New York City Ballet Announces 2009/2010 Season
In Honor of Lincoln Center’s 50th Anniversary NYCB to Present a Year-Long Retrospective of its Unparalleled Repertory
The Winter Season Will Showcase Five of NYCB’s Full-Length Ballets as Well as World Premieres by Peter Martins and Alexey Miroshnichenko and Classic Works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins
The Spring Season Will Celebrate the Company’s Extraordinary Commitment to New Work Featuring Seven World Premiere Ballets and Four Commissioned Scores
Choreographers Creating Ballets for the Spring Season Include Melissa Barak, Mauro Bigonzetti, Peter Martins, Wayne McGregor, Benjamin Millepied, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon With Commissioned Scores by Bruno Moretti, Thierry Escaich, Jay Greenberg, and Esa-Pekka Salonen
Acclaimed Architect Santiago Calatrava Will Also Collaborate On the 2010 Spring Season
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which has been New York City Ballet’s home since 1964, for its 2009/2010 season NYCB will present a yearlong celebration of the Company’s unparalleled repertory.
The season will begin with the Opening Night Benefit on Tuesday, November 24, which will mark NYCB’s first performance in the newly renovated David H. Koch Theater, and will feature a world premiere ballet by Peter Martins to John Adams’ Naive and Sentimental Music. A longtime champion of contemporary American music, this will be Martins’ ninth ballet to a score composed by Adams.
The Opening Night Benefit will be followed by the annual holiday season of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, from Friday, November 27, through Sunday, January 3. The eight-week winter season will open on Tuesday, January 5, and will showcase five of the full-length ballets in the Company’s repertory – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo + Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Jewels -- along with 11 classics by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, and a world premiere by Russian choreographer Alexey Miroshnichenko.
The spring season, which will feature performances of 40 different ballets, will open on Tuesday, May 4, and be highlighted by an extraordinary celebration of New York City Ballet’s unparalleled commitment to new choreography featuring world premiere ballets by Melissa Barak, Mauro Bigonzetti, Peter Martins, Wayne McGregor, Benjamin Millepied, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon. During the course of the eight-week spring season, seven of the weeks will feature a world premiere.
Four original scores have also been commissioned for the new ballets from: Bruno Moretti, who will work with Bigonzetti, his long-time collaborator; French composer Thierry Escaich, who will work with Millepied; young American composer Jay Greenberg, who will create the score for the Barak ballet; and Esa-Pekka Salonen, who composed a violin concerto for Martins’ spring season world premiere which has been co-commissioned by NYCB, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where the score premiered in April.
In addition, the acclaimed architect Santiago Calatrava will also collaborate with NYCB during the 2010 spring season festival of new choreography.
Opening Night and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™
The season will begin with NYCB’s annual Opening Night Benefit, which will take place on Tuesday, November 24. This evening will mark the first NYCB performance in the newly-renovated David H. Koch Theater.
Created for George Balanchine and New York City Ballet, the theater opened on April 20, 1964, and was originally called the New York State Theater. It was the second theater to open at Lincoln Center, and is currently undergoing an $86 million renovation, the first phase of which will be completed in October 2009, with the official re-opening scheduled for the New York City Opera Opening Night Gala Concert on November 5. The theater was renamed the David H. Koch Theater in 2008 in recognition of Mr. Koch’s $100 million gift to the theater’s capital campaign.
In addition to the Adams/Martins world premiere, the Opening Night Benefit will feature other works from the NYCB repertory to be announced at a later date.
Following the Opening Night Benefit, NYCB will begin its annual holiday season of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ on Friday, November 27, with 47 performances through Sunday, January 3.
One of New York’s most beloved holiday traditions, the production premiered on February 2, 1954, it has been seen in New York every year since, and has been performed by NYCB more than 2000 times. Set to Tschaikovsky’s glorious score, Balanchine’s staging of The Nutcracker, which he knew from his childhood in Russia, established the ballet and its score as perennial favorites in the United States.
NYCB’s winter season will begin on Tuesday, January 5, with a performance consisting of the new Adams/Martins work, as well as George Balanchine’s Who Cares?, and will continue with 56 performances through Sunday, February 28.
The winter season will be highlighted by a world premiere ballet by Russian choreographer Alexey Miroshnichenko, which will premiere at the Company’s annual New Combinations evening on January 20. Each year since 1997, NYCB has presented a world premiere ballet on, or around, January 22 to honor the anniversary of Balanchine’s birth.
Miroshnichenko, who is a ballet master and dancer with the Maryinsky Ballet, was previously scheduled to create a ballet for NYCB’s 2009 winter season. Due to complications with the music rights for the ballet’s score, Sergei Prokofiev’s Chout Suite, the premiere was postponed. For the 2010 season Miroshnichenko has decided to create a new ballet using a score by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin, husband of the legendary ballerina Maya Plisetskaya.
The winter season will also be highlighted by performances of five of the full-length ballets in the NYCB repertory. They will include George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Jewels, and Martins’ stagings of The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Romeo + Juliet.
