A Miami City Ballet program opening Friday at the Adrienne Arst Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami will feature the premiere of Twyla Tharp’s Baker’s Dozen and George Balanchine’s La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) with Afro-Cuban dancer Isanusi Garcia-Rodriguez and the buoyant Western Symphony.
The performances are also scheduled for Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Tharp flings dancers onto the stage, dressed in smoothly shaped silky cream clothes by designer Santo Loquasto — hustling, spinning, shimmying, yet romantically inclined — to the irresistible stride piano of the immortal Willie “The Lion” Smith.
Since its inception, the dance has held the public’s attention as a special Tharp classic, mixing nostalgic and contemporary emotions all together.
La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) is a tale of exotic intrigue, a one-act Balanchine ballet, set during a mysterious masked ball. This dark romance centers on four main characters: the Baron, who is the host of the masked ball, his mistress – the Coquette, his wife – the Sleepwalker and the poet, a guest at the ball who is romantically interested in the Coquette yet captivated by the beautiful
and mysterious sleepwalker. Music and libretto is by Vittorio Rieti with romantic period costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge.
Western Symphony was created by Balanchine out of his fascination for the American Wild West. One of his most joyous ballets, it is set to themes based on traditional Western songs, among them favorites such as Red River Valley and Good Night, Ladies.
The ballet merges Wild West stereotypes with classical ballet conventions, offering a seemingly incompatible combination and a good deal of humor. It is set in a frontier town in the Wild West, with music compiled by Hershey Kay with Western-inspired costumes by the famed designer Karinska.
The shows are scheduled as follows:
•Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 7 and Saturday, Jan. 8, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 9., 2 p.m.
•Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 14, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16
• Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 28, 2 and 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 29, and 1 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 30.
For more information on performances and ticket prices, call 305-929-7010 or toll-free 877-929-7010 or visit www.miamicityballet.org.