Le Mozart Noir: The Untold Tale

Contemporary Ballet Dallas (CBD) and Dallas Bach Society (DBS) announce a new ballet, Le Mozart Noir: The Untold Tale, to premiere February 26-27, 2016, 8:00pm, at the Montgomery Arts Theater of The Booker T. Washington School for the Performing and Visual Arts (BTWHSVA).

Le Mozart Noir is a collaborative production by DBS and CBD.  A special evening on the life and times of the illustrious Joseph Boulogne, later famously known as Chevalier de Saint-Georges, he was the son of a French planter of the nobility in the Caribbean and a woman of African heritage.  The concert features live music, including both period music led by DBS Director James Richman and original composition by Mark Landson of Open Classical.  Valerie Tabor of CBD is chief choreographer, while 18th century social dance has been restaged by New York Baroque Dance Company Director Catherine Turocy.  The dance style will be contemporary ballet with episodes of period dance.   We want to bring in a modern element to help bridge the centuries for today’s audience.  Consulting for the project is Marcea Daiter, an expert in Haitian dance history and a certified Dunham technique teacher.

DBS Artistic Director James Richman says, “Though the story is individual to the Chevalier, the ballet explores in vignettes the universal struggle to find oneself. It is a story we can all appreciate.”  This unique evening is funded, in part, by a grant from the Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund of TACA.

The Chevalier’s life story and work are rich indeed, but not often written about in the books.  He became a champion fencer, skillful equestrian, graceful dancer & virtuoso violinist.  The Chevalier’s talent and intelligence led to his place in high society, where he was an important musical figure and conductor of the leading symphony in Paris in the 18th century. The Chevalier was composing contemporaneous with Mozart and became known as Le Mozart Noir among the French bourgeoisie.  Women swooned for his exotic features and superb talent ~ he was also a vocal coach to Marie Antoinette!  During the French Revolution, he became a colonel of the Legion St. Georges, the first all-black regiment in Europe, fighting on the side of the Republic.

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