Carousel (A Dance)

Music: Richard Rodgers ("Carousel Waltz" and "If I Loved You" from Carousel, 1945), arranged and orchestrated by William David Brohn
Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Staging: Damian Smith and Jackie Barrett
Costume Design: Holly Hynes
Lighting Design: Mark Stanley
Duration: 15 minutes
Premiere: November 26, 2002; New York City Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: March 12, 2009 (Broadway Festival)

Carla Körbes & Seth Orza in Carousel (A Dance).
Photo © Angela Sterling

The 2009 Pacific Northwest Ballet premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's Carousel (A Dance) was generously underwritten in part by PNB’s Board of Trustees, Advisory Board, Members of the Barre, and Stowell Society.

The musical Carousel, with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, premiered in 1945. The show won acclaim for its many hit musical numbers and for its innovative plot about the ill-fated marriage of young millworker Julie Jordan and carnival barker Billy Bigelow.

Christopher Wheeldon's salute to Rodgers includes the composer's melodic and evocative "Carousel Waltz" and "If I Loved You" in a reverie that distills Carousel's carnival atmosphere as well as its theme of tragic romance. A large corps de ballet creates a stylized carousel on stage, their movements often separating the lovers. With a simple hint at the story, Wheeldon catches the sweep and emotion of the music and the poignant, doomed nature of the lead couple's relationship with a tender and romantic pas de deux.

Carousel (A Dance) is the third ballet by Christopher Wheeldon to be added to Pacific Northwest Ballet’s repertory, following Polyphonia (acquired 2007) and Variations Sérieuses (acquired 2008).

Recommended Listening:
Carousel (1956 Film Soundtrack), Angel Records, 2001

Notes by Doug Fullington.

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