American Ballet Theatre Announces First Two Weeks of 2014 Spring Season Casting
The season will begin on Monday, May 12 at 6:30 P.M. with the Company's Opening Night Gala, featuring excerpts from Leonide Massine's Gaîté Parisienne, led by Herman Cornejo, Veronika Part and Jared Matthews, and the Company Premiere in Ji?í Kylian's Nuages, danced by Diana Vishneva and Marcelo Gomes. The evening will also include Paloma Herrera in an excerpt from Don Quixote, Hee Seo and Marcelo Gomes in the pas de deux from Cinderella, Polina Semionova in an excerpt from Manon, Gillian Murphy and Ivan Vasiliev in the pas d'action from La Bayadère, James Whiteside and Daniil Simkin in an excerpt from The Dream, Julie Kent and Roberto Bolle in the bedroom pas de deux from Manon, Xiomara Reyes in an excerpt from Coppélia and a performance by students of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. American Ballet Theatre's Spring Gala is sponsored by Lanvin.
The first of eight performances of Don Quixote will take place on Tuesday, May 13, with Polina Semionova and Marcelo Gomes in the leading roles. Guest artist Alban Lendorf, a principal dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet, will dance the role of Basilio for the first time with ABT on Wednesday evening, May 14, opposite Gillian Murphy as Kitri. Guest Artist Maria Kotchetkova will dance the role of Kitri for the first time with ABT on Thursday, May 15, opposite Herman Cornejo as Basilio. Staged by Kevin McKenzie and Susan Jones, with choreography after Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky, Don Quixote is set to music by Ludwig Minkus and features scenery and costumes by Santo Loquasto and lighting by Natasha Katz. The McKenzie/Jones staging of the current production was first performed by ABT on June 12, 1995. This production is generously supported through an endowed gift from Anka K. Palitz, in memory of Clarence Y. Palitz, Jr.
On Tuesday, May 20, the Revival Premiere of Léonide Massine's Gaîté Parisienne will be led by Hee Seo as the Glove Seller and Marcelo Gomes as the Baron. Veronika Part and Jared Matthews will debut in these roles at the matinee on Wednesday, May 21. Staged for ABT by Lorca Massine, Gaîté Parisienne is set to music by Jacques Offenbach and features costumes by Christian Lacroix, scenery by Zack Brown and lighting by Steven Shelley. The ballet was given its Company Premiere on January 19, 1988 in Tampa, Florida with Cheryl Yeager as the Glove Seller, Victor Barbee as the Baron and Johan Renvall as the Peruvian. Gaîté Parisienne received its World Premiere by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1938 at the Theatre de Monte Carlo in Monaco with Nina Tarakanova as the Glove Seller, Frederic Franklin as the Baron and Léonide Massine as the Peruvian. The ballet was last performed by the Company in 1999. Gaîté Parisienne is generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.
Gaîté Parisienne will share the program with George Balanchine's Theme and Variations and Duo Concertant. Polina Semionova and James Whiteside will lead the season's first performance of Theme and Variations on Tuesday, May 20. Guest artist Andrew Veyette, a principal dancer with New York City Ballet, will make his ABT debut in the ballet's leading role opposite Gillian Murphy at the evening performance on Wednesday, May 21. Theme and Variations, set to music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovksy, received its World Premiere on November 26, 1947, danced by Alicia Alonso and Igor Youskevitch. This production, featuring sets and costumes by Zach Brown, with lighting by David K.H. Elliott, received its World Premiere at the David H. Koch Theater on October 30, 2013, led by Gillian Murphy and James Whiteside. ABT gratefully acknowledges Mr. and Mrs. John C. Sites, Jr. for their generous support of Theme and Variations through an endowed gift and a Leading Sponsor gift for costumes. Cindy and Chip Murphy are Leading Sponsors of Theme and Variations. Additional support has been provided by the Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation and Richard S. Ungerleider, M.D.
Misty Copeland and Eric Tamm, in a role debut, will lead the first performance of Duo Concertant on Tuesday, May 20. James Whiteside will debut in the ballet at the matinee on Wednesday, May 21, dancing opposite Paloma Herrera. Set to music by Igor Stravinsky, Duo Concertant received its World Premiere by New York City Ballet at the New York State Theatre on June 22, 1972, danced by Kay Mazzo and Peter Martins. The ballet was first performed by American Ballet Theatre at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on January 18, 2011, with Paloma Herrera and Cory Stearns in the leading roles.