We were delighted to welcome award-winning choreographer Joseph Jefferies to Bangor this August to present a week-long workshop.  Our dancers learned Mr. Jefferies' delightful choreography set to Camille Saint-Saens' music Carnival of the Animals.  

In this “grand zoological fantasy,” as Saints-Saens called the work, each of the 14 movements represents a different animal, portraying its unique traits and personality through the choice of instruments, the tempo, and the melody.  It was written as a bit of fun for friends, and Saint-Saëns even requested that it not be published or performed during his lifetime as he thought the work detracted from his 'serious' image! The piece has now become a cornerstone of classical music.

Mr. Jefferies interpretation of the traditional ballet is creative and fun.  In it the lead dancer must dance with the grace and speed of a Wild Horse, while her dance partner must be as strong and supportive as an Elephant. Fluid Goldfish dance through water in a dreamlike sequence, and the most excitable dancer flutters through the air like a Hummingbird before landing lightly on the ground.

This will be a wonderful addition to the Bangor Ballet repertoire and will be debuted this winter at the Gracie Theater under the direction of Bangor Ballet Artistic Director Roberto Forleo.

We are very grateful to the City of Bangor Commission on Cultural Development and the Maine Community Foundation - Penobscot Fund for their support of Carnival of the Animals.