Night and Day: Wednesday February 13, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
My Funny Valentines

By Leonard Eureka

You couldn’t ask for a more balanced program than the one Fort Worth Dallas Ballet has put together for this weekend in Bass Hall. Called Three of Hearts, this triple bill of two Balanchine ballets and a vintage Stevenson work covers most of 20th-century classical ballet’s range.

Balanchine’s Donizetti Variations, based on music from the neglected opera San Sebastian, is a glittering reminder of 19th-century classical highjinks at their best. Closing the program is Balanchine’s breezy homage to George Gershwin and Broadway called Who Cares?, set to 16 of the composer’s songs. The Russian Balanchine took to the razzmatazz show biz idiom as if he’d been born to it.

In between these sunny ballets is Ben Stevenson’s moonlit setting of Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs, the composer’s look at the journey of life. Asked if he chose the twilit ambience as a result of reading the texts, the FWDB artistic director-elect said, “I’ve always loved the music. Certainly the songs’ seasonal references influenced the choreography, although as seasons of life rather than the weather. The line, ‘Can this be death?’ conjured for me departed souls remembering their past lives, and that I tried to capture. But I wouldn’t call the ballet a literal translation. It’s just my view of the music.”

Houston soprano Melissa Evelyn Givens will be accompanied by the Fort Worth Symphony in the Strauss songs.

8pm Fri-Sat, 2pm Sun at Bass Performance Hall, 555 Commerce St, FW. $15-86. 817-212-4280.


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