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Smuin Ballet 

When: Fri., March 14, 8 p.m. and Sat., March 15, 2 p.m. 2014
Price: $54-$70
In celebration of its twentieth-anniversary season, San Francisco’s Smuin Ballet will come to the Lesher Center for the Arts (1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek) this weekend to perform XXtremes, a program of dances that nod to its heritage and hint at what’s to come. In homage to its late founder, the company performs Michael Smuin’s “Carmina Burana,” an emotional piece set to Carl Orff’s dramatic 1937 cantata of the same name. In recent years the company has developed an exceptional contemporary sensibility, and its creative compass points in that direction; to that end, the dancers are sure to perform Jirí Kylián’s mournful “Return to a Strange Land” with athleticism, intelligence, and grace. Bay Area choreographer Amy Seiwert, who was mentored by Smuin, bridges the company’s past and future with “Dear Miss Cline,” a buoyant ballet infused with insouciant charm and a distinctly modern edge.
— Claudia Bauer


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