Press Release: David Bintley’s Carmina Burana
Sigele Winbush – 404.862.2081
Atlanta Ballet Presents the North American Premiere of
David Bintley’s Extravagant, Passion-Filled CARMINA BURANA
April 12–14, 2013 - Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
Live with the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and the Georgia State University Singers
Also Featuring “Petal” by Atlanta Ballet’s New Choreographer-in-Residence Helen Pickett
ATLANTA – March 2013 - For its fifth production of the season, Atlanta Ballet will present the North American premiere of famed British choreographer David Bintley’s "Carmina Burana," April 12-14 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
The theatrical, large-scale production is Bintley’s modern interpretation of "Carmina Burana" - an “Everyman” story that follows three seminarians as they reject their faith and explore the pleasures of the flesh, including lust, love, greed and gluttony.
“It’s really about what can happen if you abandon your spirituality and seek gratification in temporal appetites,” Bintley explained in a 2011 interview about the ballet.
Bintley premiered "Carmina Burana" in 1995 as his first work as artistic director of Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB).
“It is beyond sensational, beyond moving, beyond thrilling,” said The Shropshire Star writer Andy Richardson in a 2011 review. “BRB director David Bintley has created a masterwork that will live long in the memories of those who witnessed his electrifying, tender and deeply intelligent work. The dancers, set alongside Carl Orff’s spellbinding choral tour de force, were a feast for the senses. Live entertainment does not get better than that.”
To create the indulgent, sin-filled world of Carmina, Bintley collaborated with set designer Philip Prowse and lighting designer Peter Mumford. What resulted was an explosion of color and opulence befitting the ballet’s theme of indulgence and ecstasy. The elaborate experience is undergirded by the live performance of composer Carl Orff’s iconic, emotionally-charged score - one of the most popular pieces of music in history. Atlanta’s production will feature the full Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and the 49-member choral ensemble, the Georgia State University Singers, who’ll flank the stage from the boxes of the theatre.
“This is a work I’ve wanted to bring into our rep for almost two decades now,” said Atlanta Ballet artistic director John McFall. “David Bintley is a master storyteller, and his version of Carmina is one of the most mesmerizing ballets I’ve ever seen. I was literally blown away by the production and knew it would be a work our dancers would love to perform and our audiences would love to witness. It’s sexy, fun, provocative, and inventive, while honest and socially relevant. It redefines the way you think of story ballets and is a statement to our commitment to bring the best here to Atlanta.”
Atlanta Ballet will open the evening with "Petal" by its new resident choreographer Helen Pickett. "Petal," which made its Atlanta debut on the Company’s 2011 Fusion program, is a "sunny piece" that explores "the intersection of ballet and modern dance" (Boston.com and Denver Post). Dance Magazine praised the "effervescent choreography" and described it as "the perfect opener for Atlanta's fleet-footed and engaging dancers."
David Bintley’s "Carmina Burana" runs for four performances, Friday, April 12 through Sunday, April 14, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre - 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339. Tickets start as low as $20 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit www.atlantaballet.com or call 404-892-3303.
History of Carmina Burana
Carmina Burana, Latin for "Songs from Beuern" (short for Benediktbeuern), is the name given to a manuscript of 254 poems and dramatic texts mostly from the 11th and 12th century. The pieces are mostly bawdy, irreverent, and satirical; they were written principally in Medieval Latin; a few in Middle High German, and some with traces of Old French or Provençal. Some are macaronic, a mixture of Latin and German or French vernacular.
They were written by students and clergy when the Latin idiom was the lingua franca across Italy and Western Europe for travelling scholars, universities and theologians. Most of the poems and songs appear to be the work of Goliards, clergy (mostly students) who set up and satirized the Catholic Church. The collection preserves the works of a number of poets, including Peter of Blois, Walter of Châtillon and an anonymous poet, referred to as the Archpoet. The collection was found in 1803 in the Benedictine monastery of Benediktbeuern, Bavaria, and is now housed in the Bavarian State Library in Munich. Along with the Carmina Cantabrigiensia, the Carmina Burana is the most important collection of Goliard and vagabond songs.
Twenty-four poems in Carmina Burana were set to music by German composer Carl Orff in 1936; Orff's composition quickly became popular and a staple piece of the classical music repertoire. The opening and closing movement, "O Fortuna", has been used in numerous films.
About Atlanta Ballet
Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet is one of the premier dance companies in the country and the official state Ballet of Georgia. Atlanta Ballet’s eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals. After 84 years, Atlanta Ballet continues its commitment to share and educate audiences on the empowering joy of dance. In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education and is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. The Centre serves over 150,000 people in metro Atlanta each year. Atlanta Ballet’s roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city’s cultural growth and revitalization. For more information, visit www.atlantaballet.com, follow us on Twitter @atlantaballet, and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atlantaballet.