October 5 – 12, 2019 | The Keller Auditorium

222 SW Clay Street, Portland, OR 97201


OBT has named the opening production ROAR(S), reflecting three distinct eras of its repertory, but also a manifesto in dance. Each of these ballets is a masterwork in its own right, yet together they represent the heart and soul of OBT’s past and future.

Performance Schedule

In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated

Choreography by William Forsythe | Music by Thom Willems

Stravinsky Violin Concerto

Choreography by George Balanchine | Music by Igor Stravinsky | Nelly Kovalev, violin soloist


Choreography by Dennis Spaight | Music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korakov


Performance Summary

In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated

The season opens with William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated – This is a work that changed ballet forever. Performed to a jolting crash of electronic sound, the work continues as a thrilling high-voltage shock to the world of ballet, spreading from stage to stage. OBT audiences raved about its memorable 2016 company premiere. Commissioned by Rudolf Nureyev in 1987 for the Paris Opera Ballet and immediately recognized as a masterpiece of contemporary work, this inventive piece has become Forsythe’s most famous ballet.

Stravinsky Violin Concerto

The second work on the program features the captivating Stravinsky Violin Concerto. Choreographer George Balanchine and Composer Igor Stravinsky both born in Russia — and both took New York and the ballet world by storm — have been described as the “Eternal Partnership.” No ballet better exemplifies their virtuosity than this abstract ballet. Performed twice before throughout OBT’s history, Stravinsky Violin Concerto will be presented for the first time with live music, under the baton of Maestro Niel DePonte, showcasing the full genius of both Balanchine and Stravinsky.


OBT is pleased to announce the revival of Dennis Spaight’s Scheherazade. Steeped in OBT history, and last presented in 1993, this storied ballet created by OBT’s associate director and resident choreographer Dennis Spaight in 1991. It was the first ballet choreographed for the combined companies of Pacific Ballet Theatre and Ballet Oregon and featured renowned dancers Patricia Miller and James Canfield. “With sets by Henk Pander, costumes by Ric Young and lighting design by Peter West, it was a collaboration made in heaven.” – Oregon ArtsWatch

A technicolor tour de force, this one-act ballet is based on One Thousand and One (Arabian) Nights of which Scheherazade, the legendary Persian queen, is the storyteller. A formidable woman stuck in a less than loving marriage has a husband, the Sultan, who has a ghastly habit of marrying a woman at night and killing her in the morning. Keeping her wits intact, she avoids certain death by telling him a story every night, which she never intends to finish. Scheherazade’s inspired diversions are legendary.

Runtime and Intermissions

Total run time is just over 2 Hours and 27 minutes with two 20 minute intermissions

Header Image: Peter Franc | Photo by Yi Yin