To honor the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death in 1616, Carolina Ballet’s four programs on its spring season include works based on Shakespeare’s writing. The first program, beginning Thursday, features Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s “Love Speaks.”
Ballet backstory: Principal guest choreographer Taylor-Corbett uses music by Vivaldi and other Baroque composers for her 2006 romantic romp for five couples. The dances are inspired by lines from Shakespeare’s love sonnets, read by a narrator before each section.
What to look for: Engaging humor and emotion in “Love Speaks,” including a lyrical pas de deux and a rapid-fire mock-tango. Also on the program are three selections by company artistic director Robert Weiss: the heartfelt balcony scene from “Romeo and Juliet,” the pursuit of the unattainable female in “Adagio for Strings” and the varying faces of love in “Symposium.”
Where and when: Fletcher Opera Theater, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 East South St., Raleigh. 8 p.m. Feb. 4-6 and Feb. 13, 20; 2 p.m. Feb. 6-7, 13-14, and 20-21.
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Tickets: $30.14 to $73.14, plus fees and tax; (student rush $20)
In addition to “Love Speaks, the other programs in Carolina Ballet’s Shakespeare Festival are:
▪ “Tempest Fantasy” (March 3-20, Fletcher Opera Theater) – Robert Weiss’ 2006 ballet inspired by “The Tempest,” set to Paul Moravec’s Pulitzer Prize-winning score. The program also includes a premiere by Zalman Raffael.
“Macbeth” (April 14-17, Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh; April 30-May 1, Durham Performing Arts Center) – the premiere of Robert Weiss’ evening-length story ballet based on the Shakespeare play, choreographed to a new score by J. Mark Scearce.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (May 12-15, Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh) – George Balanchine’s classic ballet based on the Bard’s beloved comedy, set to Felix Mendelssohn’s glorious music. The full-length work is suitable for the whole family.
Mini-subscriptions are available for the festival as well as individual tickets.
Info: 919-719-0900 or carolinaballet.com