Photo: Jeff Cravotta


Oct. 17-19, 2013 / Knight Theater

A sultry start to the season – Carmen – is a thrilling and dangerous tale of ill-fated attraction. The ballet features Bizet’s famous score for opera, but the similarities end there. Associate Artistic Director Sasha Janes’ Carmen takes the story of passion and betrayal from Spain to Charlotte, set in 1934 during the textile mill strikes. In Janes’ creation, Carmen is as a feisty mill worker who seduces her captor, a National Guard soldier called in to temper the strike. Carmen moves on to a new lover, a baseball star in the Carolinas Baseball League, which was created from textile mills fielding teams throughout the Carolinas. 

Bonus: The evening of Carmen opens with George Balanchine’s Western Symphony, set by associate artistic director and former Balanchine muse, Patricia McBride. Western Symphony is a striking example of Balanchine’s fascination with American themes. Set on a rugged Old West street populated by cowboys and dance hall girls, the ballet nevertheless is very much a classical work. Balanchine used steps from the traditional ballet vocabulary, but he infused them with the formations and gestures of American folk dancing.

Photograph from Western Symphony,
Choreographed by George Balanchine,
© The George Balanchine Trust


Performance Synopsis & Casting

Reading the performance background and synopsis before the show is a great way to get ready to enjoy the performance to the fullest. To download the synopsis and casting click here.

Costume Sketches

The costumes for Carmen are designed by Jennifer Symes, who also designed the costumes for Sasha Janes’ Dangerous Liaisons.

Title Character Carmen Baseball players from Carolinas Baseball League Carmens love interest, Miller
National Guards including love interest Joe Textile mill workers Textile mill owner