Segerstrom Center Presents World Premiere of ABT’s Of Love and Rage on Mar. 5

The National Herald Archive

Christine Shevchenko and Thomas Forster in a preview event for American Ballet Theatre’s Of Love and Rage. Photo: Paula Lobo

COSTA MESA, CA – Segerstrom Center for the Arts proudly presents on March 5 the World Premiere of American Ballet Theatre’s Of Love and Rage, a new work choreographed by ABT Artist-in-Residence and MacArthur Genius Alexei Ratmansky. Sets and costumes are by award-winning designer Jean-Marc Puissant, with lighting by designer Duane Schuler. Inspired from the first century Greek novel, Callirhoe, the libretto for Of Love and Rage was adapted by actor, director, screenwriter and Moliere Award winner Guillaume Gallienne. The ballet is set to music by Aram Khachaturian with arrangements by Philip Feeney and performed live by Pacific Symphony. There will be five performances: March 5-8 in Segerstrom Hall.

The ballet will have its New York Premiere during ABT’s 2020 Metropolitan Opera House season June 2 – 6.

Alexei Ratmansky said, “Of Love and Rage is not a fairytale. Although it was written thousands of years ago, with the complexity of the relationship [between Callirhoe and Chaereas] at its core and the tough choices they face, it feels very modern and relevant. Callirhoe is a strong woman in a world where women had very limited options and no power. After early experiences where her fate is determined by men, she learns that she can use her beauty and her brains to shape her fate.”

Ratmansky added, “I am fascinated by the topic of forgiveness. This is a story about how anger and jealousy tear two people apart – two people who are madly in love. Forgiveness is the only way they can reunite, and forgiveness requires strength. As Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.’”

Single tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s Of Love and Rage at Segerstrom Center for the Arts start at $29 and are now available online at, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, or by calling 714-556-2787.

For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at 714-755-0236.

Declared by The New York Times as “the most gifted choreographer in classical ballet today,” Ratmansky was introduced to the ancient Greek text Callirhoe by his friend and colleague Guillaume Gallienne. Written by Chariton of Aphrodesias, Callirhoe is widely acknowledged to be the oldest novel ever written, set around 400 BC in the ancient Greek world, which, at that time, sprawled across the Mediterranean. A ballet in two acts, Of Love and Rage follows the novel’s powerful love story of Chaereas and Callirhoe as they struggle with the tragic consequences of their mistakes and, ultimately, find redemption through forgiveness.

Of Love and Rage pulls inspiration from the Greek aesthetic of beauty and harmony, incorporating many elements from ancient Greek drama. Ratmansky employs his expansive knowledge of classical ballet’s history and the rhythms, harmonies and orchestrations of Aram Khachaturian’s score Gayane to create a powerful, story-driven piece, utilizing the full company of dancers. The corps de ballet, dancing as one unit, will portray supporting emotions in the commentary role found in Greek theater.