By: Hal de Becker


Nevada Ballet Theatre’s 2012-2013 season at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts will be shared with four of America’s major ballet companies:New York City Ballet; Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet; Utah’s Ballet West; Washington State’s Pacific Northwest Ballet.


As a result of this collaboration between NBT and The Smith Center, patrons won’t have to travel to NYC or Chicago in order to see some of the world’s finest dancing. They’ll be able to watch it right here in the luxurious comfort of Las Vegas’s new world class performing arts center.


Opening the season October 13-14 will be one of George Balanchine’s most popular and widely performed ballets, Jewels, a trio of dances each titled after a precious gem. Emeralds is an impressionistic work to music by Faure'; Rubies, set to Stravinsky’s rhythmic score, is in an upbeat even contemporary style; and Diamonds is a pure classical ballet to music by Tchaikovsky.

What makes this performance especially unique is that for the first time ever each of the three sections will be danced by a different ballet company. Ballet West performs Emeralds, NBT Rubies and Pacific Northwest Ballet Diamonds. Musical accompaniment will be provided by a full orchestra. Appropriately, the ballet is sponsored by renowned jewelers Van Cleef and Arpels.


NBT’s all new version of The Nutcracker, also with live music, debuts December 15 and runs through the 23rd. The production promises many surprises with innovative new choreography created by James Canfield as well as new sets and costumes. Caesars Foundation sponsors this exciting and updated production.


The late Robert Joffrey, founder of the Joffrey Ballet, was a prolific choreographer whose controversial rock ballet made the covers of Time and Life magazines. However, he may best be remembered for his revivals of lost and near-lost ballets by Massine, Nijinsky, Fokine, Joos, Ashton and numerous other early and mid-20th century choreographers.He is also remembered and respected for commissioning new dances from Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, William Forsythe and other contemporary choreographers early in their sometimes struggling careers.


He also played a direct role in developing the talents of many young dancers and choreographers among them NBT’s artistic director James Canfield and Ballet West’s artistic director Adam Sklute.


The Joffrey company will present a program of diverse dance treasures ranging from a rarely seen classic to modern works on January 22-23. This is a unique opportunity for dance lovers to experience the oeuvre of this inspired dance pioneer.


New York City Ballet.The name alone is synonymous with the development of ballet consciousness in America.Co-founded in 1948 by genius choreographer George Balanchine and brilliant administrator and generous patron Lincoln Kirstein NYCB is now recognized throughout the world as a major cultural force.


On March 5-6 a troupe of NYCB’s finest dancers will perform works by Balanchine and the late Jerome Robbins as well as recent pieces by NYCB’s artistic director Peter Martins and the youthful and much acclaimed Christopher Wheeldon.


The performances by NYCB and the Joffrey troupe are co-presented by NBT and the Smith Center. Perhaps, this policy will develop into an exchange program with NBT dancers being invited to perform with other companies at their home theaters.


With Mothers’ Day weekend in mind, NBT closes its spectacular season May 11-12 with a full length balletic version of Shakespeare’s immortal Romeo and Juliet choreographed by Mr. Canfield. Tickets for this and all NBT programs are available at 702-749-2000.


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