Cincinnati Ballet celebrates Carmina Burana + Serenade


Cincinnati Ballet will continue its historic return to Music Hall with a dazzling premiere of Carmina Burana, coupled with George Balanchine’s “stunningly beautiful”* Serenade, for six performances over Valentine’s Day weekend from February 8 through 11.

Carl Orff’s powerful and evocative score comes brilliantly to life in the Cincinnati Premiere of the “wickedly fast-paced”* Carmina Burana, choreographed by the renowned Nicolo Fonte. Fonte has created a ballet that is as dynamic as the music of Orff’s score, featuring 18 Cincinnati Ballet dancers accompanied on stage by the May Festival Chorus and backed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Carmina Burana is an 11th-century text that was re-discovered in a Bavarian monastery in 1803. In 1936, composer Carl Orff set 24 of the poems to music, and it quickly became an extremely popular piece of classical repertoire, having been featured in major films, television, video games, and even sampled by Michael Jackson.

“World premieres of a reimagined iconic work – such as Carmina Burana – are rare.  For this reason, I am so excited for our community of dance lovers to witness this unique collaboration with Ballet West,” said Victoria Morgan, Artistic Director for Cincinnati Ballet.

The entire evening has an arc, beginning with Balanchine’s sweeping and gently feminine Serenade, in its moonlit shadows and soft flowing skirts.  This is then set in contrast to the boldly dramatic Carmina Burana and the physically powerful style of Nicolo Fonte. 

Serenade, the first work created by George Balanchine in America, was originally created in 1934 as an exercise for the newly formed School of American Ballet. Filled with lush musicality and moving drama, is recognized as one of Balanchine’s seminal works.