Portland Ballet’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is an inspiring example of what outstanding artists from different disciplines can accomplish when they put their heads together.

“Sleepy Hollow” was created last year by Nell Shipman, a versatile choreographer and Portland Ballet’s associate artistic director. Shipman collaborated with Kirt N. Mosier, a composer and secondary and university teacher in Missouri, who created the original score.

The resulting ballet has originality and a great deal of clever choreography and characterization. The music is eerie and, in keeping with the title, rather sleepy, with strong thematic elements tied to both the storyline and individual characters.

The story, based on Washington Irving’s original tale, centers on a love triangle involving pretty Katrina Van Tassel (Jennifer Jones), mincing schoolmaster Ichabod Crane (Derek Clifford) and strutting tough guy Brom Bones (Joseph Jefferies).

The two men were great fun to watch Saturday evening as they portrayed such different, yet equally self-impressed, characters.

Clifford danced with delicate turns of the ankles and wrists, along with a great variety of other twiddly bits. Jefferies was all bombast, performing huge leaps and multiple pirouettes.

Jones had less opportunity to exert personality, as the quintessential starring village girl, but her performance was lovely and strong as she was partnered by the men in turn. One of her most effective scenes came when Clifford was alone in the schoolroom, looking at her portrait, and she danced dreamily around him.

Shipman’s most remarkable choreography is for the Specters, who haunt the ballet from the first foreshadowing to the creepy conclusion.

Danced by Megan Buckley, Deborah Grammatic, Daniela Malta and Caroline Shelton, with Eleanor Altholz, Emily Avery, Jacqueline Bolduc and Jane Howard, the Specters writhed and contorted with twists of the neck, flexing hands and other articulations, all while performing stunning leaps, extensions and turns.

The corps de ballet performed beautifully as the village women, with several pretty variations. Younger company dancers, as schoolgirls, danced nicely along with the corps and performed with good timing in the comedic schoolroom scene with Clifford.

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” ends with a sense of mystery: Was the Headless Horseman real? Where has Crane gone? The conclusion, with the Horseman’s lighted jack-o’-lantern on a darkened stage, is just creepy enough.

The score was performed by a 14-piece orchestra under the direction of Robert Lehmann, a prolific conductor based at the University of Southern Maine School of Music. They played beautifully, with sensitivity to tempo for the dancing and wonderful solos, including several by flutist Alison Hale, clarinetist Thomas Parchman and bassoonist Ardith Freeman.

“Sleepy Hollow” was Portland Ballet’s first production at the new Westbrook Performing Arts Center, located within the Middle School on Stroudwater Street. Although challenging for out-of-towners to find, with signage announcing only the school, the theater itself is quite fabulous.

The room has been designed to provide unobstructed viewing from throughout the 1,000 seats, and the sound quality Saturday evening allowed for clarity and resonance from the fine orchestra.

Portland Ballet has a winner with “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” which, if anything, seemed more polished this year than in its debut. It would be great to see this ballet become a fixed local tradition ushering in Halloween, perhaps with more performances added to the schedule in upcoming years.

Jennifer Brewer is a freelance writer who lives in Saco.