Louisville Ballet

Arts and Humanities
4:36 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Louisville Ballet Artistic Director Bruce Simpson Programs One Last Season Before Retiring

The Louisville Ballet last staged "Giselle" in 2010.
Credit Louisville Ballet

Louisville Ballet artistic director Bruce Simpson, who retires in July, will leave behind a new season for his successor. The 2014-15 season opens in September with one of the most popular cornerstones of the classical repertoire. “Giselle” (Sept. 12-13) is a Romantic ballet about a village girl who dies of a broken heart, then is raised from the dead to seek revenge on her beloved, whom she saves instead.

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Arts and Humanities
11:23 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Strong Ensemble and Solo Efforts Anchor Louisville Ballet's Season Closer

Kateryna Sellers and Eduard Forehand in Val Caniparoli's "Spaghetti Western."
Credit Wade Bell / Louisville Ballet

Friday evening's opening performance of “Complementary Voices,” the culminating program of the 2013-2014 season, demonstrated the strength that has become the Louisville Ballet during Bruce Simpson's twelve-year tenure as Artistic Director. Currently a company of 24 dancers (plus trainees), the Louisville Ballet has acquired a cohesion and depth in recent years with the men's and women's corps being equally strong. At the same time, individual dancer's skills have been allowed to shine in solo roles. Both these attributes were on show during this program.

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Arts and Humanities
10:43 am
Sat February 22, 2014

REVIEW | Louisville Ballet Tells a Strong Story with 'La Sylphide'

Erica de la O dancing the title role in the Louisville Ballet's "La Sylphide."
Credit Wade Bell / Louisville Ballet

This weekend brings Louisville balletomanes the opportunity to see the Louisville Ballet's production of Danish choreographer Auguste Bournonville's 1836 Romantic ballet “La Sylphide.” This is only the second time that the full ballet has been produced under artistic director Bruce Simpson's tenure, although the fall 2012 Studio Connections program included a cutting from Act Two, programming that suggested that the company was ready once more to essay this epitome of Romantic ballet in full.

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Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Louisville Ballet Leaders Care for Choreography Without Ego

Kristopher Wotjera and Erica de la O in "La Sylphide."
Credit Bill Brymer / Louisville Ballet

The Louisville Ballet opens the final full production of its season this week. Danish choreographer August Bournonville's “La Sylphide,” one of the oldest surviving Romantic ballets, runs Friday and Saturday for three performances in the Kentucky Center’s Whitney Hall. 

The ballet, which opened in Copenhagen in 1836, is set in Scotland, where an engaged man’s obsession with a mythical fairy-like creature threatens his impending marriage. And it's told in a very specific style of ballet. 

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Arts and Humanities
11:05 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Louisville Ballet Names Cara Hicks General Manager

Credit David Toczko / Louisville Ballet

The Louisville Ballet announced yesterday that current Director of Marketing Cara Hicks will be the company's new general manager. Hicks joined the Ballet in 2011, and has worked for several major Louisville arts nonprofits, including Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Kentucky Opera. She will move into her new role on March 3.

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Arts and Humanities
1:20 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

REVIEW | Louisville Ballet Dancers Flex Choreography Muscles

Natalia Ashikhmina in Rob Morrow's “Paranoia Prima” in the Louisville Ballet's 2014 Choreographers' Showcase.
Credit David Toczko / Louisville Ballet

  The 2014 Louisville Ballet Choreographers' Showcase is this week at the ballet's headquarters on Main Street. This year's Showcase brought together a smorgasbord of seventeen short pieces choreographed by company members and trainees, with almost half of the complete company represented as choreographers. Some pieces were choreographed by familiar names, while others contributed an original piece to the Showcase for the first time. 

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Arts and Humanities
3:52 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Angels and Jockeys and Rats, Oh My: The Kids of Louisville Ballet's 'Nutcracker'

The young jockeys dance out from under Madame Derby's skirts.
Credit Peter Mueller / Louisville Ballet

Every holiday season during “The Brown-Forman Nutcracker,” the Louisville Ballet’s cast swells with student dancers. This year, there are 118 spread over two casts. They play Christmas party kids, angels, tiny soldiers and rats – some are as young as seven years old.

WFPL’s Erin Keane goes backstage to visit the jockeys during rehearsal and chats all things Nutcracker with Christine Carrigan, a long-time volunteer who works as the children's cast coordinator, and Helen Daigle, a company dancer who choreographs the student dancers. 

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Arts and Humanities
11:41 am
Sun December 8, 2013

REVIEW | Louisville Ballet's 'Nutcracker' a Pleasing Holiday Confection

Credit Louisville Ballet

There have been many adaptations and re-creations of “The Nutcracker” since it gained currency in the West in the middle of the twentieth century. The Louisville Ballet's  first unveiled their current version, "The Brown-Forman Nutcracker," in 2009, though the company has been offering various versions of the seasonal favorite since 1963. In his curtain speech, artistic director Bruce Simpson suggested that this lavish production will be good for fifteen or sixteen years, and certainly in year four of this iteration the costumes, sets and magic are holding up well, and the choreography still delights the multi-generational audience that braved Saturday's wintry conditions to make it to Whitney Hall. 

With thanks to an additional gift from Brown-Forman, another treat for this year's ballet-goers is live music, with the Louisville Orchestra in the pit conducted by Tara Somoncic.

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Arts and Humanities
2:33 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Louisville Ballet Artistic Director Bruce Simpson To Retire In July

Bruce Simpson
Credit Robert Burge

The Louisville Ballet has announced that artistic director Bruce Simpson, 64, will retire at the end of this season. Yesterday, Simpson informed the dancers, board of directors and staff that he will complete his tenure in July, when his current contract expires. 

Simpson has served as artistic director since 2002.

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