For Immediate Release - January 22, 2005
NEW YORK CITY BALLET ANNOUNCES SPRING 2005 SEASON
Highlights Include the World Premiere of An American in Paris by Christopher Wheeldon as well as Premieres by Peter Martins, Albert Evans, and Benjamin Millepied
The Season Will Also Include the NYCB Premiere of Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, along with Performances of George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fée” and Jewels, and Susan Stroman’s Double Feature
Principal Dancers Peter Boal and Jock Soto to Retire in June
New York City Ballet’s spring 2005 season at the New York State Theater will begin on Tuesday, April 26, and will run through Sunday, June 26. Among the highlights of the season will be the annual Spring Gala, on Wednesday, May 4, which will feature world premiere ballets by Albert Evans, Peter Martins and Christopher Wheeldon, and a New York City Ballet premiere by Benjamin Millepied.
NYCB will also perform Jerome Robbins’ N. Y. Export: Opus Jazz for the first time. This ballet was created for a touring group called Ballets: U.S.A. for the first Spoleto Festival, in 1958, and features a score by Robert Prince.
The season will also include farewell performances by principal dancers Peter Boal and Jock Soto, who will both retire in June.
The Company will open the spring 2005 repertory season on Tuesday, April 26, with a program of Stars and Stripes, Barber Violin Concerto, and Union Jack. The season will continue for nine weeks, through Sunday, June 26, with a total of 42 ballets performed on 63 programs.
The opening week of the season will include the Company’s first performances of Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz. This piece is set to music by Robert Prince and was created for a small company, Ballets: U.S.A., that Robbins brought to the first Spoleto Festival in Italy, where the ballet premiered on June 8, 1958. The Company will use the original costume designs by Florence Klotz and the set designs by Ben Shahn. The NYCB premiere will be on Friday, April 29 at 8 p.m., with additional performances on Saturday, April 30 at 8 p.m.; Tuesday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, May 5 at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, May 7 at 2 p.m.
Other season highlights include the return to the repertory of Balanchine’s Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fée,” created for the 1972 Stravinsky Festival and not performed by NYCB since winter 2002. Robbins’ Concertino, created for the 1982 Stravinsky Festival, will also return to the repertory after an absence of nine years.
The annual Spring Gala on Wednesday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m., will feature four new ballets. Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins is creating a new work, Tālā Gaisma, set to music by Peteris Vasks, a Latvian composer born in 1946. Tālā Gaisma will also be performed on Thursday, May 5 at 8 p.m.; Tuesday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m.; and Wednesday, May 11 at 8 p.m.
Principal dancer Albert Evans will premiere a pas de deux set to an original score by Juilliard composition student Mathew Fuerst. This work, which has not yet been titled, was developed at the New York Choreographic Institute in 2004, and the score was commissioned by the Institute. Additional performances will be on Friday, May 13 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, May 14 at 8 p.m.
NYCB will also perform principal dancer Benjamin Millepied’s Double Aria for the first time at the Spring Gala. This pas de deux was created on NYCB dancers making a guest appearance in 2003 at the Morriss Center in Sag Harbor, N.Y., and has music by Daniel Ott, who is on the faculty at the Juilliard School and at Fordham College. Double Aria will also be performed on Friday, May 13 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, May 21 at 8 p.m.
The fourth new ballet, An American in Paris, is a world premiere by Resident Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. It is set to George Gershwin’s well-known composition and features set designs by Adrianne Lobel. Ms. Lobel extensive credits include the Broadway productions of A Year with Frog and Toad (Tony nomination) and Stephen Sondheim’s Passion; numerous opera productions with director Peter Sellars including Nixon in China and Cosi Fan Tutte; and L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato and The Hard Nut for the Mark Morris Dance Group. In 2004, she created the sets for Mr. Wheeldon’s Swan Lake for the Pennsylvania Ballet. Additional performances of An American in Paris will be on Saturday, May 7 at 2 p.m.; Sunday, May 8 at 3 p.m.; and Tuesday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m.
This spring Susan Stroman’s full-length ballet from 2004, Double Feature, will have five final performances before it is retired from the repertory for several seasons. An homage to the silent film era, Double Feature is set to a score comprised of classic songs by Irving Berlin and Walter Donaldson. The ballet will be performed on Thursday, June 9, and Friday, June 10 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 11 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, June 12 at 3 p.m.
Several other ballets that have premiered in the past year will return this spring, including Boris Eifman’s Musagète, Mr. Martins’ Chichester Psalms and Octet, and Mr. Wheeldon’s After the Rain.
Overall, the repertory season will feature 17 ballets by George Balanchine, including Apollo, choreographed in 1928; Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3, choreographed in 1970; and Union Jack, choreographed in 1976. Jewels, which premiered in 1967 and was revived in February 2004 with new scenery by the original designer, Peter Harvey, will have four performances and then not be seen for several seasons. There will be 10 all-Balanchine programs, as well as seven performances of Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The season will also include eight ballets by Jerome Robbins, including The Goldberg Variations, choreographed in 1971; Opus 19/ The Dreamer, choreographed in 1979; and West Side Story Suite, which premiered in 1995. There will be two all-Robbins programs during the season.
