State Street Ballet celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, not by focusing attention solely on itself, even though it has earned the right to do so. Instead it’s sharing the wealth, and inviting two other companies to share Saturday evening’s program at the Granada, to intermingle and produce one complete work. A symbiosis, if you will. With “Common Ground,” State Street Ballet will be joined by Detroit’s Eisenhower Dance and Santa Barbara Dance Theatre. All three companies will be performing, using Max Richter’s modernist remix of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.”
Just as Mr. Richter put Vivaldi’s four very distinct seasons into a bag and shook it up, “Common Ground” takes the members of all three companies and sees what happens when they dance together. The man behind this mission of mixology is Mexico City-born and Montreal-based Edgar Zendejas, artistic director of ezdanza and award-winning choreographer since debuting in 2001 after years as a ballet dancer.
Composer Gioachino Rossini didn’t have a lot of time for stage magic. Unlike Mozart, he didn’t have time for transformations, or animals, divine messengers or the like. So it’s odd that he took on the fairiest of fairy tales in “Cinderella,” with its glass slippers and Prince Charming and all the trappings of the princess story. Rossini’s “Cinderella” (aka “La Cenerentola”) eschews fantasy for the reality of court intrigue between an impoverished maid and a prince.
David Paul is directing this Music Academy of the West production opening Thursday, and that means opera fans are in good hands regarding this material. Mr. Paul brought the Old Spanish Days-themed version of “Carmen” to the Granada last summer, and beyond trappings of the Californio costumes there was a serious rethink. Don Jose was no longer a tragic hero, but an abusive, ultimately murderous boyfriend. Rossini’s more realistic Cinderella is very much suited to Paul’s modern taste.
At 65, Bernadette Peters has earned the title of Broadway legend. For 60 of those years she has been performing — in television, movies, musicals and going on the road solo. Her appearance at The Granada Saturday night will find Ms. Peters working with her most basic elements, spare accompaniment, a set list of well-loved standards, and her powerful voice.
“My main goal is to entertain, and these are songs that I love singing. I get to pick my own songs,” she says.