Just Dance opens Billings Symphony season

Grand Rapids Ballet Company launches the season Sept. 24

On Stage

The Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale’s (BSO&C) 66th season opens Saturday, Sept. 24 with Just Dance!, featuring the Grand Rapids Ballet Company performing pieces of Tchaikovsky’s beloved “Swan Lake” and a medley of Gershwin favorites.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the Alberta Bair Theater, with Concert Cues at 6:45 p.m. and the concert at 7:30 p.m.

Tchaikovsky’s magical ballet tells the story of the doomed love of Prince Siegfried and Princess Odette. Prince Siegfried goes out hunting one night and chases a group of swans. One of them transforms into a young woman, Odette, who explains that she and her companions were turned into swans by the evil Baron von Rothbart. The spell can only be broken if someone who has never loved before swears an oath of undying love and promises to marry her. The Prince declares his love to Odette and promises to be loyal forever.

George Balanchine choreographed “Who Cares?” in 1970, but the 40-minute, plotless work harks back to his early years as a young choreographer with Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, when Gershwin was popular in Europe. Later, while Balanchine was choreographing movies and Broadway shows in the United States, he was invited by Gershwin himself to collaborate on Samuel Goldwyn’s “Follies” in 1937. The collaboration was cut short when the famed composer succumbed to a brain tumor.

The concert is just the beginning of a packed season, with Music Director Anne Harrigan wielding the baton over six series concerts and seven special events mostly held at the ABT, where the Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale (at more than 135 members) is the longest renting tenant.

Other special events include “The Nutcracker,” returning to the stage Thanksgiving weekend with three performances instead of the traditional two. And the International Spy Gala – BSO&C’s first black-tie gala – is April 7.

New this year is the CYP (Cultured Young Professionals) program, which targets those who share a love of music and a desire to support one of the Billings’ oldest cultural organizations with premium seats, networking events and invitations to receptions and master classes. For more information, call 406-252-3610 or visit billingssymphony.org