Orlando Ballet's upcoming season will see the return of the successful "Vampire's Ball" program, as well as a new production choreographed to movie themes and a collaboration with the Bach Festival Society's orchestra and 150-member choir on a presentation of "Carmina Burana."
Live music — scrapped years ago for financial reasons — will accompany the ballet on two of its programs: Besides the Bach Festival collaboration, the traditional production of "The Nutcracker" will feature the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.
"We're always trying to get live music back," said Robert Hill, artistic director of Orlando Ballet. Returning live musicians to holiday favorite "The Nutcracker" was a top priority because of the nature of Tchaikovsky's classic score. It's less jarring to use recorded music for modern programs, such as "Vampire's Ball," which feature pop songs or more eclectic music, Hill said.
After perennial favorite "The Nutcracker," "Vampire's Ball," was the second-best-selling show of the season. Hill sees potential for the work, which debuted during the Halloween season, to become its own holiday tradition.
"The reaction to it was unbelievable," Hill said. "By the time we finished, I felt there were too many people who didn't have a chance to see it. Reviving it will give us a chance for really getting the word out."
Hill hinted that there could be a few tweaks to the revival: "Wouldn't it be great if one of the vampires actually flew?"
Reviving a show the dancers are familiar with will free up rehearsal time to focus on new choreography for the movie program and "Carmina Burana," Hill said. Orlando Ballet's dancers are paid for a limited season, which will be a bit longer this coming year: 30 weeks, instead of 28.
The movie-inspired program, titled "Hollywood en Pointe," will showcase beloved music from the silver screen, Hill said, but also some surprises. "Not everything we use will be a famous movie score," he said.
The Bach Festival Society collaboration came up in conversation with that organization's artistic director, John Sinclair, Hill said. "Carmina Burana" was mentioned, "and it just stuck with us," Hill said.
"Carmina Burana," a cantata by Carl Orff based on medieval poems, is best known for its tense yet stirring movement "O Fortuna" — often used in pop culture to underscore a battle, as in the film "Excalibur."
The family series, hourlong presentations designed for children, will feature "Hansel and Gretel," "The Nutcracker" and an adaptation of"The Little Mermaid,"choreographed by dancer Katia Garza.
Orlando Ballet season
• Vampire's Ball: Oct. 19-21
• The Nutcracker: Dec. 20-23
• Hollywood en Pointe: Feb. 15-16, 2013
• Carmina Burana: April 12-14, 2013
• Hansel and Gretel: Oct. 20
• The Nutcracker: Dec. 22-23
• The Little Mermaid: April 13
• Individual mainstage shows: $20-$90
• Individual family-series shows: $25-$35
• Mainstage season tickets (doesn't include "The Nutcracker"): $55-$215
• Family-series season tickets: $65-$90