Take a ride on the 20th Century Express

Take a ride on the 20th Century Express


Rockford Dance Company will present 20th Century Express, its season finale performance, at 2 and 8 p.m., Saturday, March 29, at the Coronado Theatre. Tickets are $18 to $27 and are available from the CentreEvents Box Office at 968-5222. Experience the beauty, the romance and the passion of these four contrasting ballets, as performed by the acclaimed Rockford Dance Company.

Artistic Director Margaret C. Faust has chosen a program of four symphonic masterpieces from the early 20th century. At that time, everything was starting to look modern, and music was changing, too. American jazz styles were influencing composers all over the world. Bold new sounds and rhythms crept into symphonic music. Through the four ballets on the program, Faust explores the rich and varied music composed in the period between World Wars I and II.

Connotations found its inspiration in Anton von Webern’s Five Movements for String Orchestra. Written in the Vienna of Sigmund Freud, the lean and spare music guides the dancers through a maze of hinted relationships and alienation. Contrasting vividly is Sergei Rachmaninov’s rich and sensuous Symphonic Dances. The beautiful melodies and lush orchestration show the Russian Rachmaninov at his romantic best.

In Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, Faust found her inspiration for the Shakespearean tragedy of King Lear. Using the “Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia” as a background, she portrays the aged King who exiled his favorite daughter for not proclaiming her love to him. The powerful music evokes the drama of a kingdom turned upside down.

For a rousing finale, Morton Gould’s Interplay provides a classical interpretation of American jazz, giving the RDC dancers a chance to strut their stuff.

Rockford Dance Company consists of three divisions. The performing Company presents its productions at the historic Coronado Theatre, where it is a Resident Company. The School offers a full curriculum of study in Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Musical Theatre, Folk, Irish and Tango styles. The outreach program works with the Rockford Public Schools and many other community organizations.

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