Nevada Ballet Theatre, Meet George Balanchine

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue is all fun and games until ballet breaks out.

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue is all fun and games until ballet breaks out.

The Nevada Ballet Theatre opens their season with a mixture of beauty, wit and drama in three very different works by master choreographer George Balanchine—all of them accompanied by live musicians.

“It’s a great program because it presents an opportunity for the dancers to be challenged in so many different styles,” says Sandy Jennings of the George Balanchine Trust, who is staging two of the ballets. “And for the audience, it’s like having a three-course meal—you get everything.”

Serenade takes the corps formations and pas de deux of classical ballet and invests them with a modern speed and fluidity. “It’s not only challenging for the girls as far as the actual dancing, but to move in a corps in that particular way—moving on diagonals, moving onstage as a group and creating an atmosphere,” Jennings says. Who Cares? is a breezy spin through the Gershwin songbook in a series of dances that range from jazzy to romantic to winsome to show-stopping. Balanchine’s most Hollywood/Broadway work, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, is a tale of girls, gangsters and love gone awry. Jennings believes that Slaughter will go over well in Vegas: “I think it will appeal to a lot of people.”

Jennings has staged a number of ballets for NBT and has seen the company expand over the years, both in size and skill. “The depth of the company is growing,” says Jennings, “and this program shows off the company so well.”

NBT: A Balanchine Celebration

7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 and 2 p.m. Nov. 8, $29-$139, The Smith Center, 702-749-2000,

Vegas Seven