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"INTERLUDE" Choreographed and performed in 2013, 'Interlude' is a contemporary ballet choreographed on the dancers of The Ballet Theatre of Maryland by Dianna Cuatto and is set to music by Meg Ryan which was played live on stage by Julie Frazier.
"Vortex" is a contemporary work choreographed by Dianna Cuatto and set to music by Marc Galiber. This work was choreographed and first performed in 2013, which is the performance you are about to see. Cuatto and Galiber collaborated to create the music that fit Cuatto’s vision, which was inspired by the four vortexes (Boynton Canyon, Cathedral Rock form Red River Crossing, Bell Rock, and Airport Mesa) in Sedona, AZ. Vortexes perform a similar role for the Earth as chakras do in the human body. Power is concentrated in the vortexes where earth ley lines meet and this energy powers out in swirling spirals of knowledge, healing, and light. This idea of swirling power influenced the movement behind ‘Vortex.’
"The Sleeping Beauty" is set to music by Peter IIyich Tchaikovsky and was choreographed and restaged by Dianna Cuatto after Marius Petipa. The Ballet Theatre of Maryland premiered this ballet in February 2016 at both Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and The Modell Lyric Opera House, which you will see in this recording.
The Prologue- The Christening of Princess Aurora: In celebration of Princess Aurora’s christening, the King and Queen invite the five good fairies to bestow gifts upon Aurora and to act as her Fairy Godmothers. The Amethyst Fairy, the most powerful fairy of them all, begins to grant Aurora her gift of wisdom and abundance when she is interrupted by lightening and thunder. The evil fairy, Carabosse arrives and is angry to have not been invited to the celebration. Carabosse has a gift for the princess too. On her 16th birthday, Aurora will prick her finger on a spindle and die! The Amethyst Fairy intervenes, and while she is unable to reverse Carabosse’s spell, she can mitigate it. She promises the King and Queen that the princess will indeed prick her finger on a spindle, but she will not die. Instead, she will fall into a deep sleep for 100 years, to which she will be awaken from by true love’s kiss. This promise breaks Carabosse’s spell and the power of the Amethyst Fairy dismisses the evil fairy. As she leaves, Carabosse promises that she will get her revenge and the princess will die. The Fairies reassure peace and hope to the King and Queen, but out of extra precaution, King Henry bands and vows to burn every spindle in the kingdom.
Act 1- Aurora’s 16th Birthday: On the day of the Princess’s 16th birthday, a grand celebration is held and noble guests including four Royal Suitors arrive. Aurora must choose one to marry and they dance together in the infamous Rose Adagio. The celebration is interrupted when an old woman appears and gives a bouquet of roses to Aurora. Inside the bouquet Aurora finds a spindle which she is fascinated with until she accidentally pricks her finger on it. As Aurora’s strength ebbs away, Carabosse revels herself as the old woman to taunt the King and Queen with the fulfillment of the curse that she made 16 years ago at Aurora’s christening. The Amethyst Fairy appears to keep her promise; Aurora will not die, but instead she, and all everyone else in the castle, will fall into a 100 year sleep where they will only wake when Aurora experiences true love’s kiss.
Wheels of Life is a contemporary ballet that was first choreographed in 2010 (this recording) by Dianna Cuatto and is set to music by Marc Galiber. The artwork on the costumes is based on the book, “Dealing with Crystals and Chakra Energy” by Sue and SImon Lilly. "From the great spiral galaxies, thousands of light years across, to the trillions of atoms swirling in a grain of sand, the universe is composed of spinning wheels of energy....at the inner core of each one of us spin seven wheel-like energy centers of...sacred sound...and vital life forces called Chakras." Anodea Judith, PHD.
Selections from, ‘Excalibur: The Sword and The Stone’ This ballet was choreographed by Dianna Cuatto and is set to original, award- winning music by Maggie Sansone which is played live by her and her musicians.
Act I: The Lady of the Lake, Viviannne is the High Priestess of Avalon and the keeper of Excalibur, the mighty sword of truth and light. Excalibur is destined to be wielded only by the one true king of the land in Britain- a warrior king who can unite the British peoples to defeat King Lot of Orkney and the invading Saxons. As the Lady of the Lake had long foreseen, the awaited king, Arthur is born. The Lady of the Lake’s father, Merlin takes baby Arthur into his safekeeping and gives the Lady of the Lake Arthur’s half sister, Morgan Le Fay, to train her to become a priestess where she eventually is appointed as The Lady of the Lake’s successor. Morgan meets Lancelot and is assigned to be his guide and falls in love with him, but she is sworn to celibacy as a priestess in Avalon. Together, they look into the Lady of the Lake’s scrying bowl to see what the future holds for them. They see the young warrior princess, Guinevere and a vision of the grown woman and queen she is destined to become. Lancelot is drawn to the image of Guinevere, and the disappointed Morgan feels powerless.
Several years pass and knights and kings are given the opportunity to try and remove the sword, Excalibur from its stone. At the tournament, the powerful and ambitious King Lot of Orkney is favored to be the man most likely to pull the sword from the stone, making him the High King. Quickly, Merlin appears with a mysterious young man, Arthur, who easily removes the sword and is appointed by the Lady of the Lake as the High King. Out of jealousy, Morgan teams up with King Lot and orders him to a battle against the warrior Princess Guinevere. Merlin sends Arthur to join the fight where he kills Lot and rescues Guinevere. They fall in love and agree to marry, making Guinevere Arthur’s Queen.
Act II: The Lady of the the lake and her father Merlin, watch in her Scrying bowl as King Arthur and Guinevere prepare to be wed. The women and knights of the court join the two newlyweds in a dance of celebration and Guinevere offers Arthur a Spear of Celts as gift of promise to honor him. Unwittingly, Arthur gives the spear to Mordred, Morgan’s son, who has disguised himself as Merlin. Mordred gives the Spear of Celts to Morgan, who enchants it and meets with Lancelot to reminisce over old times. She tricks him into taking the enchanted spear, causing him to become obsessed with Guinevere. Now Queen, Guinevere goes a-Maying with the knights and her subjects. At the tournament of jousting, Lancelot fatally wounds his opponent with the spear that Morgan secretly enchanted. He and Guinevere rush to help the injured knight where they set eyes on one another, just as Morgan had planned. This is the beginning of Morgan’s plan to bring destruction to Arthur so she can gain complete control over the throne and unleash the power of the sword, Excalibur in her image. After the tournament, Merlin is in search of Morgan to banish her but, he underestimated her power and Morgan and her flock of ravens instead kill Merlin. The Lady of the Lake reveals to Arthur Morgan’s plan to betray him, but when Arthur returns to Camelot, it is too late and he must duel Mordred with his all powerful, Excalibur. Defeated by Mordred, Arthur dies and Morgan falls distraught to find her son, Mordred also dead. In an excited rage, she reaches for Excalibur, now hers, but it burns her hands, revealing that she is not the chosen one to keep it. She goes mad and runs off in horror of who she has become. The Lady of the Lake takes Excalibur back to its stone for safekeeping until the next true king arrives.
Selections from the comedic classic, A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Convergence is a contemporary ballet set to music by Ryan Lucas with choreography by Dianna Cuatto. Originally choreographed in 2018, this piece was inspired by how our paths often converge briefly with those of another, sometimes resulting in moments of intimacy and communion.
The Dancing Princesses Act I Choreographed by Dianna Cuatto in 2012.