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Epic Masterpieces

Texas Ballet Theater

Epic Masterpieces

Bass Performance Hall
525 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
February 28 - March 2, 2014

Choreographer Sir Kenneth MacMillan uses Francis Poulenc's gorgeous choral score to create a haunting tribute to World War I in Gloria. Inspired by Vera Brittain's autobiography, Testament of Youth, which describes how her life changed during World War I, MacMillan began to create a piece in honor of his father who was killed in the Battle of the Somme. The men portray soldiers and the women ghosts, as they illustrate the devastation of war and the memory of happier times. Gloria's depiction of the futility of war is as relevant today as it was for its premiere in 1980.

The flowing blue skirts of Serenade exemplify beauty and innocence in what George Balanchine called "a dance in the moonlight" that was inspired by the student dancers of the School of American Ballet. When Balanchine came in one day, a student was standing with her arm up, blocking her eyes from the sun, and he thought it was so beautiful that it became the opening pose. The movements are accompanied by Tchaikovsky's gorgeous Serenade for Strings in C. The composer claimed that the brilliant strings in the piece were "his favorite child," written from "inner compulsion from the heart." He also added, "I am terribly in love with this Serenade."

"L" is the first letter of many important words - laughter, love, and life. Choreographed by Ben Stevenson O.B.E. for eleven men, L is an expression of gratitude and a tribute to Liza Minnelli for the wonderful benefit performance she gave in 1974 to help the National Ballet of Washington. Set to an all-percussion score originally commissioned by the Houston Ballet, it is a tour de force for the men of Texas Ballet Theater.