It’s no surprise that Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s biggest inspiration is George Balanchine. But there’s another choreographer who has also deeply influenced him: Jiří Kylián.
Barre fitness classes have been sweeping the nation, and now this combination class of Pilates, ballet, yoga and aerobics has arrived at Chautauqua Institution.
The Charlotte Ballet dancers take their places on the stage. But they are not alone. As the lights come up, it is former U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky who stands beside them as the music begins.
CHRISTOPHER RECORD | Submitted Photo Anna Gerberich and Jordan Leeper, dancers with the Charlotte Ballet, perform in Dwight Rhoden’s “Peace
Dancing Wheels Company & School cites one simple thought as the philosophy upon which it was built: “If dance is an expression of the human spirit, then it is best expressed by people of all abilities.”
George Balanchine is like ballet royalty. Mention his name to any dance buff, and they’re likely to spout off about the New York City Ballet, the musicality and complexity of his choreography, or perhaps — if they’re a Chautauquan — his influence on Chautauqua’s own School of Dance. Yet those very same people probably wouldn’t be able to detail the Balanchine that came before all the fame and success.
In 1946, acclaimed ballet choreographer George Balanchine found himself with a bit of spare pocket change. After weighing the potential of his possible expenditures, he approached composer Paul Hindemith and asked him to write a chamber score for the piano and strings. One month and $500 later, the celebrated ballet called “The Four Temperaments” was born, a perfect union of Hindemith’s scoring and Balanchine’s choreography.
The lighthearted humor of the Terrie Haucks’ first meeting with her husband, and the warmth and affection with which Terrie now recalls it, are all emotions that translated into their long marriage. These are emotions that Terrie hopes are evoked in the Charlotte Ballet’s performance this evening, a ballet which she commissioned in Jimmy’s honor.
This weekend marks the last opportunity for the community to enjoy the talents of Chautauqua’s student dancers before their season concludes. The second annual Student Gala, which features both workshop and festival students, will take place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the Amphitheater.
All summer long, studios and stages throughout Chautauqua Institution have been graced by dancers moving through professional choreography.