Tomorrow around lunchtime, the KenCen is inviting visitors to an open rehearsal of St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Ballet, which is in town and will be performing “Giselle” tomorrow night and through the weekend. It’s not just a rehearsal: Attendees will be provided with wireless headsets that convey commentary about the choreography, the dancers, and the history of the form. The piece, a story about a peasant girl who falls in love and then dies, and whose ghost sticks around to protect her lover, is a ballet staple that’s been in play since the late 19th century, and the Mariinsky Ballet (also known as the Kirov, its Soviet name) is one of the very best, so the rehearsal should be a pretty interesting and insider-y experience.
It’s in the Opera House and begins at 12:30 p.m.; cost is $12, and headsets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Later this week, the KenCen is hosting another educational dance experience, but this time at the contemporary end of the spectrum. Ever wondered who the hell Martha Graham was, or why people keep referring to Merce Cunningham as some sort of genius? On Saturday afternoon, local dance critic Suzanne Carbonneau will lead a 90-minute class (yes, the massive KenCen has classrooms hidden away behind its dark halls) on the history of modern dance, Part I; using performance videos, she’ll guide students through the styles and accomplishments of the form’s early pioneers.
The class is at 2pm in the Atrium upstairs, and cost is $15. Parts II and III will follow in March and April.