Architecture of Dance to Celebrate the Company’s Extraordinary Commitment to New Work With Seven World Premiere Ballets, Four Commissioned Scores, and Scenic Designs by Acclaimed Architect Santiago Calatrava
Choreographers Creating New Ballets Include Melissa Barak, Mauro Bigonzetti, Peter Martins, Wayne McGregor, Benjamin Millepied, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon [ ] With Commissioned Scores by Thierry Escaich, Jay Greenberg, Bruno Moretti, and Esa-Pekka Salonen
Season Will Also Include Farewell Performances for Long-Time Principal Dancers Yvonne Borree, Albert Evans, Darci Kistler, and Philip Neal, and NYCB Principal Conductor Maurice Kaplow
New York City Ballet announced today that the Company’s 2010 Spring Season will begin on Thursday, April 29, with a one-time only gala evening celebrating Architecture of Dance – New Choreography and Music Festival, NYCB’s spring season celebration of new work, featuring seven world premiere ballets, and four commissioned scores. Santiago Calatrava, one of the world’s most acclaimed architects, will be creating scenic designs for five of the season’s world premieres, marking the first time that he has created theatrical designs. Calatrava and his wife, Robertina, will also serve as the honorary chairs of the April 29 gala evening. The gala program will be announced at a later date.
The 2010 Spring Season will continue through Sunday, June 27, and will feature performances of more than 40 ballets, including 29 by NYCB’s Founding Choreographers, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.
The Architecture of Dance festival, which has been designed to honor of the 50th anniversary of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, will feature seven world premiere ballets by an international array of choreographers: Melissa Barak, Mauro Bigonzetti, Peter Martins, Wayne McGregor, Benjamin Millepied, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon. Renowned for its commitment to new work, NYCB has premiered more than 300 original works since relocating to Lincoln Center in 1964.
Four scores have also been commissioned for the festival 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’ world premiere.
The Salonen score is a co-commission of NYCB, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where it premiered in April. Salonen will conduct the NYCB Orchestra for all performances of the new Martins ballet, which will also feature the acclaimed Canadian violinist Leila Josefowicz, for whom the concerto was written.
For the four ballets set to commissioned scores – Bigonzetti/Moretti, Barak/Greenberg, Martins/Salonen, Millepied/Escaich – and for the new ballet by Wheeldon, the scenic design will be by Calatrava. One of the world’s leading architects, Calatrava is best known for his dazzling public projects, such as bridges, stadiums and train stations, in various cities around the world. Calatrava is currently designing the new transit hub at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan.
In addition to the new ballets being created for the Architecture of Dance festival, NYCB’s 2010 Spring Season will also feature performances of 22 works by George Balanchine, and 7 by Jerome Robbins, as well as additional works by Martins, Wheeldon, and Alexey Miroshnichenko.
A special highlight of the season will be a revival of Balanchine’s Danses Concertantes, which will return to the repertory for the first time since 1999 with funding from American Express. Originally created in 1944 for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Balanchine later rechoreographed the work for NYCB’s 1972 Stravinsky Festival. Please see season calendar for complete program information.
The 2010 Spring Season will also feature farewell programs for four of NYCB’s long-time principal dancers: Yvonne Borree, Sunday, June 6 at 3 p.m.; Philip Neal, Sunday, June 13 at 3 p.m.; Albert Evans, Sunday, June 20 at 3 p.m.; and Darci Kistler, Sunday, June 27 at 3 p.m., the final day of the 2010 Spring Season.
Kistler, who joined NYCB in 1980, is the only dancer still performing who was trained, hired and promoted to principal dancer by Balanchine. Neal joined NYCB in 1987, with both Borree and Evans joining a year later in 1988.
For her final performance, Borree will dance Balanchine’s Duo Concertant and the third movement from Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet. For their final performances, Neal will dance Balanchine’s Serenade and Who Cares?, and Evans will dance the pas de deux from William Forsythe’s Herman Schmerman, and Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. Kistler’s farewell will include excerpts from Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Martins’ Swan Lake.