Among the five works by Mr. Martins returning to the repertory are Barber Violin Concerto, choreographed in 1988, and Guide to Strange Places, which is set to the score of the same name by composer John Adams, and premiered in 2003. The season will also include Mr. Martins’ Morgen, which premiered in 2001 and is set to 10 Richard Strauss songs for soprano and orchestra.
In addition to his new ballet, Mr. Wheeldon will be represented by four works during the spring season: After the Rain (2005), Carnival of the Animals (2003), Liturgy (2003), and Polyphonia (2001). Carnival of the Animals will feature a special appearance by John Lithgow, who wrote the narration for the ballet. In July 2001, Mr. Wheeldon was named NYCB’s first Resident Choreographer, a title he continues to hold.
On Wednesday, June 1, the Company will present a special all-Stravinsky program. Two works by Balanchine, Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fée” and Agon, will be joined by two Robbins works, The Cage and Concertino.
Two of NYCB’s principal dancers will retire this spring. Peter Boal, who joined the Company in 1983, will give his final performance on Sunday, June 5. For his farewell performance, Mr. Boal has chosen to dance Robbins’ Opus 19/ The Dreamer. (The program will also include Robbins’ West Side Story Suite and Balanchine’s Agon.)
Mr. Boal was raised in Bedford, New York, and studied dance at the School of American Ballet. While at SAB, he danced in several ballets with NYCB, including George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, in which he performed the role of the Nutcracker Prince. Mr. Boal became a member of the NYCB corps de ballet in 1983 and became a soloist four years later. In 1989 he was promoted to the rank of principal dancer. During his career, he has danced featured roles in nearly 50 ballets, and he has had over 20 additional roles created on him by choreographers including Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, Christopher Wheeldon, Christopher d’Amboise, Ulysses Dove, and Twyla Tharp. Since 1997, Mr. Boal has been a permanent member of the SAB faculty. After leaving NYCB, Mr. Boal will assume the artistic directorship of Pacific Northwest Ballet, in Seattle.
Jock Soto, who joined NYCB in 1981, will give his final performance on Sunday, June 19. The special program is a tribute to the range of Mr. Soto’s repertory and features ballets by five different choreographers: “Dance at the Gym” from Robbins’ West Side Story Suite, Mr. Martins’ Barber Violin Concerto, Mr. Wheeldon’s Liturgy (in its only performance of the season), Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Chiaroscuro, and the Royal Navy section of Balanchine’s Union Jack.
Mr. Soto, who is half Navajo Indian and half Puerto Rican, was born in Gallup, New Mexico, and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. While a student at the School of American Ballet, Mr. Soto danced the role of Luke in Peter Martins’ The Magic Flute, which was choreographed for SAB’s 1981 Workshop Performances. That year he became a member of the Company’s corps de ballet. In 1984 he was promoted to the rank of soloist, and one year later he became a principal dancer. During his career at NYCB, Mr. Soto has danced featured roles in nearly 50 ballets, in addition to having over 35 roles choreographed on him, principally by Mr. Martins and Mr. Wheeldon. Since 1996, he has been a permanent member of the faculty at SAB, where he teaches partnering and technique classes to intermediate and advanced students. Mr. Soto will remain on the SAB faculty after his retirement from NYCB.
Beginning March 14, single-ticket orders for the spring season will be accepted by mail and through the NYCB website at www.nycballet.com.
Beginning April 11, single tickets will also be available by calling Ticketmaster at 212-307-4100 and at the New York State Theater box office.
The New York State Theater is located on the Lincoln Center Plaza at Columbus Avenue at 63rd Street. The mailing address for the NYCB Box Office is New York State Theater, 20 Lincoln Center, New York, NY 10023. For general information on tickets for any New York City Ballet performance, call 212-870-5570, or visit www.nycballet.com.
New York City Ballet extends special thanks to Movado for its generous support of new choreography during the 2004-05 season.
New York City Ballet is grateful to the American Express Company for its support of the Family Fun Series.
Major support for new work is provided by The Irene Diamond Fund and members of the New Combinations Fund.
New York City Ballet gratefully acknowledges the Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund for its support of new work and audience development.
The creation and performance of works by Peter Martins is funded in part by an endowment gift from the Solomon family, given in loving memory of Carolyn B. Solomon.
Christopher Wheeldon’s work as New York City Ballet’s Resident Choreographer is made possible by a generous grant from the Geoffrey C. Hughes Foundation. The position of Resident Choreographer is also supported by a generous gift from Xenia Krinitzky Roff.
Major support for French programming is provided by The Florence Gould Foundation.
New York City Ballet’s 2004-05 season is also made possible in part by Gillian Attfield/Harriet Ford Dickenson Foundation, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, The Shubert Foundation and contributors to the Repertory and Education Funds and with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
American Airlines is New York City Ballet’s Preferred Airline.
The Jewel of Russia is New York City Ballet’s Preferred Vodka.
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