New York Theatre Ballet's LEGENDS AND VISIONARIES Program Features Alston Premieres, Beginning Today
New York Theatre Ballet's (NYTB) spring program, Legends And Visionaries, will perform two of Richard Alston's works; A Rugged Flourish and the U.S. premiere of Light Flooding Into Darkened Rooms.
The spring program also includes Jerome Robbins' Rondo (not seen in NYC since 1982), Antony Tudor's Dark Elegies and the pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet, José Limón's The Moor's Pavane and, as a nod to the 50th Anniversary of the Judson Dance Theater movement, James Waring's An Eccentric Beauty Revisited and Feathers.
NYTB is proud to continue its tradition as an incubator for new art by commissioning new works. This year it presents two world premieres made for the Company by Gemma Bond and Pam Tanowitz.
Program A: Opening night tonight, February 22 at 7:00pm, with additional shows on February 23, April 19 and 20, includes Richard Alston's Light Flooding Into Darkened Rooms, José Limón's The Moor's Pavane, Jerome Robbins' Rondo, a new ballet by Pam Tanowitz and Antony Tudor's pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet.
Program B: Opening night March 22 at 7:00pm, with additional shows on March 23 and May 25, includes Richard Alston's A Rugged Flourish, Gemma Bond's Silent Titles, Antony Tudor's Dark Elegies, and James Waring's An Eccentric Beauty Revisited and Feathers.
All performances are at New York City's Florence Gould Hall.
New York Theatre Ballet presents the U.S. premiere of Richard Alston's Light Flooding Into Darkened Rooms. Originally performed by the Richard Alston Dance Company in Brighton England on October 22, 1997, it is inspired by Vermeer's paintings. The ballet, a pas de deux, conveys a delicacy of feeling masking the formal facade of propriety and gracious behavior. Jo Kondo's Ars Breview, music inspired by Denis Gaultier's 17th century lute pieces, adds a more overt picture of the undercurrents swirling beneath a demeanor of dignity.
José Limón's The Moor's Pavane, with music by Henry Purcell and arranged by Simon Sadoff, is cited by critics the world over as Limón's masterpiece. The ballet captures the drama and passion of Shakespeare's Othello in a timeless portrayal of love and betrayal. Sarah Stackhouse staged the piece for NYTB.
Jerome Robbins' Rondo was choreographed in 1980 for New York City Ballet and is set to Rondo In A Minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Original cast member Kyra Nichols is staging this production for NYTB. It has not been seen in New York City since 1982.
Antony Tudor's Romeo and Juliet was created in 1943 for Ballet Theatre. The one-act version is set to Frederick Delius' Walk to the Paradise Garden. This revival of the pas de deux was staged by Airi Hynninen for New York Theatre Ballet in 2008.
Pam Tanowitz's Ever is After All is set to a score by Henry Cowell and Lou Harrison, which will be performed to live music. Movement motifs are mined from classical ballet and filtered through a contemporary lens.
Richard Alston's A Rugged Flourish is set to Aaron Copland's Piano Variations and will be performed to live music. This piece was choreographed for NYTB and premiered in 2010. As Mr. Alston describes, "Copland's Piano Variations have a brave stony rigour, repeatedly ringing out in grand gesture. A Rugged Flourish portrays a young hero's courage and determination - strong enough to be alone, yet all the stronger for eventually accepting the company."
Gemma Bond's Silent Titles with music by Louis Moreau takes its inspiration from silent films. The ballet reflects the elegance of the silent movie age with black and white costumes and piano music played live on stage.
Antony Tudor's Dark Elegies is considered by many to be his greatest work. The ballet is set to Gustav Mahler's Kindertotenlieder and depicts a community in mourning. The nature of the disaster that has struck remains unspecified, but the grief is palpable.
James Waring's An Eccentric Beauty Revisited is inspired by Nijinsky's Le Dieu Bleu (1912) and danced to Erik Satie's La Belle Excentrique, a composition for piano which will be performed live. The intricate hand-painted costume by Sylvia Nolan is based on the original Leon Baskt design for Nijinsky. NYTB will be using Waring's original hand-beaded mask.
James Waring's Feathers is a solo choreographed for Raymond Johnson, who first performed the dance at the University of California Santa Cruz on July 6, 1973. The music is excerpts from Mozart's quartets for flute and strings in G major and D major. The dance is dedicated to Barbette, the American transvestite trapeze artist (1899-1972). Eulogized by Jean Cocteau and photographed by Man Ray, Barbette was one of the greatest stars of the French music-hall.
Diana Byer, NYTB's artistic director commented "This season combines the work of choreographers I knew and know well. I danced for Antony Tudor and James Waring. Tudor, Robbins and Limón, of course, were keenly aware of each other's work. We consider it part of our mission to juxtapose the old with the new to give context to the dance community. The new choreography this season is from artists we admire who are keenly aware of our past and who are creating the many ways into the dance future."
New York Theatre Ballet (NYTB), founded in 1978 by artistic director Diana Byer, is the most widely seen chamber ballet company in the United States and has been hailed by The New York Times as "an invaluable company". NYTB is dedicated to inspiring a love of dance in diverse audiences through performances of chamber ballet masterpieces and bold new works, as well as innovative one-hour ballets for children, all at affordable prices.
By pairing the ballets of legendary creators with those of contemporary visionaries, NYTB brings a new understanding and appreciation of dance. The approach to live performance for children is groundbreaking and unique. New York Theatre Ballet offers an annual series of hour-long ballets tailored to the attention span of young audience members, while offering high production values and clever choreography sophisticated enough for discerning parents.
NYTB is committed to reaching underserved audiences by performing in small cities throughout the U.S. Its professional school provides ballet training based on the Cecchetti syllabus. Classes are offered at affordable prices. Scholarships are awarded to talented homeless and underserved children along with support for well-rounded learning.
Pictured: Richard Alston's Light Flooding Into Darkened Rooms. Photo Credit: Tom Caravaglia