“Love Stories” explores the themes of love through classic and modern choreography.
The program is a mixed performance featuring four ensembles: “Requiem for a Rose” by Belgian-Colombian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, “Madam Butterfly” by Stanton Welch, “Prayer of Touch” by Helen Pickett and “Swan Lake” by Matthew Bourne.
Set to romantic classic music by Franz Schubert, “Requiem for a Rose” envisions 12 dancers as a bouquet of roses, with bold and fluid movement hinging on a single heartbeat. Ochoa describes her piece as “constructed chaos.” “Requiem for a Rose” is an abstract ballet about love and death of romance.
“Romance is ephemeral, and if it doesn’t evolve into love, it is emptiness,” Ochoa said. “I believe in love and not romance.”
Dancer Kelsey Ebersold of Vinings will perform a solo in “Requiem for a Rose.”
“My solo is the heartbeat for the piece,” said the 23-year-old. “I’m dancing to music that is the sound of a heartbeat. I’m dancing as a frightened person and putting a trance on the roses.”
Ebersold said the dance is a visual treat and will be pleasing to the eye.
“It is a very introverted dance,” said the fellowship division dancer. “With the different duets and movement. … It’s very contrasting to the solo; it can be frigid and shocking to the moment. I hope the audience really sees the contrast.”
“Prayer of Touch” by Pickett, an Atlanta Ballet resident choreographer, received plenty of positive response to its world premiere last season and is back for an encore. The piece explores desire and the human need for connection.
Wedding Night Pas de Deux from “Madam Butterfly” depicts the tale of a young geisha’s love for an American naval officer and his betrayal. Set to the score of Giacomo Pucinni, “Madame Butterfly,” is in the repertoires of companies across the world.
One of the most reknown modern ballets, the centerpiece duet from “Swan Lake,” tells the story of ill-fated and forbidden love with contemporary flair. Bourne debuted the almost all-male dance in 1995.
Times are 8 p.m. on May 10 and 11, and 2 p.m. May 11 and 12. Tickets start at $20 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit www.atlantaballet.com or call (404) 892-3303.