Blog - Michigan Opera Theatre

Dance Dialogues

Welcome to MOT’s Dance Dialogues. Similar to a book club, this is a monthly virtual gathering to view and discuss dance together. MOT will share digital dance works of certain themes to view on your own. Then we will all meet via ZOOM on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 3:00 PM (ET). Each …

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Detroit Opera House Gets New Seat and Stage Deck!

Thanks to a gift from long-time supporters Floy and Lee Barthel, MOT has acquired a new 9,100-square foot seat and stage deck! The deck was previously rented for special events, including BravoBravo!, and will now be a more common fixture in the Detroit Opera House. It creates a floor that covers the theater’s main-level seating …

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Ballet Blanc: Shades, Shadows and Spirits

The term ballet blanc – literally translated as “white ballet” – refers to a genre of classical ballets in which the ballerina and the female corps de ballet are costumed in white tutus. These ballets represent the Romantic style of 19th-century ballet, and the ballet blanc ballerinas usually represented fairies, ghosts, or other supernatural creatures.  The earliest example of ballet blanc dates back to 1832, with Marie Taglioni (the first ballerina to wear pointe shoes). She danced the title role in La Sylphide, a full-length …

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Standby: A new film-exclusive performance celebrates the 60th anniversary of Nederlands Dans Theatre

In celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Nederlands Dans Theatre (NDT), house choreographer Paul Lightfoot created a new work, captured and released exclusively on film to accommodate socially-distanced guidelines. The project, Standby, includes dancers from NDT1 (the first company) and NDT2 (originally formed as a training company for young talent, now an independent company that tours internationally). Created in tandem with Sol León’s She Remembers, both works were choreographed and filmed over the …

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The Royal Ballet: Making Waves with Woolf Works

Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s novels, letters, essays and diaries, Wayne McGregor, the resident choreographer of The Royal Ballet, conceived a full evening work called Woolf Works. The Royal Ballet commissioned the German-born British composer Max Richter to create a new score for the ballet. McGregor engaged Italian prima ballerina assoluta Alessandra Ferri to dance the …

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Michigan Opera Theatre Receives $225,000 in Federal Grants

Michigan Opera Theatre has received $225,000 in federal grants in recent weeks. In June, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded MOT $175,000 to support its MOT at Home digital programming campaign. This month, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded MOT $50,000 to support artists costs during this period of closing due …

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Four Minutes a Dying Swan: Anna Pavlova and Becoming the Symbol of the New Russian Ballet

In 1905, legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova asked choreographer Michel Fokine (of Sergei Diaghilev‘s Ballets Russes ballet company) to create a solo dance piece for her to perform at a gala concert by artists from the Imperial Mariinsky Opera. It was Fokine who suggested “The Swan” from Camille Saint-Saëns’s The Carnival of the Animals musical suite. Pavlova was quick to agree, as she was inspired by swans she had seen in the public parks, …

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Michigan Opera Theatre Summer Program to Feature Guest Artists from “Hamilton”!

Michigan Opera Theatre is thrilled to announce that its summer teen theater program Operetta “Remix” will feature guest artists from the hit Broadway show, Hamilton! Jonathan Christopher and Nikisha Williams perform in the ensemble of the show’s national tour, with Christopher understudying the roles of Aaron Burr and George Washington and Williams understudying for Eliza, …

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Music as Inspiration: The Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony #5

Choreographers often commission composers to create scores for a new ballet or dance work. Because the music is specifically created to realize the choreographer’s vision, the result can be extraordinary. The creation comes from a much more organic process, as the music and the dance are so intertwined from conception. A perfect example of this is Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring, set to Aaron Copland’s commissioned score. Another example is The Four Temperaments, a ballet made …

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Michigan Opera Theatre’s New Season to Feature Non-Traditional Performances

As we continue to follow social distancing guidelines, Michigan Opera Theatre is excited to announce that our upcoming season will feature a series of non-traditional performances! The season will be a temporary departure from our traditional format of presenting Grand Opera and large-cast dance productions, with new features including: Alternate performance locations including outdoor settings …

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