People who like variety in dance programs are in luck this week. For its annual repertory program, Texas Ballet Theater will tackle works by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, George Balanchine, and company director Ben Stevenson MacMillan’s Gloria, set to the music of Francis Poulenc, will be a North Texas premiere. Choreographed in 1980 for The Royal Ballet, the piece was inspired by a poem from Vera Brittain’s autobiographical Testament of Youth as a tribute to those who suffered so terribly in World War I. The choreographer’s widow, Lady Deborah MacMillan, will attend. TBT also will perform Balanchine’s Serenade, another dance milestone. Created in 1934 for the fledgling School of American Ballet (forerunner of the New York City Ballet), it was the Russian choreographer’s first American work and is still one of his most popular. Setting the Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings to dance, Balanchine reversed the order of the last two movements to give the piece a more serene ending. Stevenson’s enigmatic L, a piece for 11 male dancers, rounds out the program. He arranged the ballet years ago as a thank-you to Liza Minnelli after a benefit performance she gave for the Washington National Ballet, with which he was then associated.
Thursday, March 6, 2014