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Brandywine Ballet presents ‘Carmina Burana’ and ‘Swan Lake Act II’

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STORY WRITTEN BY ADAM FARENCE 
afarence@dailylocal.com

Ballet dancers often impress onlookers with their balance, strength, coordination and teamwork. But what will the reaction be when these skills are used to perform Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky Swan Lake Act II? Brandywine Ballet studios intends to find out.
When Nancy Page developed the choreography for Carmina Burana, she did not take the chance of anyone else’s interpretations influencing her own imagination.
“I looked up all the translations for the play and interpreted them myself, I didn’t use anyone else’s ideas,” she said.
A scenic cantata composed by Carl Orff in 1935 and 1936, Carmina Burana embodies themes common throughout the centuries. Fortune, drinking, wealth, lust, gluttony, seasons changing from winter to spring, are a few of these.
Orff based the Carmina Burana cantata off a collection of 13th-century poetry set of the same name. Page based her cantata off the same set of poetry, and used the same music as Orff used in his original ballet. She promises her rendition of Carmina Burana will stay true of the poetry, yet provide a refreshing look on the poetry’s timeless themes.
Page hinted her interpretations of the play were very literal, and costumes for the performance were ready and the Wheel of Fortuna would also make an appearance.
Presented alongside Carmina Burana, Philadelphia based choreographer Meredith Rainey’s students will perform Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Act II.
Part of several acts written by Tchaikovsky in 1875-1876, Swan Lake Act II tells the tale of a hunter who stumbles across a group of cursed swans who can only turn human at night by an enchanted lake, and of a hunter determined to save them.
Rainey said the studio accepted his proposal to choreograph Swan Lake Act II. Rainey also said the studio had a sense of regalness, something which he deemed necessary for the play.
The ballets will take place in West Chester University’s Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall on High Street. Shows are scheduled for Oct. 23 at 10 a.m., Oct. 24 at 2 & 7 p.m. and on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m.
Also on Oct. 25 at Spence 312 on South High Street in West Chester, Brandywine Ballet will have an exclusive meet and greet with the artistic staff and professional dancers from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
Ticket prices are $18 for morning performances, and start at $25 for afternoon and evening performances. They can be purchased at www.brandywineballet.org. Brandywine Ballet can also be reached at 610-696-2711.
To contact Daily Local News staff writer Adam Farence, email afarence@dailylocal.com, or call 610-235-2647.

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