Katrina Tamminga - Jan. 18, 2010
Colorado Ballet kicks off the new year with the Company premiere of Beauty and the Beast, opening Feb. 19 and running through Feb. 28, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Choreographed by Domy Reiter-Soffer, Beauty and the Beast reinvents the classic fairy tale by Charles Perrault. In Colorado Ballet’s 49 years the Company has performed numerous classic fairy tales including The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and even Peter Pan. Colorado Ballet is thrilled to offer audiences a fresh, new production of this beloved fairy tale favorite.
“Beauty and the Beast has all the elements of a traditional fairy tale including a scheming witch, an innocent girl and a handsome prince,” said Artistic Director Gil Boggs. “In staying true to the traditional fairy tale, this ballet chronicles a journey filled with things that aren’t quite what they appear. However, in the end unconditional love conquers all.”
Commissioned by the Hong Kong Ballet in 1999, Reiter-Soffer created Beauty and the Beast to a score created specifically for the ballet by Hong Kong composer Seen-yee Lam. Accomplished in numerous artistic facets including painting, drama and music, Reiter-Soffer brings the tale to life with powerful choreography and imaginative costumes and scenery, all designed by Reiter-Soffer himself. The New York Times commented that Reiter-Soffer “… is particularly noted for his brilliant translation of words into movement.”
“This is a very different type of work for Colorado Ballet,” said Boggs. “Although it is a full-length ballet, the piece was created only 10 years ago, and therefore, has a very fresh and contemporary feel to it. Ballet aficionados will love the traditional fairy tale and classic artistry, while new audiences will embrace the innovative choreography, live music and the original score. This is undoubtedly a ballet that will please all audiences.”
In 1697 Perrault penned Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals and with it came an entirely new literary genre—the fairy tale. Perrault’s tales, including Puss in Boots, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and The Sleeping Beauty, drew their origins from traditional folk tales while weaving in social scenes and places from Perrault’s era. Perrault’s stories also emphasized various underlying messages in each fairy tale. Beauty and the Beast audiences will embrace the story’s moral triumph that unconditional love and kindness reign supreme.