Metropolitan Ballet dances Carmen and celebrates life of Nijinsky

by Steve Staruch, Minnesota Public Radio
August 13, 2010

St. Paul, Minn. — Founded in 2002, the Metropolitan Ballet begins its current season this weekend with a performance of "Carmen" with familiar music by Bizet as well as added music by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin.

Also on the program is a shorter dance piece titled "In the Mirror", a dance by the director of the Metropolitan Ballet, Erik Sanborn. Sanborn wanted to remember one of the greatest male dancers and artists of all time, Vaslav Nijinsky.

Najinsky's short 10 year career with the Ballet Russe in the first decades of the 20th century is the stuff of legend. He orignated Debussy's "Afternoon of a Faun" and Stravinsky's ill-fated "Rite of Spring." Sanborn's new piece explores the end of Nijinsky's tragic life. The artist suffered through schizophrenia.

The choreography is set to Arvo Part's "Spiegel im Spiegel" - "The Mirror in the Mirror" - which will be played on stage by Helen Chang of the Minnesota Orchestra.

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