BALLET ARABESK, founded in 1967 is the only dance organization in Bulgaria for contemporary staging, based on unconventional trends in the field of modern dance. Boriana Sechanova is the artistic director and choreographer of the company. The repertoire of BALLET ARABESK includes more than 100 choreographies of original titles. The company has toured in Austria, Germany, Greece, Zimbabwe, India, Singapore, Turkey, Hungary, The Philippines, Finland, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, Slovakia, and Romania and is made its U.S. debut tour in winter 2005 with Teatro Lirico D’Europa in a production of CARMINA BURANA and Ravels’ BOLER. The company returns to the United States in winter 2009 with the same production which features 18 dancers in costume, a symphonic orchestra and chorus plus vocal soloists.
About CARMINA BURANA
Composed by Carl Orff (1895-1982)
Translated as SONGS OF BEUREN, it is a collection of remarkable medieval poems set to music. Haunting choral passages, Gregorian chants, powerful orchestrations and some of the most driving percussion in classical music combine to create a work that pulses with energy.
CARMINA BURANA premiered in Frankfurt, Germany in 1937. Orff based CARMINA BURANA on 25 poems and songs taken from a collection featured in a manuscript that was written between 1220 and 1250. Long forgotten, it was unearthed in 1803 at the Benedictine Abbey of Benediktbeuren, Bavaria. The authors were minor clerks, defrocked monks, vagabond students and minstrels. Themes explore the opposite polarities of the human psyche, praise of nature and beauty, intimations on immortality and the force of destiny. The songs are full of humor, exuberance and irreverence for authorities of the day.
BOLERO began as an experiment in composition and became Maurice Ravel’s most famous work. Commissioned as a Spanish-flavored ballet, Ravel created an entire orchestral composition from just one short theme, slowly building in volume and tone. The composer himself referred to it as a “piece for orchestra without music.” An ensemble of 18 dancers of Bulgaria’s contemporary dance company BALLET ARABESK perform this work with live orchestral accompaniment.
“It was a crowded house for big night at the opera. Carl Orff’s CARMINA BURANA began with mystery and breathtaking drama. White garbed chorus, orchestra members and dancers who moved as if hypnotized through the primeval world conjured up by stark, chanted chords and stuttering rythms. Dancers in bronzed masks joined couples, priests and other real and fantastic creatures in flowing costumes. Hearing the iconic chords of Orff’s masterpiece take shape and weave assured, intricate patterns was fascinating. Soprano Veselina Vasileva was stunning as was the choreography and enormously effective costumes.”
DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL – Laura Stewart – Jan. 2005
“Walking out after watching enchanting performances Saturday at the Coronado Theatre of CARMINA BURANA and BOLERO…we knew we’d witnessed something extraordinary and I’d wager that most of the nearly full house felt something similar. CARMINA BURANA lived up to its billing as a spectacle. It was riveting!
ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR – Judy Emerson – Nov. 2005