint with SFB, she made Diablo Ballet her home and has been featured in George Balanchine’s Apollo, the Pas de Deux from Stars & Stripes and Who Cares, KT Nelson’s Walk before Talk, The Escaping Game and The Petites, Julia Adam’s The Little Prince and the Latin Couple in Lynn Taylor-Corbett’s Broadway Award Winning Swing.) 

Here’s a video clip of Val talking about his new ballet Tears From Above:


And here we get a glimpse of the Diablo Ballet dancers rehearsing the premiere with Val:

In addition to Caniparoli’s world premiere, Diablo Ballet’s ambitious program includes Septime Webre’s Fluctuating Hemlines and Dominic Walsh’s contemporary version of  Le Spectre de la Rose (which I’ve not seen and greatly anticipate). Here’s a clip of Dominic Walsh talking about his Rose:

And finally…the official Press Release:

Mayo Sugano and Jekyns Pelaez; Photo: Ashraf

Caniparoli on November 18-19

Program Line-up to Include the Bay Area Premiere of Le Spectre de la Rose by Dominic Walsh and Fluctuating Hemlines by Septime Webre.

Diablo Ballet will launch its 18th season on November 18-19, 2011, with the Company’s first world premiere by Val Caniparoli set to the music of A Phoenix Story, a composition for two cellos by Uzbekistan-born, Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin.  Mr. Caniparoli’s new work is inspired by the myth of the phoenix and dragon, expressed in themes of balance and imbalance, as represented by the Chinese symbol, Taijitu, or Yin and Yang, The world premiere will be accompanied by cellists Daniel Reiter and Paul Rhodes under the Musical Direction of Greg Sudmeier. Costumes will be designed by Caniparoli’s long-time collaborator, Robert De La Rose, who most recently created the designs for ACT’s Tosca Project.  Also on the Program will be a contemporary interpretation of Michel Fokine’s Le Spectre de la Rose with dramatic set and costumes and choreography by Dominic Walsh, Artistic Director of Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre and former principal dancer of the Houston Ballet. Additionally, Diablo Ballet will be staging Fluctuating Hemlines, by Washington Ballet’s Artistic Director, Septime Webre set to a live percussion score.  Following the November 19th matinee, ticket holders are invited to meet and mingle with the dancers. Children under 12 may also have their photo taken with the dancers in costume. 

PROGRAM 1:  Performances:  Friday, November 18, 2011, at 7:30 pm, and Saturday, November 19, at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm. Location: the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, CA 94596.  Tickets: $49 for evening performances and $22-39 for the matinee.  Purchase online at http://www.LesherArtsCenter.org or by calling (925) 943-7469. 

  • SUBSCRIPTION PACKAGES for the season are also available for $122 for all three performances.  Other discounted packages include the Saturday matinee series at $95 and special youth series at $64.  Among other privileges, subscribers are invited to private invitational pre-performance and post receptions.  New subscribers will receive a $50 gift certificate to Prima Ristorante in downtown Walnut Creek.
  • To purchase a package, please call the Diablo Ballet office at (925) 943-1775 or e-mail diablo@diabloballet.org
  • For more information, visit www.DiabloBallet.org.
  • For more stunning photos of Diablo Ballet’s Dancers, click here and scroll through their gallery. 

To keep up with Val Caniparoli, go to his web site here; you can read his bio and resume of ballets, check in on his adventures in choreography all around the world, and even watch several video clips of some of his works.  


(My rather long-winded point: Do NOT miss this program, peeps; it’s not often that we get to witness a Caniparoli world premiere right here in our own backyard these days…)

About Odette's Ordeal

'Ballet's Head Cheerleader'
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1 Response to Diablo Ballet Presents Its First World Premiere by Internationally Acclaimed Choreographer Val Caniparoli on 11/18/11-11/19/11 at Lesher Center

  1. Mary Udland says:

    Thanks you for this article. Diablo Ballet is one of the gems in our Bay Area dance crown. This program is worth a trek across the bridge!

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