RSO Presents Two Famous Ballets


On Sunday, January 28th, the Rapides Symphony will be joined by the Avant Chamber Ballet, a dance company from Dallas, to perform two of the most famous ballets in the entire repertoire, Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” and Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty.”


Aaron Copland wrote “Appalachian Spring” in 1947 in collaboration with legendary modern dance figure Martha Graham.  It is the story of a young couple in rural pioneer America, their marriage, and their hopes in starting a new life together.  Copland makes use of the American Shaker hymn tune “Simple Gifts” as an important part of the ballet, a song that fits perfectly into the setting of the story.  The first version of the piece was written for a very small orchestra of just 13 musicians to accompany the dance.  It was later re-written for full orchestra by Copland, which is the version most often heard today.  We will perform the original version which turns the ballet into a much more intimate, chamber music-like ambiance.


“Sleeping Beauty” is one of the Peter Tchaikovsky’s best-known ballets, along with “The Nutcracker” and “Swan Lake.”   We will do some of the highlights from “Sleeping Beauty” in a special version arranged for the same orchestra of just 13-instruments as “Appalachian Spring”.


The Avant Chamber Ballet is a company from Dallas/Fort Worth that has, in quoting their website, a “commitment to the marriage between live dance and live music [that] will always remain the core of our artistic resolve.”   This is also the commitment made at the joining of Ballet Alexandria and the Rapides Symphony in 2012.  This will be the third triennial performance since this merger.


RSO Presents Two Famous BalletsThe performance is Sunday, January 28th at 2:30pm at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center in downtown Alexandria.  Tickets range from $10.00 to $25.00 and can be purchased online at or by calling the Symphony office at (318) 442-9709.