Ballet is more than pretty music and graceful movements. Renowned choreographer George Balanchine is quoted as saying, “See the music, hear the dance.” In “Tchaikovsky with Balanchine,” audience members will be able to experience and delight in the relationship between music and dance at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the Music Center at Strathmore April 26th through 29th. Under the direction of Music Director Marin Alsop, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) will be joined by the Baltimore School for the Arts for an evening of ballet and symphony.

“Tchaikovsky composed some of the most beautiful melodies ever written,” says Marin Alsop. “He faced great difficulties in his personal life, but he was able to take some of that anguish and that struggle and channel it into creating something that is uniquely compelling. I think that deep human emotion that exists in his music really connects with listeners across generations and makes his work truly timeless.”

The program on April 26th and 29th will feature performances from Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet,” “Swan Lake,” and “Serenade for Strings in C Major.” The Off the Cuff performance on April 27th and 28th will feature “Serenade.” “Tchaikovsky’s ‘Serenade’ is a beautiful work without choreography,” says Tonya McBride Robles, the BSO’s general manager. “However, as our program annotator Jan Bedell says, ‘Serenade’ has effectively become Tchaikovsky’s fourth ballet with Balanchine’s exquisite choreography. The dance becomes an extension, an enhancement of the music in this case, and we’re able to experience another sensory input with the physical representation of the composition.”

The performance is staged by Deborah Wingert and coached by Heather Watts, one of the last Balanchine ballerinas. “The George Balanchine Trust’s mission is to preserve and protect Balanchine’s creative work, so to receive permission for high school dancers to use his choreography for ‘Serenade’ is a statement about the quality of the Baltimore School for the Arts’ program and the level of their dancers,” says McBride Robles. “For these high school dancers to have a direct link to Balanchine through Deborah’s staging and Heather’s coaching is a momentous artistic and educational opportunity.”

“Tchaikovsky with Balanchine” will be a memorable performance. “Balanchine’s original choreography adds an extra element of visual depth to an already lush musical score,” says Maestra Alsop. “I’m looking forward to sharing the extraordinary talents of both our BSO musicians and the BSA dancers with listeners.”

“Tchaikovsky with Balanchine” will be performed at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on Thursday, April 26th at 8 pm and a the Music Center at Strathmore on Sunday, April 29th at 3 pm. Off the Cuff: “Tchaikovsky with Balanchine” will be performed at the Music Center at Strathmore on Friday, April 27th at 8:15 pm and the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on Saturday, April 28th at 7 pm. Saturday’s Off the Cuff performance will followed by a “Tchaikovsky Chaser” after-party. For more info, visit Bsomusic.org.

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Brynn Devereaux
Brynn Devereaux
"Brynn Devereaux is a freelance writer for Baltimore OUTloud. As an arts writer, she enjoys exploring the local arts scene and bringing attention to new books and authors. Brynn is a Scranton expat and a Towson University graduate."