Frederic Franklin, Raven Wilkinson, Eleanor D'Antuono Open DanceTalk Series at FFD Festival 9/23

Frederic Franklin, Raven Wilkinson, Eleanor D'Antuono Open DanceTalk Series at FFD Festival 9/23

New York City Center's acclaimed Fall for Dance Festival, running September 22 - October 3, 2009, will feature 20 companies in 10 nights of dance and will pay tribute to the 100th Anniversary of the Ballets Russes. The sixth annual Festival will once again offer all tickets for only $10. Tickets will go on sale Sunday, September 13 at 11:00 am.

The 2009 Festival features 20 American and international companies presenting an eclectic mix of contemporary styles alongside classic pieces, in five unique programs over 10 nights. For the first time all programs will be repeated twice to satisfy the demand for tickets. Several companies will present works that pay tribute to the legendary Ballets Russes, either with reconstructions of original Ballets Russes works or with a contemporary look at Ballets Russes classics.

"We are honored to include a tribute to the Ballets Russes and its extraordinary legacy in this year's Fall for Dance Festival," said Arlene Shuler. "Since one of the goals of the Festival is to introduce a new generation to dance, it is fitting that we will celebrate one of the most important eras in dance history. We are equally delighted that for the sixth consecutive year, we are able to present a rich array of dance companies for only $10 a ticket."

As in past years, the 2009 Festival will feature a wide range of dance styles and traditions, ranging from classical ballet and tap to Capoeira and tango. Thirteen companies will make their Festival debuts: The Australian Ballet, Ballet West, Basil Twist, Batsheva Dance Company, DanceBrazil, Dendy Dancetheater, Diana Vishneva, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Mark Morris Dance Group, Monica Bill Barnes & Company, Tangueros del Sur, Sang Jijia and Savion Glover & The OtheRz. The Festival welcomes back Boston Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Martha Graham Dance Company and New York City Ballet, and New York City Center resident companies Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company and Paul Taylor Dance Company.

City Center's Fall for Dance Festival has received national and international recognition for its quality, innovation and success in introducing new and younger audiences to the world of dance. The Festival has presented 133 different dance companies to more than 100,000 dance enthusiasts, all for the incredibly low price of $10 per ticket. Newcomers and ballet fans alike now look forward to the Festival as both an introduction to new artists and a welcome return to familiar and beloved companies.

New York City Center gratefully acknowledges the Fall for Dance Patrons Committee and the continued support of Time Warner, which has been a major sponsor of the Festival since its inception. "As a global media company, we believe the arts enrich our lives and should be accessible to everyone," said Lisa M. Quiroz, Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Time Warner. "Through Fall for Dance, City Center has put this goal center stage and has led the way in bringing gifted artists from around the world to audiences from across New York City. We are proud to continue our partnership."

New York City Center also recognizes the extraordinary leadership support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which inaugurated a $10 million endowment campaign to ensure the future stability of the annual Fall for Dance Festival. Additional generous funding for the Fall for Dance Festival endowment has been received from The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The Ford Foundation and an anonymous donor. Almost $5 million in commitments have been received to date.


From its legendary first performances in Paris in 1909, Russian impresario Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes redefined ballet for the twentieth century. Diaghilev brought together dancers, choreographers, composers and artists trained and nurtured in the Russian tradition, who pushed boundaries; his company became a hotbed of modernist invention. Leon Bakst, George Balanchine, Claude Debussy, Michel Fokine, Leonid Massine, Bronislava Nijinska, Vaslav Nijinsky, Anna Pavlova, Pablo Picasso and Igor Stravinsky were key Ballets Russes artists who overturned many of the conventions of classical ballet and ushered in the era of modern dance. The Ballets Russes lasted a brief 20 years, disbanding after the death of Diaghilev, but between 1909 and 1929 it staged more than 50 innovative new works and revolutionized an entire art form.

The 2009 Festival includes seven companies presenting Ballets Russes classics or contemporary interpretations of these great works: The Australian Ballet's presentation of Fokine's Le Spectre de la Rose; Nijinska's Les Biches by Ballet West; Petrushka Suite, puppeteer Basil Twist's unique interpretation of Fokine's and Stravinsky's Petrouchka; Nijinsky's Afternoon of a Faun, performed by Boston Ballet; Mark Dendy's Afternoon of the Faunes, a re-imagining of Nijinsky's Afternoon of a Faun; Fokine's The Dying Swan, performed by Diana Vishneva, prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theatre; Noces, and a contemporary response to Nijinska's original Les Noces by choreographer Stijn Celis, and performed by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal.

In honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Ballets Russes, New York City Center and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy & Lewis B. Cullman Center, will exhibit portions of Diaghilev's Theater of Marvels: The Ballets Russes and Its Aftermath during this year's Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center. This exhibit can be seen at the New York Library for the Performing Arts from June 26 - September 12, 2009.

