Director’s Cut: Once-in-a-lifetime Stravinsky x 2 at Cincinnati Ballet

Former Cincinnati Ballet dancer Courtney Connor Jones in 2012’s “The Rite of Spring” Photo by Peter Mueller

Thursday-Sunday, March 21-24, Music Hall (five performances)

Cincinnati Ballet just staged two of Peter Tchaikovsky’s three major ballets back-to-back – “The Nutcracker” in December and “The Sleeping Beauty” in February. Rather than rest on their laurels, Victoria Morgan and crew are turning immediately to the world of Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Diaghilev, offering two of their most important ballets in late March.

Stravinsky’s trio of dance creations in collaboration with Diaghilev and Ballets Russes (“The Firebird” in 1910, “Petrouchka” in 1911 and “The Rite of Spring” in 1913) were arguably the most genre-bending works in ballet history.

While Cincinnati Ballet has produced both these works previously (“Firebird” in 2011 and “Rite of Spring” in 2012), combining them is a tour de force – and a rare opportunity for lovers of dance and iconic orchestral music. Former resident choreographer Adam Hougland and the Ballet set designers have brought these masterworks into the 21st century and ramped up the raw, physical impact of each.

Of course, none of these projects – each one includes the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and is staged in Music Hall – would be possible without the sustaining endowment of Louise Nippert, which ensures that ballet in Cincinnati continues to appear with live accompaniment.

And don’t forget the family-friendly “Aladdin,” March 30-April 7, in Procter & Gamble Hall at the Aronoff Center. It’s a perfect introduction to ballet for children, starring the Ballet’s Second Company, and accompanied by the timeless music of Sibelius, Nielsen, Rimsky-Korsakov, Grieg and Dvořák.

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