Unlike a lot of area arts institutions, Boca Ballet Theatre is not taking the summer off. In fact, in the dog days of August, the company will be tackling “Swan Lake,” one of the most ambitious ballets in dance history.
But before that, co-artistic directors Dan Guin and Jane Tyree will offer up “Dance Fest,” a mixed repertory concert, with performances on Saturday and Sunday, designed to showcase the dancers’ breadth and diversity in a program of classical, neoclassical and contemporary work.
Presented at Boca Ballet Theatre’s home base at Olympic Heights Performing Arts Theater in Boca Raton, “Dance Fest” will open with “Paquita,” a dramatic ballet, set in Napoleonic Spain. It was famously choreographed by Marius Petipa for the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg, and it epitomizes the taxing and beautiful Russian ballet style. Two stars of the Louisville Ballet will perform it.
Next up will be “Valse-Fantasie,” a nine-minute whirlwind of perpetual motion choreographed by George Balanchine to the music of Mikhail Glinka, whose speedy waltzes have drawn comparisons to Mozart and Chopin.
Following “Valse-Fantasie,” Guin will choreograph the new work “Boca Baroque,” a dance driven by the baroque trumpets and horns of composer Georg Philipp Telemann’s “Concerto in D for 3 Trumpets.” The program will close with the upbeat toe-tapper “Piano Man,” which has nothing to do with Billy Joel. It’s a tribute to that other piano man, Liberace, whose recent surge in popularity continues apace. Jazz innovator Michael Williams choreographs this playful piece, set to Liberace’s keyboard music and staged as a tribute to black-and-white cartoons of the 1930s.
If you’ve never attended a Boca Ballet Theatre performance, this eclectic “Best Of” style program would be a great place to start.
Show times for “Dance Fest” are 8 p.m. May 3 and 2 p.m. May 4 at Olympic Heights Performing Arts Theater, 20101 Lyons Road, Boca Raton. Tickets cost $20-$35 adults and $10-$25 children and seniors. Call 561/995-0709 or visit bocaballet.org.