Performing Arts

Texas Ballet Theater’s new season offers world premieres, Rolling Stones

The Snow Queen (Carolyn Judson) dancing with Snowflakes during dress rehearsal of “The Nutcracker” at Bass Hall in 2015. The classic remains on Texas Ballet Theater’s 2016-2017 season.
The Snow Queen (Carolyn Judson) dancing with Snowflakes during dress rehearsal of “The Nutcracker” at Bass Hall in 2015. The classic remains on Texas Ballet Theater’s 2016-2017 season. pmoseley@star-telegram.com

The Texas Ballet Theater will rock out to the music of the Rolling Stones next year.

A mixed-repertory program featuring choreographer Christopher Bruce’s Rooster, set to the music of the Stones, is just one of the avant-garde works in a 2016-17 season that artistic director Ben Stevenson called “one of the most exciting and daring seasons we’ve put together.”

In a statement about the next season, Stevenson said TBT will be “not just relying on the classics, but also bringing new works into the repertoire by outstanding choreographers.”

Those include a co-production with London’s Royal Ballet, two world premieres and a company premiere by a Tony Award-winning choreographer. As for the classics, besides the perennial holiday favorite The Nutcracker (and its parody spinoff, The Nutty Nutcracker), the company will present just one story ballet by Stevenson: Alice in Wonderland.

The season lineup shows TBT is taking to heart a 2014 commissioned study that suggested the company would benefit from newer and edgier work by contemporary choreographers of international acclaim. Live orchestral accompaniment, which the TBT cut from its budget several years ago, will be played for some of the performances in both Fort Worth and Dallas.

The season will launch in September at Dallas’ Winspear Opera House with a mixed-repertory program featuring Carmen choreographed by Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta and co-produced by Acosta’s home company, the Royal Ballet, as well as Australia’s Queensland Ballet. The performance moves to Bass Hall on Oct. 7.

Miguel Harth-Bedoya will conduct the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra playing Georges Bizet’s famous score in both venues. While it will not be the FWSO’s first time to accompany a TBT performance in Dallas, it will be the orchestra’s first time to perform in the Winspear and the first time Harth-Bedoya will conduct a TBT production, FWSO officials said.

The program also will include Danse a Grande Vitesse by Tony Award-winning Christopher Wheeldon, whom The New York Times has hailed as “one of the most important and in-demand ballet choreographers working today.”

The March mixed-rep program not only will feature Rooster but two world premieres created for TBT, by choreographers Avi Scher and Garrett Smith, the titles of which were not announced.

Of the piece set to the music of the famous English rock band, Stevenson said, “Like the Rolling Stones’ music, it seems to affect and engage a whole range of generations from youngsters to 80-year-olds, which is wonderful.”

The TBT 2016-17 season at a glance:

▪ Carmen and Dance a Grande Vitesse: Sept. 16-18 at Winspear Opera House, Dallas, and Oct. 7-9 at Bass Hall, Fort Worth. Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducts the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at both venues.

▪ The Nutcracker: Nov. 25-Dec. 4 at Winspear Opera House, Dallas, and Dec. 9-24 at Bass Hall, Fort Worth. Recorded music will be used.

▪ The Nutty Nutcracker: Dec. 16 at Bass Hall, Fort Worth. Recorded music will be used.

▪ Rooster & Smith & Scher: March 3-5, 2017, at Bass Hall. Recorded music will be used.

▪ Alice in Wonderland: May 19-21, 2017, at Bass Hall, Fort Worth, and June 2-4, 2017, at Winspear Opera House, Dallas. Recorded music will be used at the Winspear. Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducts the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at Bass Hall.

Texas Ballet Theater 2016-17 season

  • Subscriptions are on sale now and include tickets to three productions ($72-$276). Subscribers can purchase additional tickets at a 20 percent discount, excluding The Nutty Nutcracker.
  • Single tickets go on sale July 1.
  • 877-828-9200; www.texasballettheater.org
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