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2023 Performances Featuring A.V.A. Ballet Theatre

Published January 13, 2023

2023 Performances Featuring A.V.A. Ballet Theatre

by Steve Trounday

A.V.A. Ballet Theatre, the resident ballet company of the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, will offer another full year of classical and contemporary ballets in 2023. The three classical ballets at the Pioneer Center will be performed with the Reno Phil. The popular rock ballet will be performed at the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater at Bartley Ranch Regional Park.

The Frozen Snow Queen

A.V.A. Ballet Theatre will begin its 2023 season with Frozen April 22 and 23 on the Pioneer Center stage. Choreographed by A.V.A. Ballet Theatre’s artistic director, Alexander Van Alstyne, Frozen is the captivating story of the young Elsa who searches for her friend Kai after his heart and eyes have been pierced by fragments from an evil mirror. Kai falls under the spell of the Frozen Snow Queen and it is up to Elsa to save him from his icy fate. 

The score for the ballet is a combination of work from two classical composers and a couple of Disney tunes. The classical music will be from Sergei Prokofiev’s Stone Flower and from composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. There will also be some contemporary music including “Let it Go” and “Do you Want to Build a Snowman?” Oh, the challenges the artistic staff has to work through to obtain the proper music rights!

As with all A.V.A. Ballet Theatre productions, guest principal dancers from major ballet companies such as Ballet West, San Francisco Ballet, and the Houston Ballet will perform with the large local cast of dancers. 

Vortex: David and Nora "The Impossible"

One of the most popular shows during Artown is A.V.A. Ballet Theatre’s rock ballet Vortex, the Ballet That Rocks. This year’s performances will be held July 14 and 15 at the beautiful Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheatre. Vortex is unique as it combines classical ballet with rock songs from today’s most popular performers. Imagine ballerinas performing grande jetés to music by Lady Gaga, Metallica, or Katy Perry. Vortex is a great way to see classical ballet in a different context. The lighting, sets and props are just as important as the dancing. They become part of the show. 

“Vortex is one of my favorite productions,” said Van Alstyne. “I can create emotions on stage that are not often seen in a classical ballet.”

Vortex is free to the public due to the generosity of several of our major sponsors. Because the ballet is free and wildly popular, it makes for some logistical challenges at the amphitheater. The fire marshal will allow only 900 people into the amphitheater. We have to give everyone attending the ballet a wristband. When we hit the 900 in attendance, we have to turn people away. Reno really does support the arts.

After the success of our fall ballets post COVID-19, we will continue our expanded fall classical season with the beloved Coppélia. The ballet will be performed at the Pioneer Center September 16 and 17. Coppélia is the captivating story of a doll created by Doctor Coppélius. The fanatical doll maker has created Coppélia to be his companion and secretly dreams of discovering a way to bring her to life.

Coppélia: Katie

The Reno Phil will be providing the score to this beautiful ballet. The Leo Delibes music alone is worth the ticket price. I’ve said this many times over the years: once you’ve seen and heard a ballet performance with a live orchestra, there is really no comparison to one with a recording. There is something special when you see two performing arts groups working together to entertain an audience.

Guest principal dancers from major ballet companies in the United States will travel to Reno and dance many of the key roles in Coppélia.

Rounding out the 2023 ballet season will be the holiday favorite The Nutcracker with the Reno Phil at the Pioneer Center December 15, 16, and 17. A.V.A. Ballet Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker is the single most attended non-profit performing arts event in all of northern Nevada. Due to the popularity of this holiday classic, A.V.A. Ballet Theatre will continue to perform five shows.

The Nutcracker is the story of the young girl, Clara, and her toy nutcracker soldier. With the help of Heir Drosselmeyer, her magical uncle, Clara travels to the Land of the Sweets. While there, she sees the mysterious Arabians, charming Chinese dragon, the rambunctious children of Mother Ginger, toy soldiers, and dancing mice and their Mouse King. 

The Nutcracker: Nutcracker Soldiers

The corps de ballet dancers from A.V.A. Ballet Theatre will perform exhilarating renditions of the “Waltz of the Flowers” with the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, and a snow scene with the Snow King and Queen. By the end of the show, Clara has found her prince charming and all is well in the world. Eight guest principal dancers will grace the stage in various lead roles. Laura Jackson will be conducting the Reno Phil. Tchaikovsky’s moving score is some of the best music you will ever hear. No one ever leaves The Nutcracker without a smile on their face.

A.V.A. Ballet Theatre is once again bringing a great season of ballet to northern Nevada. Please join us at the Pioneer Center and the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater and enjoy this stunning and entertaining art form.

Steve Trounday is a board member at A.V.A. Ballet Theatre, the resident ballet company of the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts.

More from Steve Trounday

The Nutcracker Takes the Stage by Steve Trounday — December 9, 2022

Look Forward to Giving Back by Steve Trounday — November 4, 2022

For the Love of Costumes by Steve Trounday — September 30, 2022

Swan Lake Takes Flight in September by Steve Trounday — September 2, 2022

Dancers Near and Far Share the Stage by Steve Trounday — August 5, 2022

Vortex, the Ballet that Rocks 2022 by Steve Trounday — July 8, 2022

Ballet with a Live Orchestra by Steve Trounday — June 10, 2022

En Pointe by Steve Trounday — May 13, 2022

Local Dancer’s Rise to the Top by Steve Trounday — April 15, 2022

Back on Stage with Beauty and the Beast by Steve Trounday — April 1, 2022

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