The Sacramento Ballet continues our tradition of storytelling, exploring tales of fantasy, betrayal, and heartbreak. Telling Stories consists of four short, narrative ballets.
First on the bill is a historic piece: Incident at Blackbriar, one of the first ballets Ron Cunningham ever staged at Sacramento Ballet. Based on a love triangle in D.H. Lawrence’s novella The Fox, this masterfully crafted story features an original score by William Sleator.
The other three works are new or new to our company. Cigarettes, a dance-theater piece by award-winning choreographer Adam Hougland, was inspired by multiple interpretations of Patsy Cline’s song Two Cigarettes in an Ashtray. When it premiered in 2011, it was likened to the movie plot of Groundhog Day – how we can’t move forward until we get things right.
Instructions, created by Amy Seiwert in 2016 and based on Neil Gaiman’s poem of the same name, is an imaginative guidebook on how to survive any trip to the underworld, science-fiction novel or fairy tale. Playing with music is an ongoing theme in Seiwert’s work, and Instructions is interwoven with Benjamin Britten’s Cello Suite No 1, Op. 72. It’s a thrill to have cellist Evan Kahn joining us for the performance.
And you’ll be the first to see a world premiere by heralded choreographer Penny Saunders. The details are closely kept, but Saunders is famed for her fresh and fearlessly creative style, so expect something unique from her first SB commission. A former artist with Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago, Saunders is a recipient of the Princess Grace Choreographic Award, one of the highest honors in our field.