Buffalo Spree: Neglia Ballet & BPO

May 24, 2012 Updated May 24, 2012 at 7:42 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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May 24, 2012 Updated May 24, 2012 at 7:42 AM EDT

Neglia Ballet Brings Balanchine and International Dancers to Buffalo in An Evening of Tchaikovsky May 25 in Collaboration with the BPO and Shea’s
BUFFALO, NY (WKBW ) -Darwin McPherson, theater critic for Buffalo Spree magazine, chats with Mike Randall on Eyewitness News This Morning about a special Friday performance at Shea's bringing the BPO and ballet together.

Neglia Ballet Artists, in collaboration with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Shea’s Performing Arts Center, will present An Evening of Tchaikovsky, on Friday, May 25 at 8 p.m. at Shea’s. This evening of ballet of the great Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky will be performed live by the Grammy-award winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, led by conductor Matthew Kraemer. The program will include two ambitious premieres. The first will be the music of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade in C major for Strings, with choreography by George Balanchine. Serenade is a milestone in the history of dance. Considered a masterpiece, it is the first original ballet Balanchine created in America and is one of the signature works of New York City Ballet’s repertory. It will mark the first time a local ballet company in Western New York has been given the rights to perform a full Balanchine work. Also premiering will be the second act of Swan Lake and the Black Swan scene from the third act, arguably the most beautiful choreography of all the classical ballets, building a backdrop for the Swan Queen and Prince Siegfried’s love story.

For tickets call 1-800-745-3000, go to www.ticketmaster.com or to Shea’s Ticket Office (open M-F 10a-5 p; Sat. 10a-2 p and during shows through intermission.) Tickets are $25, $35, $45, $55 premium and $65 Gold seating.

An Evening of Tchaikovsky will be the third collaborative production between Neglia, Shea’s and the BPO. The Nutcracker has been performed since 2009 and in March 2011, Neglia Ballet Artists presented Romeo and Juliet, marking a momentous occasion for Neglia, the BPO and the community. No other ballet company, local or otherwise has ever produced more than one full length production with the BPO within a single year. Many larger regional ballet companies do not have that privilege.

Neglia Ballet Artists continues to earn a reputation for world-class dance as noted recently by Buffalo News and Dance Magazine contributor, Steve Sucato: “Neglia’s program lives up to and surpasses its promise of stellar dancing.” Similarly, An Evening of Tchaikovsky promises to deliver another spectacular performance featuring several world-class dancers, including Silvina Vaccarelli. Vaccarelli will perform the role of Odette in Swan Lake opposite Neglia Ballet’s Artistic Director, Sergio Neglia as Siegfried.
Silvina Vaccarelli’s talents have been recognized by national and international dance critics, the Argentinean government, and prominent members of the Argentinean dance community around the globe. In 1991 she was a finalist in the IV International Competition of Dance in Paris.

In 1992 she was handpicked by international ballet star Julio Bocca to be a founding member of Ballet Argentino, a company which was developed to showcase the spectacular talent and training of young Argentinean dancers. With Ballet Argentino she toured the United States and South America. In 1995 Silvina joined the Ballet of the Colon Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet and has since been promoted to Principal Dancer. In addition to performing in Swan Lake, Vaccarelli and Neglia will perform principal roles in Serenade.
Lithuanian couple Vilia Putrius and Mindaugas Bauzys, who have made regular appearances in Neglia performances and become an audience favorite, will also grace the Shea’s stage appearing in the bravura Black Swan pas de Deux as well as the principal roles in Serenade.

In order to perform Serenade, Neglia Ballet had to seek permission from the Balanchine Trust through an audit of past Neglia productions and the piece must be staged by a Balanchine approved repetiteur. Serenade first premiered on June 10, 1934, by students of the School of American Ballet, at Felix Warburg’s estate, White Plains, New York. The ballet is performed by 28 dancers in blue costumes in front of a complementary blue background. Originating as a lesson in stage technique, Balanchine worked unexpected rehearsal events into the choreography. For example, when one student fell, he incorporated it. Another day, a student arrived late, and this too became part of the ballet.

Balanchine had a special affinity for Tchaikovsky. “In everything that I did to Tchaikovsky’s music,” he told an interviewer, “I sensed his help. It wasn’t real conversation. But when I was working and saw that something was coming of it, I felt that it was Tchaikovsky who had helped me.”

Peter Tchaikovsky studied at the Conservatory in St. Petersburg, where Balanchine later studied piano in addition to his studies in dance. Tchaikovsky is one of the most popular and influential of all romantic composers. His work is expressive, melodic, and grand in scale, with rich orchestrations. His output was prodigious and included chamber works, symphonies, concerti for various instruments, operas, and works for piano. His creations for the ballet, composed in close partnership with Marius Petipa, include Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and, The Sleeping Beauty.

As Buffalo's cultural ambassador for over 75 years, the mission of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is to provide a resident, professional, major symphony orchestra of artistic excellence and integrity to enrich the quality of life in Western New York through the presentation of live symphonic music and other musical events, such as collaborations with the Neglia Ballet and Shea’s Performing Arts Center, which educate and entertain the broadest possible audiences within and beyond the Western New York region. Under the leadership of its dynamic music director JoAnn Falletta, the BPO continues to build on its profile as one of the most artistically vibrant, innovative ensembles in the US today.