In addition to the full-length works, the winter season will also feature performances of eight Balanchine ballets including Agon, Firebird, Prodigal Son, Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, and the return on Cortège Hongrois, last performed in 2005; as well as performances of Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, Dances at a Gathering, and West Side Story Suite.
NYCB’s spring season, which will feature performances of 40 different ballets, will be highlighted by an extraordinary celebration of new music and choreography, featuring seven world premiere ballets and four commissioned scores, which are being created in honor of the 50th anniversary of Lincoln Center. Since relocating to Lincoln Center in 1964, NYCB has premiered more than 300 original works, making the Company by far the most prolific creator of new work at the performing arts complex.
For the 2010 spring season, which will open on Tuesday, May 4, new ballets will be created by Melissa Barak, Mauro Bigonzetti, Peter Martins, Wayne McGregor, Benjamin Millepied, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon. This will mark the first time that McGregor, the resident choreographer of London’s Royal Ballet, has created an original work for an American company. Commissioned scores will be created by Bruno Moretti, Thierry Escaich, Jay Greenberg, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The celebration of new choreography will also feature a special collaboration with the internationally-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava. The Spanish born Calatrava is one of the world’s elite architects, and is internationally acclaimed for structures that are said to suggest flight. He is best-known for his dazzling public projects, such as bridges, stadiums and train stations in various cities around the world, and is currently designing a new transit hub at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan.
In addition to the world premiere ballets, the 2010 spring season will include performances of 33 other works, including 21 ballets by George Balanchine and 7 by Jerome Robbins.
Spring Season World Premieres Ballets
Melissa Barak – Commissioned score by Jay Greenberg
Currently a member of the Los Angeles Ballet, Barak is a former NYCB dancer, and has previously created If by Chance (2002) and A Simple Symphony (2009) for the Company. For her spring season world premiere Barak will create a ballet to a commissioned score by Jay Greenberg, the young American composer who has been compared to such musical prodigies as Mozart, Mendelssohn and Saint-Saëns. Still a teenager, Greenberg is the youngest composer ever signed to exclusive contracts with IMG and Sony Classical, and this will mark his first score composed for dance.
Mauro Bigonzetti – Commissioned score by Bruno Moretti
The former Artistic Director of Italy’s Atterballeto where he is now principal choreographer, Bigonzetti has choreographed three works for NYCB -- Vespro (2002), In Vento (2006), and Oltremare (2008). For his new work, Bigonzetti will collaborate with Bruno Moretti who has been commissioned to create a new score for the ballet. Former colleagues at the Rome Opera Ballet, where Bigonzetti was a dancer and Moretti a pianist, they have worked together on numerous ballets, including all three of Bigonzetti’s previous works for NYCB.
Peter Martins – Commissioned score by Esa-Pekka Salonen
NYCB’s Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins will create a new work to a violin concerto by Esa-Pekka Salonen, which was co-commissioned by NYCB, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where the score premiered in April 2009. Salonen wrote the score for the acclaimed Canadian violinist Leila Josefowicz, who will perform the concerto for all performances of the ballet. The Finnish-born Salonen is one of the music world’s most acclaimed conductors and composers, and was most recently the Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. For the ballet’s world premiere, Salonen will conduct the NYCB Orchestra.
Wayne McGregor – Score to be announced
British choreographer McGregor was appointed resident choreographer of London’s Royal Ballet in December 2006, and is also the artistic director of Wayne McGregor/Random Dance, a resident company of London’s Sadler’s Wells Theater. This will be McGregor’s first work for NYCB, and will also mark the first time that he has created an original piece for an American company. He has also created work for the Paris Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, and Stuttgart Ballet, among others. Score to be announced.
Benjamin Millepied – Commissioned score by Thierry Escaich
A native of Bordeaux, France, Millepied is a principal dancer with NYCB, as well as a choreographer who has created works for American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Grand Théâtre de Genéve, among others. This will be his second work for NYCB, and will be created to a commissioned score by the acclaimed French organist and composer Thierry Escaich, who is currently the composer in residence for the Orchestra National de Lyon.
Alexei Ratmansky – Score by Edouard Lalo
Born in St. Petersburg Russia, and trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School, Ratmansky is currently the artist in residence at American Ballet Theatre, and is the former artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet. In addition to those two companies, as a choreographer he has also worked with the Maryinsky Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet, among others, and has previously created two works for NYCB – Russian Seasons (2006) and Concerto DSCH (2008). For NYCB’s 2010 spring season, Ratmansky will create a ballet to French composer Edouard Lalo’s Namouna.
Christopher Wheeldon – Score to be announced
British-born Wheeldon is currently the artistic director of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, and was previously NYCB’s first-ever resident choreographer, creating 16 works for the Company. Wheeldon has also created works for the Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet, among others. Prior to becoming NYCB’s resident choreographer, Wheeldon also danced with the Company for seven years. This work will mark Wheeldon’s first new ballet for NYCB since leaving the Company in 2008. The score for the new Wheeldon work will be announced at a later date.