This spring, the Pennsylvania Ballet delivers five charming performances of Christopher Wheeldon’s Carnival of the Animals alongside two classic works by George Balanchine at the Academy of Music, May 9-12.
A collaborative effort that showcases contemporary choreography by Christopher Wheeldon and creative narration written by Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor John Lithgow, Carnival of the Animals — first performed by New York City Ballet in 2003 at Lincoln Center — portrays the imaginative and comedic dreams of a young boy asleep in the American Museum of Natural History. A parade of dancing animals move to a score by 20th-century French composer Camille Saint-Saens.
Before the whimsical animals take the stage, the evening will open with George Balanchine’s technically stunning Ballo della Regina, or “Dance of the Queen,” and follow with a performance of The Four Temperaments which depicts the four aspects of a person’s disposition — melancholic, sanguine, phlegmatic and choleric — as outlined by ancient Greek physician Hippocrates.
Given the Pennsylvania Ballet’s brilliant history of performing The Four Temperaments, the company has been invited to Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center in June to present this piece at Ballet Across America III, a national series that showcases the country’s best regional companies.
Tickets to the May performances can be purchased online.
Carnival of the Animals
When: May 9-12
Where: The Academy of Music, 240 S. Broad Street
Cost: $30 and up
More info: www.paballet.org