New York Theatre BalletÂ's Signature 12 Announces World Premiere Performances
New York Theatre Ballet's (NYTB) Signatures 12 presents the world premiere of Gemma Bond's Run Loose, the U.S. premiere of Antonia Franceschi's City Scenes, Richard Alston's A Rugged Flourish as well as new productions of three classic works, Merce Cunningham's Septet, José Limón's The Moor's Pavane, and James Waring's An Eccentric Beauty Revisited--all on March 9 and 10 at New York City's Florence Gould Hall. NYTB Artistic Director Diana Byer commented, "We love the old and are interested in the new, performing them together creates a greater context for understanding both."
Gemma Bond's Run Loose is a three-minute pas de deux to Franz Liszt's Bunte Reihe Movement 12 Im Sturm, which will be performed to live music. Ms. Bond said, "I love this music. I tried to give the dancers movement that wouldn't restrict them, so they could hear the music and also be free to dance." Born in Bedfordshire, England, Bond trained with Sylvia Bebbs and at The Royal Ballet School, joining The Royal Ballet in 2000 and American Ballet Theatre in January 2008 as a member of the corps de ballet. Through ABT's Innovation Initiative program, she has created two pieces. Diana Byer praised her recently saying, "Her work has real structure, real vocabulary. She doesn't copy. She is really exploring her own voice-with a confidence rare in young people." NYTB has invited Ms. Bond to create a full-length ballet for next year.
Antonia Franceschi's City Scenes explores the attraction and possibilities of being young and single in New York City over the course of a night. The piece is set to an original score by AlLen Shawn that was inspired by Robert Schumann's Kinderscenen. Ms. Franceschi is a former New York City Ballet dancer. Born in Columbus Ohio, at eight she moved to New York to study ballet with Margaret Craske. She appeared in the films Fame, Grease and The Golden Bowl. She now resides in London.
Richard Alston's A Rugged Flourish (2011) is set to Aaron Copland's Piano Variations and will be performed to live music. The ballet tells the story of a young hero who encounters six nymphs on a journey. The production premiered last year at NYTB. Known for his instinctive musicality, The New York Times' Alastair Macaulay called Alston "one of the most musically astute choreographers alive" and hailed the ballet as "accomplished, full of interesting detail..." Born in Sussex in 1948, Alston was educated at Eton where he discovered his passion for music. He trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance, and then choreographed for the London Contemporary Dance Theatre before forming the UK's first independent dance company, Strider, in 1972. In 1976, he went to HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York"New York to study at the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio. In 1980, he was appointed resident choreographer with Ballet Rambert. In 1994, Alston took up the post of artistic director at The Place and formed The Richard Alston Dance Company. Since then he has made over 20 pieces for the company.
Merce Cunningham's Septet (1953) is set to Erik Satie's "Trois Morceaux en Forme de Poire," a composition for piano four hands, which will be performed live. Septet is a rarely seen work that had not been professionally danced since 1987 until it was reprised by NYTB in 2011. The poetic ambiguity of the music and dance title expresses the character of this ballet, whose subject is Eros. While delivering intense moments of drama and imagery, Septet also evokes a simplicity and clarity of movement seldom seen in Cunningham's later works.
José Limón's The Moor's Pavane, (1949) danced to the music of 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, who danced in the original production, staged the piece for NYTB. In 1928, at age 20, Limón moved to New York City where he studied under Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. In 1946, Limón founded the José Limón Dance Company.
James Waring's An Eccentric Beauty Revisited (1972) is inspired by Nijinsky's Le Dieu Bleu (1912) and danced to Erik Satie's La Belle Excentrique, a composition for piano four hands 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 masks in their interpretation. James Waring (1922–1975) was a dancer, choreographer, costume designer and theatrical director as well as a dedicated teacher, who selflessly advanced his students and protégés. He is warmly remembered as one of the most influential figures in the New York avant-garde in the late fifties and early sixties and one of dance's great eccentrics.
New York Theatre Ballet's Signatures Series continues its tradition of performing chamber sized or forgotten masterpieces by the great choreographers, and premiering works by young choreographers. In future seasons, NYTB will be performing more works by such masters as Frederick Ashton and Antony Tudor (Dark Elegies), as well as young choreographers Gemma Bond and Pam Tanowitz.