In other Ballets Russes?related activities, Fall for Dance's annual DanceTalk series will provide attendees with the opportunity to hear from dance experts about creative collaborations during the Ballets Russes era and influences this seminal period in dance has had on today's artists. Three pre-performance panels, including a discussion with Frederick Franklin and Georgina Parkinson, will take place in the New York City Center studios before selected performances.


The Festival opens on Tuesday, September 22 (repeated Wednesday, September 23) with Boston Ballet's performance of Nijinsky's Afternoon of a Faun (1912), the ballet created for the Ballets Russes that caused a sensation at its Paris premiere. City Center resident company Paul Taylor Dance Company will present Offenbach Overtures (1995), followed by Batsheva Dance Company, Ohad Naharin's renowned Israeli company, making its Festival debut with Naharin's interpretation of the Ravel classic, entitled B/olero (2008). The evening will come to a lively close with THE STaRz and STRiPes 4EVeR for NoW (2009), a group piece by Savion Glover & The OtheRz dedicated to John Coltrane.

Martha Graham Dance Company opens Program Two on Thursday, September 24 (repeated on Friday, September 25) with Diversion of Angels (1948), Graham's romantic work performed to the music of Norman Dello Joio. Tangueros del Sur, a new company featuring world-renowned tango dancers Natalia Hills and Gabriel Misse, makes its debut with Romper el Piso (2008), in which dancers and musicians pay tribute to the art of tango. Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, City Center's guest resident company, will present Lightfoot León's Softly As I Leave You (2009), reworked as a duet. The evening will close with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, returning to the Festival with Noces (2002), based on Nijinska's Les Noces, choreographed for 24 dancers by Belgian choreographer Stijn Celis. (Note: there will be one additional company this evening, tba).

Program Three, on Saturday, September 26 (repeated Sunday afternoon, September 27) gets off to a poetic start with Petrushka Suite, renowned puppeteer Basil Twist's 2001 response to Fokine's ballet Petrouchka, set to a two?piano interpretation of Stravinsky's score. New York?based Monica Bill Barnes & Company follows with Barnes' upbeat, contemporary piece, I feel like (2008), with music by Bach and James Brown. Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo make their Festival debut with the Balanchine?inspired Go for Barocco (1974), and the evening concludes on a spirited note, with DanceBrazil's Culture in Motion (2009), choreographed by DanceBrazil founder Jelon Vieira, using traditional Capoeira form.

Week Two begins with the fourth program on Wednesday, September 30 (repeated on Thursday, October 1) with two different looks at the Ballets Russes. Opening the evening will be Ballet West's acclaimed production of Nijinska's Les Biches (1924), for 19 dancers, with music by Poulenc. Choreographer Mark Dendy and his Dendy Dancetheater present Afternoon of the Faunes (from Dream Analysis, 1996), a re-interpretation of Nijinsky's Afternoon of a Faun, followed by New York City Ballet's quirky Herman Schmerman Pas de Deux (1992), choreographed by William Forsythe. Mark Morris Dance Group's exhilarating Grand Duo (1993), choreographed by Morris for 14 dancers to the music of Lou Harrison, will end the evening.

The Australian Ballet, not seen in this country for over a decade, opens the final program of the Festival, on Friday, October 2 (repeated Saturday, October 3) with Fokine's Le Spectre de la Rose (1911), with music by von Weber. Tibetan choreographer/dancer Sang Jijia performs his work, Snow (2008), a solo with music by Wim Mertens. Russian prima ballerina Diana Vishneva follows with her interpretation of Fokine's classic, The Dying Swan (1905). The Festival comes to a close with New York City Center's resident company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and its joyous signature piece, Revelations (1960).

Ellen Dennis serves as Producer and Wendy Perron as Artistic Advisor to the New York City Center Fall for Dance Festival.


Lounge FFD appears only once each year, during the Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center. For each Fall for Dance performance, the public atrium between 55th and 56th Streets (immediately west of the theater's main entrance) is transformed into a vibrant gathering place for audience members and artists. Featuring music by a rotating roster of NYC DJs, Lounge FFD offers Festival attendees, performers and neighborhood friends a place to relax and mingle, share a cocktail and have a snack, before and after the show? as well as during intermission ? while video monitors throughout the Lounge follow the action onstage.

Lounge FFD is open to the general public as well as to Festival artists and attendees. No tickets are required and everyone is welcome.

Lounge FFD 2009 DJ's will include DJ Charles Gaskins (Hullabaloo), RekLES (Girls and Boys), DJ Lupe Loop, DJ Ultra V (Rockem Sockem), Captain Heartlock, Tom Ward (Nashville Ramblers), DJ Shakey (Warper), DJ Xerox, and Patrik Phalen. This year's restaurant partners will include Osteria del Circo, Nocello, Le Bonne Soupe, Brasserie Cognac, Beacon, and Seppi's.


As in past years, the Festival will offer to both ticket buyers and the general public FREE dance lessons, held in Lounge FFD, beginning 90 minutes before curtain time. This year's lessons include tap on Wednesday, September 23; tango on Friday, September 25; Capoeira on Sunday, September 27 and an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Revelations workshop on Saturday, October 3.

