By: Hal de Becker

Nevada Ballet Theatre has two things to commemorate next month. One is its 40th anniversary and the other its debut as resident company of The Smith Center.

New dances by NBT’s artistic director James Canfield, four guest ballet artists, a Balanchine ballet and Caesars Palace headliner Matt Goss and his band join NBT’s artists for this special celebration on May 5th at 7 pm. And as if they weren’t enough, the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s 28 piece string ensemble will accompany the dancers ‘live’.

Serenade Photo by Virginia Trudeau

George Balanchine’s 1934 ‘Serenade’, choreographed to Tchaikovsky’s exquisite score, is one if his most beloved and frequently performed ballets. Although it has no plot its moonlit mood is poetic and romantic and, to some, suggestive of sylphs and swans. In the hands (and feet) of NBT’s dancers together with the philharmonic’s musicians ‘Serenade’ is sure to be a thrilling experience.

Guest artist Herman Cornejo has been a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre since 2003.He had his early training in his native Argentina and at the School of American Ballet the official school of New York City Ballet (NYCB).

He is renowned for his powerful technique which earned him a gold medal at age 16 – the youngest ever – at the International Dance Competition in Moscow, Russia.

He will be seen in “Tango & Yo”, a solo he choreographed to music by his countryman Astor Piazzolla.And, with a surprise partner, he’ll also perform the Vaganova/Nureyev version of the ‘Diana and Actaeon’ pas de deux from Petipa’s “Esmeralda”.The piece contains a number of virtuoso male solos which should put all his technical fireworks on display.

Two dancers from Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB), Carla Korbes and Seth Orza, will perform the famed ‘white’ duet from the 2nd Act of “Swan Lake”. This sublime adagio is a paragon of classical ballet in the grand style.

Ms. Korbes, like Mr. Cornejo, is from South America (Brazil) and she also studied at the NYCB school and was later a soloist with the company. She has been a principal with PNB since 2006. Mr. Orza, too, trained at the NYCB school and danced with the company as a soloist. In 2010 he became a principal with PNB.

Acclaimed worldwide as singer, composer and author, Matt Goss’ recordings have sold over 17 million copies. He and his band will appear with NBT at The Smith Center and the dancers will perform four new works choreographed to his music by Mr. Canfield.

Tickets, which are sure to go fast for this one-night-only event, can be ordered at (702) 749-2000 or at www.nevadaballet.org.