The press release on 'Romeo and Juliet'.
For Immediate Release - Friday, November 17, 2006
New York City Ballet To Present The World Premiere Of A Full-Length Production Of Romeo and Juliet
Choreographed by NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins, the Production Will Feature Dancers, Students, and Faculty from New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet as Part of NYCB’s Centennial Tribute to Lincoln Kirstein, Co-Founder of Both Organizations
For the 2007 Spring Season, New York City Ballet will present the world premiere of a new full-length production of Romeo and Juliet, choreographed by NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins, and set to Sergei Prokofiev’s classic score. The production, only the ninth full-length work to enter the Company’s repertory, will premiere at NYCB’s annual Spring Gala on Tuesday, May 1, with a total of 14 performances through Sunday, May 12.
The ballet will be the centerpiece of NYCB’s spring season celebration of the centennial of Lincoln Kirstein’s birth. Kirstein, who was born on May 4, 1907, co-founded NYCB and the School of American Ballet with George Balanchine. For this production Mr. Martins will feature not only the dancers of NYCB, but also students and faculty from SAB.
“While Lincoln was a towering figure in a number of cultural arenas, the organizations that were nearest and dearest to him were New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet, so it seemed only fitting to honor his centennial with a production that unites and celebrates both of these organizations,” said Mr. Martins.
“It was also Lincoln who encouraged me to create The Sleeping Beauty in 1991, and knowing how much that production meant to him, I hope he would have been equally pleased with the addition of this timeless story, and Prokofiev’s glorious score, to our repertory,” Mr. Martins added.
Mr. Martins’ production of Romeo and Juliet is the second Shakespearean classic to be made into a full-length ballet for New York City Ballet, the first, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, was created by George Balanchine in 1962.
The sets and costumes for Romeo and Juliet will be created by Danish painter Per Kirkeby, who previously collaborated with Mr. Martins on the 1996 production of Swan Lake for the Royal Danish Ballet, which entered NYCB’s repertory in 1999.
Born in Copenhagen, Mr. Kirkeby is a painter, geologist, writer, poet, sculptor, filmmaker, and scenic designer. His works have been exhibited at numerous galleries and museums throughout the world including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Michael Werner Gallery in New York City; the Tate Gallery and Barbican Art Gallery in London; The Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Copenhagen; and the Venice Biennale, among others. His works also figure prominently in numerous private collections throughout the world.
While Romeo and Juliet will be only the ninth full-length ballet to be performed by New York City Ballet, best known for its neoclassical plotless works, the Company’s diverse repertory is also home a number of story ballets, both full-length and one-act, most notably George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, a beloved classic which has become a staple of the holiday season since its premiere in 1954.
Lincoln Kirstein (May 4, 1907 – January 5, 1996) was born in Rochester, New York, and is widely acknowledged as one of the most important cultural figures of the 20th century. George Balanchine’s arrival in America in 1933 was made possible through Kirstein’s efforts, and together the two men founded the School of American Ballet (1934) and New York City Ballet (1948). Kirstein was also a writer, impresario, and art connoisseur, and the English dance critic Clement Crisp has written that he “was one of those rare talents who touch the entire artistic life of their time.”
New York City Ballet will celebrate Kirstein throughout the 2007 Spring Season with performances, an exhibition at the New York State Theater, and two Monday evening seminars focusing on his life and work.
New York City Ballet’s 2007 Spring Season will open on Tuesday, April 29, and continue for nine weeks through Sunday, June 29. Complete programming for the season will be announced at a later date. Subscription tickets for the 2007 Spring Season will go on sale in mid January.
Support for Peter Martins’ new production of Romeo and Juliet will come from a variety of sources. Funding to date includes a lead gift from Mr. and Mrs. Howard Solomon and a major commitment from Mr. and Mrs. Stephen A. Schwarzman. New York City Ballet is grateful for their generosity.
The creation and performance of works by Peter Martins is also funded in part by an earlier endowment gift from the Solomon family, given in loving memory of Carolyn B. Solomon.
Support for new work is also provided by The Irene Diamond Fund, the Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund, and NYCB’s New Combinations Fund patrons.