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Paris Opera Ballet set for 2012 Chicago visit

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

It has been confirmed. The fabled Paris Opera Ballet, one of the great dance companies in the world, is headed to Chicago’s Harris Theater for Music and Dance, where it will present three different programs running June 26-July 1, 2012, before traveling on to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Lincoln Center in New York.

The Chicago engagement will kick off the North American tour by this company whose history dates back to 1661. Accompanying the performances will be the Grant Park Orchestra, which will be marking its first collaboration with the Harris.

For its full-length offering, the Paris Opera ballet will present “Giselle” (June 26, 27 and 28, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.), the 19th century classic. (That work also will be danced several months earlier in Chicago by American Ballet Theatre, which is coming to the Auditorium Theatre, March 22-25, 2012.)

The Opera ballet also will dance a mixed repertory program including three 20th century modernist works: Serge Lifar’s “Suite en blanc” (created in 1943), an exercise in the abstract, neo-classical style set to the music of Lalo; Roland Petit’s “L’Arlesienne,” a character-driven love story set to the music of Bizet; and Maurice Bejart’s “Bolero,” set to the thrilling score by Ravel, in which a woman dances surrounded by men, a man dances surrounded by women and men dance alone. The mixed bill will be performed June 30 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and July 1 at 2 p.m.

A third program, for the gala to be held on June 29, 2012, is still to be announced.

Tickets to the Paris Opera Ballet are $55-$125. Phone: (312) 334-7777 or visit

NOTE: The Harris Theater also has announced that its 2011-2012 Hear the Music season will include the first performances of a three-year annual concert series and residency presented in collaboration with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, as well as the return of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, joined by the Eroica Trio.

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