In addition to the dancer farewells, the 2010 Spring Season will also include the final performance for Principal Conductor Maurice Kaplow, who will retire with a special performance on Thursday, June 24 at 8 p.m. Kaplow first conducted for NYCB as a guest in 1990, and joined the Company’s music staff one year later.
World Premieres Ballets
Alexei Ratmansky – Score by Edouard Lalo [ ] World Premiere: Wednesday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m.
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.
Wayne McGregor – Score by Thomas Adès [ ] World Premiere: Friday, May 14 at 8 p.m.
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 works for the Paris Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, and Stuttgart Ballet, among others. The score for the new McGregor ballet will be acclaimed British composer Thomas Adès’ Violin Concerto (Concentric Paths), which was composed in 2005.
Benjamin Millepied – Commissioned score by Thierry Escaich [ ] World Premiere: Saturday, May 22 at 2 p.m.
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. The new Millepied ballet will also feature scenic design by Calatrava.
Christopher Wheeldon – Score by Alberto Ginastera [ ] World Premiere: Saturday, May 29 at 8 p.m.
British-born Wheeldon is currently the artistic director of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. He is a former dancer and resident choreographer for NYCB, and has created 16 previous works for the Company. Wheeldon has also created works for the Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet, among others. The music for the new Wheeldon ballet will be Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera’s 1941 ballet score, Estancia. The score was commissioned by NYCB co-founder Lincoln Kirstein, who had hoped to have Balanchine create a ballet to the score for American Ballet Caravan. The new Wheeldon ballet will also feature scenic design by Calatrava.
Melissa Barak – Commissioned score by Jay Greenberg [ ] World Premiere: Saturday, June 5 at 8 p.m.
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. The new Barak ballet will also feature scenic design by Calatrava, and costumes underwritten in part by Bergdorf Goodman and designed by acclaimed fashion designer, Gilles Mendel, of J. Mendel, marking his first designs for the stage.
Mauro Bigonzetti – Commissioned score by Bruno Moretti [ ] World Premiere: Thursday, June 10 at 8 p.m.
The former Artistic Director of Italy’s Aterballeto 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. The new Bigonzetti ballet will also feature scenic design by Calatrava.
Peter Martins – Commissioned score by Esa-Pekka Salonen [ ] World Premiere: Tuesday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m.
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. Salonen will conduct the NYCB Orchestra for all performances of the ballet. The new Martins ballet will also feature scenic design by Calatrava.
All performances will take place at the David H. Koch Theater, which is located on the Lincoln Center Plaza at Columbus Avenue and 63rd Street. For general information on tickets for any New York City Ballet performance, call 212-870-5570, or visit www.nycballet.com.
Leadership support for The Architecture of Dance: New Choreography and Music Festival is provided by: Joseph and Sylvia Slifka Foundation; Harriet Ford Dickenson Foundation; New York Community Trust—Mary P. Oenslager Foundation Fund; Mr. and Mrs. Howard Solomon; The Rockefeller Foundation; and Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin
Generous support is also provided by: Barbara and Brad Evans; The O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation; Bergdorf Goodman; J. Mendel; Barry S. Friedberg and Charlotte Moss; The French-American Fund for Contemporary Music
Major funding for the 2010 Spring Season is provided by: Lincoln Center Corporate Fund; John L. and Barbara Vogelstein; Denise Sobel and Norman Keller; Lisa Maria and Philip Falcone; The Jerome Robbins Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; The Ambrose Monell Foundation; Henry and Lucy Moses Fund, Inc.; The Florence Gould Foundation; Geoffrey C. Hughes Foundation; and LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust
Public support for New York City Ballet programming is provided by: New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; National Endowment for the Arts and the Recovery Act; and New York State Council on the Arts
The revival of Danses Concertantes is made possible by American Express.
Major support for new work is provided by: Members of the New Combinations Fund; Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; Rudolf Nureyev Fund for Emerging Choreographers; Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation; Harriet Ford Dickenson Foundation; and Joseph and Sylvia Slifka Foundation
Music leadership support is provided by the Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro Fund for Musical Excellence.
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.New York City Ballet’s performances of works by George Balanchine are supported in part by the Balanchine Production Fund, an endowment created through The Campaign for New York City Ballet.
American Airlines is New York City Ballet’s Official Airline.