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Fall A+E Guide: Performing Arts

Giselle (October 17–19, Judy Bayley Theatre at UNLV). In October, Nevada Ballet Theatre presents its pre-Halloween ghost story. This full-length ballet has the usual stuff: a prince in disguise, happy dancing peasants and a bevy of girls in long white tutus. In keeping with the creepy season, though, these chicks are the ghosts of young women who, when alive, were dumped by their boyfriends. Their afterlife specialty: trapping unsuspecting males in the forest and dancing them to death. Payback is a bitch.

Choreographer’s Showcase (November 9 and 16, Mystère Theatre at Treasure Island). Last year’s collaboration between Nevada Ballet Theatre and Cirque du Soleil proved to be the highlight of the dance season. Without any promotion, it was a complete sell-out. Choreographers from both performing groups have already selected their dancers, and rehearsals have begun. It’s an opportunity to see Kà baton twirlers as serious dancers and usually staid ballerinas in Cirque-tinged frolics. For those who care about the future of dance in Las Vegas, this remarkable collaboration is a total don’t-miss.

Liaoning Ballet of China (October 8-9, UNLV, Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall). Although not familiar to U.S. audiences, this company is popular and respected throughout the world. Their repertoire ranges from traditional Bournonville to Russian warhorses like Le Corsaire and Don Quixote to works based on Chinese folklore. The Chinese dancers are known for their fabulous technique—think amazing Olympic gymnasts with toe shoes.

Fall Dance Concert (December 5-6, CSN Performing Arts Center). In 1993, Elvis Costello partnered with the Brodsky String Quartet for The Juliet Letters, a song cycle based on a newspaper article about an Italian professor who collected letters addressed to Shakespeare heroine Juliet Capulet. Sounds like a typical night out for the adventurous Kelly Roth and his crew. For this performance, a live string quartet and vocalist Paul Villaluz will accompany the CSN Dance Ensemble and Concert Dance Theatre.

Question: If an underfunded community-college dance company can arrange for live music, what’s the deal with other local dance groups?

Las Vegas Philharmonic (UNLV, Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall). Musical Director David Itkin’s second year with the Las Vegas Philharmonic marks the organization’s 10th anniversary. The November 15 program features Henri Tomasi’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone, with leading saxophonist Eugene Rousseau, and ends with Rimsky-Korsakoff’s popular Scheherazade. Check out the small, tricky solos that test even the finest musicians.

The Philharmonic offers a new Pops series this year, showcasing jazz, Broadway and contemporary pieces over three concerts. On October 11, the orchestra, along with trumpet virtuoso and showman Byron Stripling, will pay tribute to American jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong.

Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (October 30, UNLV, Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall). Unlike orchestras in the rest of the world, American ensembles, with few exceptions, tend to present works by European classical composers, only occasionally programming works by the home team. Here’s a rare occasion to hear an entire evening of American classical composers (Copland’s Symphony No. 3, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess Suite and Bernstein’s Serenade)—brought to you by an Israeli orchestra and a Swiss conductor, Leon Botstein.

The Metropolitan Opera HD Live (begins September 22). Thanks to modern technology, Las Vegas opera lovers can go to their local movie houses for the live HDTV broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Now in its third year, the series has increased to 10 matinees and one evening performance broadcast from the Met stage into select movie theaters. Get your tickets in advance, as these tend to sell out. For information, go to fathomevents.com.

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