Los Angeles Dance Preview: THE SEASONS (American Contemporary Ballet premiere at the Farmers and Merchants Bank in downtown)

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by Tony Frankel on August 11, 2015

in Theater-Los Angeles


Not unlike Timothy Leary and LSD, I have been turning people on to ACB for similar reasons. In an increasingly complicated world, one needs a stimulant to reinforce a sense of what is important. American Contemporary Ballet—with its original programming, live accompanying chamber music, sterling dancers, and the best corps de ballet around—never fails to change my perspective on life. In just one hour (the current length of the programs), I completely forget I have a care in the world.

Rehearsal photo at ACB

I am not the only one. This weekend’s program, a reimagining of The Seasons, a lost allegorical ballet by Marius Petipa, is almost sold out. Artistic director Lincoln Jones has imagined his own version, a premiere which is based on Alexander Glazunov’s original 1899 score. The music is shadowy, beautiful, and unquestionably Russian in sound. It also has rhapsodic bursts of melody and sensuous harmonies; the autumn “Bacchanal” contains what is probably the most memorable tune from Glazunov (it’s one of those phrases that you’ll swear you’ve heard before, but not sure where or when). Somehow, it has not received the same worldwide acclaim as some of the other “Seasons” composers (Vivaldi, Haydn), but this modest-length ballet it truly a beautiful, romantic gem that deserves to be better-known.

Farmers and Merchants Bank Building

And I am chomping at the bit to hear James McMillen’s chamber music version. The players, who will also be performing Ástor Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, will be sitting stage right for the six performances which take place at the old Farmers and Merchants Bank Building downtown. After the performance, stick around for a reception with the artists.

Rehearsal photo at ACB 2

So allow me to be your pusher, and urge you to start a steady dose of ACB. Even better than LSD is that the long-time use of ACB has no ill effects whatsoever. Yet I must warn you, there is still an intense probability that you will get hooked.


rehearsal photos by Anastasia Petukhova

7f202cad97111527450b92460aed2d7aThe Seasons
American Contemporary Ballet
Farmers and Merchants Bank
401 S. Main St. in downtown
Friday, August 14 at 7 & 9 pm
Saturday, August 15 at 7 & 9 pm
Sunday, August 16 at 2 & 4 pm
for tickets, call 800-838-3006
or visit www.acbdances.com

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