From Feb. 28 through March 1, the Rochester City Ballet will bring the joie de vivre of 1900s Paris to the Callahan Theater stage at Nazareth College. “Moulin d’Paris” was made possible by the first National Endowment of the Arts grant in RCB’s 33-year history.
Opening night will mark the announcement of RCB’s new artistic director, Robert Gardner. Gardner previously served as artistic director and resident choreographer of the Minnesota Ballet.
“‘Moulin d’Paris’ brings a fantastic evening of theater and dance to the Rochester community, providing a cast of colorful characters and an exciting score of wide-ranging music,” Gardner said. “In this ballet, two people find each other against the backdrop of the colorful and forbidden nightlife of 1900s Paris.”
“Moulin d’Paris” creator Mark Diamond leans into the time period, accentuating the combination of excess and inhibition.
“The clubs of turn-of-the-century Paris had no restrictions in the choice of entertainment; they were a product of the time,” Diamond said. “Clubs were a combination of dinner club, dance hall and meeting place for all social classes. This is perfect for the kind of entertainment that this ballet presents. It’s so full of interesting and alluring characters — you will not lose interest or attention.”
For the Minnesota Ballet, Gardner choreographed original versions of “Sleeping Beauty,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Dracula,” “Firebird” and “Swan Lake.” He choreographed for opera, orchestra and musical theater, including “The Pirates of Penzance,” “Into the Woods” and “Les Miserables.”
Gardner received an Excellence in the Arts & Sciences Award from the St. Louis County Board of Commissioners, Lifetime Artist Award from the Depot Foundation and an American Composers Forum Award to create an original work with original score, and served as a grant panelist for the Minnesota State Arts Board.
Shows will run at 8 p.m. on Feb. 28-29 and 2 p.m. on March 1. Tickets start at $37. Visit naz.edu/arts-center for information.