'Ballet MasterWorks' featured

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A live 65-piece Colorado Ballet Orchestra will accompany the dancers as the company presents its repertory production of “Ballet MasterWorks” Feb. 22 through March 3 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Opening the program will be George Balanchine's “Theme and Variations,” performed to Tchaikovsky's “Suite No. 3 for orchestra in G Major,” the first Balanchine piece performed since Artistic Director Gil Boggs joined the company—and the first in 10 years. Rights are granted by the Balanchine Trust, which handles the work of the acclaimed neo-classical choreographer. It has a cast of 26 dancers.

The world premiere of a new neo-classical work, “In Pieces,” choreographed by Val Caniparoli to Paul Ruder's composition “Concerto in Pieces,” marks the first collaboration with Caniparoli, choreographer for the San Francisco Ballet. Boggs said “his body of work is rooted in classicism and influenced by all forms of movement.”

“Le Sacre du Printemps,” choreographed by Glen Tetly, celebrates the 100th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky's composition “The Rite of Spring. Boggs said “when it premiered in the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris in 1913, the music was so groundbreaking and the choreography so controversial that it nearly evoked a riot on opening night.” Strong percussive rhythms and dissonant harmonies combine with challenging choreography.

Performances: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22, 23, March 1, 2; 2 p.m. Feb. 24, March 2, March 3. Tickets: 303-887-8888ext. 2, ColoradoBallet.org.

Additional Colorado Ballet news

Rhe company, established in 1961— after leasing its current building for 20 years — has purchased a building at 1075 Santa Fe Drive, in the Santa Fe Arts District.

The lease at 1278 Lincoln Street expires in 2014. Boggs said the new site will provide more rehearsal space and amenities for dancers and staff, while keeping the company in the downtown area. Performances, approximately 50 each year, will continue at the Ellie.

The new building will also have more studio space for the Colorado Ballet Academy, as well as convenient student drop-off and improved parking. (The company also runs a south area academy.)

The company, which ended its fiscal year in the black with a record-breaking “Nutcracker” attendance, will soon launch a capital campaign, according to Executive Director Marie Bellew Wheatley.