American Ballet Theatre presents ballet with Aram Khachaturian music

American Ballet Theatre presents ballet with Aram Khachaturian music

PanARMENIAN.Net - American Ballet Theatre presents the world premiere of prominent choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s new ballet created with music by Soviet Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian.

Set during the Greek empire of 400 BC, the ballet is called “Of Love and Rage” and premieres at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, California, March 5–8, Orange County Register reports.

Ratmansky generally begins a ballet with music he’s had in mind, as opposed to a particular story or a desire to explore new movement.

For some time, he had been wanting to use Khachaturian’s “Gayane”, ballet music composed in 1943 that is little known in the United States except for its familiar Sabre Dance section.

It does have one claim to pop culture history: Director Stanley Kubrick inserted the five-minute “Gayane’s Adagio” into “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Ratmansky had not figured out what to do with this dramatic, large-orchestra score, when Guillaume Gallienne, actor, director, librettist and friend, suggested the choreographer take a look at “Callirhoe,” a 2,000-year novel filled with pirate adventures and kidnapping, slaves and royalty, war and a love story between the two best-looking people in the world, the maiden Callirhoe — “whose beauty was not mortal but divine” — and Chaereas — who was “more handsome than all the others,” as the text describes them. Like any juicy story from Greek antiquity, the gods toy mercilessly with the couple. After ordeals aplenty, destiny reunites them.

Ratmansky and Gallienne pared down the story, and then composer and pianist Philip Feeney re-arranged the score, adding in some Khachaturian piano music.

ABT conductors will lead the Pacific Symphony during the run.

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