Ballet QC brings ‘Love Stories’ to Brunner

Ballet QC brings ‘Love Stories’ to Brunner

This year’s Ballet Quad Cities “Love Stories” moves to Augustana’s Brunner Theatre Center (3750 7th Ave., Rock Island) for two performances – Feb. 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m.

The varied program will kick off with two premieres, with choreography by BQC veterans Emily Kate Long and Domingo Rubio. Then the professional company will bring back favorites, first “Glassworks” with choreography and concept by Courtney Lyon (company artistic director).

Ballet Quad Cities’ “Glassworks” at the Figge Art Museum in 2019.
Ballet Quad Cities’ “Glassworks” at the Figge Art Museum in 2019.

With dancers Eleanor Ambler, Sierra DeYoung, Stephanie Eggers, Jayne Friscia, Madeleine Rhode, and Mahalia Zellmer, “Glassworks” was first inspired by five of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s iconic stained-glass lamps and created for the premiere of the 2019 Figge Art Museum exhibit “Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection.”

“Dance Four Piano,” with Lyon’s choreography, features Madeline Kreszenz, Jillian Van Cura, Christian Knopp, and Marcus Pei. This ballet was created for Orchestra Iowa’s 2018 Golden Key Gala with BQC in Cedar Rapids, featuring Grammy-winning American classical pianist Emanual Ax with music by Antonín Dvorák.

A scene from Ballet QC’s “Glassworks” at its 2019 premiere.
A scene from Ballet QC’s “Glassworks” at its 2019 premiere.

After intermission will be the classic American ballet “Billy the Kid” – with Marcus Pei in the title role, and original choreography by Courtney Lyon, based on the 1938 scenario by Eugene Loring.

Aaron Copland composed “Billy the Kid” in 1938 for choreographer Eugene Loring’s western scenario based on Walter Noble Burns’ 1925 best-seller “The Saga of Billy the Kid.”

A scene from Courtney Lyon’s “Billy the Kid,” with music by Aaron Copland.
A scene from Courtney Lyon’s “Billy the Kid,” with music by Aaron Copland.

Lore has it that Billy — a gambler, cattle rustler, and vigilante frontiersman — made his claim to fame by having killed a man for each of his 21 years, according to the BQC program.

Copland’s score provides a vivid depiction of prairie life and adds flavor for this “Cowboy Ballet” by incorporating six cowboy tunes into the score: “Great Granddad,” “Git Along Little Doggie,” “The Old Chisholm Trail,” “Goodbye Old Paint,” “The Dying Cowboy,” and “Trouble for the Range Cook.”

BQC’s “Billy the Kid” will be featured in “Love Stories” on Feb. 9-10 at Augustana College’s Brunner Theatre.
BQC’s “Billy the Kid” will be featured in “Love Stories” on Feb. 9-10 at Augustana College’s Brunner Theatre.

Not just a narrative centered around the legend of Billy the Kid, “this musical masterpiece captures the epic expansiveness and energy of the Wild, Wild, West,” the program says. “The music is often heard but the ballet is rarely seen.”

Told in short vignettes, this American tale — a love letter to the American West — has been reimagined by Lyon, created on the professional dancers of Ballet Quad Cities and premiered in 2017 with Orchestra Iowa at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids.

Tickets for “Love Stories” are $30 for adults and $15 for children under 12, available HERE.

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