Vero News

Ballet Vero Beach Announces Choreographer’s Notebook: Samuel Kurkjian

Company Presents Three Works By Master Choreographer

Ballet Vero Beach’s 10th Anniversary Season draws to a close with a celebration of the greatest influence on Artistic Director/CEO Adam Schnell’s life in dance, the late choreographer Samuel Kurkjian. Kurkjian’s thrilling Debussy Suite and sparkling Chopin Variations return to the stage, while the company adds a third Kurkjian ballet to the permanent repertoire, the charming German Dances. Program 3 will be a fitting cap to our 10th anniversary celebration of dramatic influences on our organization.

Kurkjian had a storied career in dance serving as the first resident choreographer for Boston Ballet and Ballet Master for both the Basel Ballet in Switzerland and Dance Theater of Harlem. He studied choreography with George Balanchine through a grant from the Ford Foundation, and his own Boston based company was a staple in the dance scene for many years. One of Kurkjian’s greatest legacies was decades on faculty at Walnut Hill School For The Arts (Schnell’s Alma Mater) and The Boston Conservatory. Mr. Kurkjian influenced generations of young dancers and helped shaped the tone, quality, and taste level of the dance world at large.

Kurkjian’s Chopin Variations is a neoclassical gem that has been in Ballet Vero Beach’s permanent repertoire since the company’s inaugural season. The ballet closed the very first performances by Ballet Vero Beach and is the perfect finale to the company’s 10th anniversary season. Debussy Suite was added to the rep in season two and features a soft summery quality and a large cast. German Dances finally receives its Ballet Vero Beach premiere and is a glimpse into Kurkjian’s mastery of patterns, composition, and style as seen through the lens of four young couples gathering in the forest for a folk inspired dance celebration.

Choreographer’s Notebook: Samuel Kurkjian performs at 7:30pm on April 14 and 2:00pm and 7:30pm on April 15. The Accessible/Family Friendly Series performance for this series is Ballet Vero Beach’s spectacular The Sleeping Princess, which will take place April 16 at 2:00pm. Accessible/Family Friendly Series performance feature modified audio and visual effects as well as increased accessible seating and sections for those who might not be able to remain seated throughout the performance. Ballet Vero Beach is thrilled to be the only arts organization in the area to off a full Accessible/Family Friendly Series which offers professional level arts experiences to underserved segments of our community. All tickets for this series are subsidized at $10 thanks to the generosity of Ballet Vero Beach’s many funders and donors.

All performances will take place at the VBHS Performing Arts Center (1707 16 Street in Vero Beach) and Watch At Home archival film access will be available for the Choreographer’s Notebook performance. Tickets, and more information, can be found at, or by calling the company at 772-269-1065.

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