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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:47 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 6883
Location: El Granada, CA, USA

NEW YORK – The Abai State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre will present the
world premiere of a new full-length ballet, Tlep and Sarykys, with
choreography by Margo Sappington. The world premiere will take place on January 23,
2009 at the Abai State Theatre in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Tlep and Sarykys is about a young man’s journey to fulfill his destiny. This
world premiere was commissioned by the Kazakh philanthropist and arts
patron, Sapar Iskakov, and celebrates the work of Sapar Iskakov’s ancestor, the
composer and Kobyz player, Tlep Aspantaiuly.
Tlep and Sarykys will have a commissioned score composed by Kazakh-born
composer, Almas Serkebayev, who has composed two ballet scores and one opera for
the Abai State Academic Opera and Ballet. A Laureate of the State Prize of
Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Serkebayev has also composed two symphonies,
chamber music and music for plays and movies.
The costumes for Tlep and Sarykys will be designed by American costume
designer, Christine Joly. Ms. Joly’s extensive work has included designs for
ballets danced by the National Ballet of Canada, the Pacific Northwest Ballet,
Ballet British Columbia, The Joffrey Ballet, the Atlanta Ballet, the Boston
Ballet, the Colorado Ballet, and the Goteborgs Operan Ballet.
Kazakh-born scenery designer, Ernst Heidebrecht, will design the scenery for
Tlep and Sarykys. Mr. Heidebrecht was a resident designer for opera and
ballet at the Abai State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre before moving to
Germany. Mr. Heidebrecht has designed for opera, ballet and theater in Europe and
Texas-born MARGO SAPPINGTON joined the Joffrey Ballet in 1965 -- at the
invitation of Robert Joffrey -- where she danced an extensive repertoire of works
including ballets by Gerald Arpino. Transitioning from the ballet world, Ms.
Sappington danced on Broadway in Bob Fosse's Sweet Charity, and assisted and
appeared in the award-winning Broadway musical, Promises, Promises,
choreographed by Michael Bennett.
Ms. Sappington's career turned towards choreography. In 1969 she
choreographed the off-Broadway musical, Oh! Calcutta! which premiered at the Eden
Theater in New York. In 1971 she choreographed her first ballet, Weewis, for the
Joffrey Ballet.
In 1993 Ms. Sappington created Slide for the Joffrey Ballet which was a
section of the company's highly acclaimed evening-length work, Billboards, danced
to a score by rock musician Prince. Slide has been performed from New York
to California during the Joffrey Ballet's national tours and as far reaching
as Alaska, Hawaii, and Australia -- seen by millions on stage and later on
television when in the summer of 1993, Billboards was filmed for broadcast on
American and European television. It was also released on videocassette.
In the United States her works have been danced by the Alvin Ailey American
Dance Theatre, Carolina Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, the Houston Ballet, the
Harkness Ballet, the Milwaukee Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the
Pennsylvania Ballet. Her works have been seen internationally as danced by
Aterballetto (Italy), Ballet du Capitole (France), Ballet du Nord (France), Ballet
Nuevo Mundo de Caracas, Nederlands Dans Theater, and the Ballets Jazz de
In 1988 Ms. Sappington created a new ballet, Heliotrope, for the Central
Ballet of China in Beijing -- the first creation by an American choreographer
for the company. Her ballet, Virgin Forest, inspired by Rousseau's jungle
paintings and created for the Milwaukee Ballet, was the subject of an
award-winning documentary for PBS.
Since 1986, Ms. Sappington has formed a close artistic association with
Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago where she has created Cobras in the Moonlight,
Step Out of Love, And Now This, Forging Ground, and a pas de deux, Mirage.
In 1993 Ms. Sappington created the dance drama, Juliana, based on the short
story, "La Intrusa" by Jorge Luis Borges for Rajatabla Danza (Caracas,
Venezuela) and in 1994 created Counterpoint for the Bordeaux Grand Theatre set to
the music of Count Basie.
In 1992, Ms. Sappington initiated her collaboration with Valentina Kozlova
and from that collaboration was born "From Bolshoi to Broadway" and in 1995
formed a collaboration with Ms. Kozlova becoming co-artistic director and
choreographer of The Daring Project. For The Daring Project Ms. Sappington has
choreographed more than a dozen pieces including Don't Bring Lulu, For Ella,
Magyar Dances, and One Summer Night, all choreographed to music ranging from
Liszt and Brahms to songs sung by Ella Fitzgerald, and flamenco music by Paco
de Lucia.
In 2001 Ms. Sappington created a new piece for the Atlanta Ballet, The
Indigo Girls Project, which included the participation of the well-known singing
group, The Indigo Girls. In 2002 Ms. Sappington created
Zuzu Lounge for the Kansas City Ballet. In 2006 Ms. Sappington participated
in BalletMet's Columbus Jazz Orchestra Project. In 2007 Ms. Sappington
created the world premiere, Common People, set to the vocal stylings of William
Shatner, for the Milwaukee Ballet. In 2008 the Arts Umbrella Dance Company of
Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) and the Joffrey Ballet School NYC
presented the collaborative world premiere of Ms. Sappington’s Samsara.
Ms. Sappington has also choreographed several Broadway musicals including
Doonesbury, and revivals of Where's Charley? with Raul Julia, and Pal Joey. She
recently choreographed a Latin version of Andrew Lloyd-Webber's Song and
Dance for the Coconut Grove Playhouse.
Ms. Sappington has also choreographed for opera productions including Aida,
Samson and Delilah, and La Gioconda for the San Francisco Opera which were
presented in international simulcasts, as well as choreography for the San
Francisco Opera's production of Death in Venice, the Canadian Opera Company's
production of The Merry Widow, and the Nederlans Operastichting's production of
La Belle Helene.
Ms. Sappington has also choreographed music videos for Jermaine Jackson and
Pia Zadora, and created the choreography for television commercials for Dr.
Pepper, National Car Rental, L'Eggs, Wendy's, Diet Coke, Dunkin' Donuts, and
Ms. Sappington's choreography has been praised for its marked individuality,
energy, and theatricality. Ms. Sappington was given the Best Choreographer
Award at the Youth America Grand Prix.
In 2005 Ms. Sappington created a role in the premiere of Charles Strouse's
Real Men at the Coconut Grove Playhouse.
Ms. Sappington is also a popular master teacher.

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