NEW YORK CITY CENTER has long been known and beloved by New York audiences not only as one of the City's preeminent performing arts institutions but also as an accessible and welcoming venue for dance and theater. New York City Center produces the Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series, and is home to some of the country's leading dance companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor Dance Company and Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, as well as Manhattan Theatre Club, one of New York's leading theater companies. Continuing to fulfill its mission to make the arts accessible to the broadest possible audience, in 2004, City Center launched the acclaimed Fall for Dance Festival. In 2006, City Center formed a partnership with London's Sadler's Wells Theatre to facilitate the exchange of innovative dance works. In 2007, City Center introduced the Encores! Summer Stars series with the critically acclaimed production of Gypsy, which was followed by the 2008 hit, Damn Yankees, and this summer's production of The Wiz.

NEW YORK CITY CENTER FALL FOR DANCE FESTIVAL runs Wednesday, September 22 through Saturday, October 3, 2009 at New York City Center (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues). All performances are at 8 pm, except for the Sunday, September 27 performance, which is a

3 pm matinee. All tickets for the Fall for Dance Festival are $10 and go on sale on Sunday, September 13 at 11 am. Tickets can be purchased by calling CityTix® at 212-581-1212, online at or at the City Center Box Office, (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues).

(All Programming Subject to Change)

* Denotes Company performing a work as part of the 100th Anniversary celebration of the Ballets Russes.




Afternoon of a Faun (1912), choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky for the Ballets Russes, created great controversy at its premiere because of its erotic undertones. Today it is considered one of the premiere modern ballets. Debussy's music and Nijinsky's choreography were both inspired by Stéphane Mallarmé's poem, "L'après-midi d'un faune." The ballet was originally staged to depict the dancers as part of a large tableau, moving across the stage in profile as if on a Grecian vase. Boston Ballet's production of Afternoon of a Faun was staged by Ghislaine Thesmar.

Boston Ballet, founded in 1963, is one of the leading dance companies in North America. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen, the company maintains an internationally acclaimed repertoire of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works, ranging from full-length story ballets to new works by some of today's finest choreographers.


Offenbach Overtures (1995), choreographed by Paul Taylor, is a comic take on French manners: Dueling officers realize that discretion is the better part of valor, leaving their seconds to slug it out.

Paul Taylor Dance Company, established in 1954 and a New York City Center resident company, is one of the world's most highly respected dance troupes. People throughout the world have seen and enjoyed live modern dance performances due largely to the far-reaching tours Paul Taylor pioneered as a virtuoso dancer in the 1950s. He has a collection of 130 dances performed by the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Taylor 2 as well as renowned ballet companies. At 79, Paul Taylor is commissioned by leading companies, theaters and presenting organizations the world over.


B/olero (from Project 5, 2008), is choreographed by Ohad Naharin to pioneering Japanese composer and synthesizer expert Isao Tomita's interpretation of Ravel's classic score.

Batsheva Dance Company was founded in 1964 in Israel by Martha Graham and Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild and has become one of the world's leading dance organizations. Batsheva has a great impact on all aspects of cultural life in Israel, with an extensive outreach and education program. Known for its groundbreaking, innovative and emotive productions, Batsheva has performed to critical acclaim, reaching audiences at the most prestigious theatres and festivals around the world. With over 200 annual performances in Israel and abroad, Batsheva, under the artistic direction of Ohad Naharin, is proud to be considered Israel's leading cultural ambassador.


THE STaRz and STRiPes 4EVeR for NoW, choreographed by Savion Glover, is a reworking of John Phillip Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever." The piece is dedicated to John Coltrane, for all that he has inspired through his efforts towards advancing the sound of music.

Savion Glover & The OtheRz, under the musical direction of Savion Glover, is the first quartet to allow the sound of tap dancing to be recognized as an additional instrument and as part of the band. Inspired by John Coltrane, Savion Glover & The OtheRz continue to pay homage to jazz greats through song, while highlighting tap dance as the leading instrument.





Diversion of Angels (1948), originally titled Wilderness Stair, premiered at the Palmer Auditorium of Connecticut College on August 13, 1948. Diversion of Angels is set to a romantic score by Norman Dello Joio and takes its themes from the infinite aspects of love. The Couple in Red embodies romantic love and "the ecstasy of the contraction"; the Couple in White, mature love; and the Couple in Yellow, a flirtatious and adolescent love.

Martha Graham Dance Company, founded in 1926, is the oldest and one of the most celebrated contemporary dance companies in America. Martha Graham is recognized as a primal artistic force of the 20th century. She created 181 ballets and a dance technique that has been compared to ballet in its scope and magnitude. Her approach to dance and theater revolutionized the art form and her innovative physical vocabulary has influenced dance worldwide. Since its inception, the company has received international acclaim from audiences in over 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.