Ballet's James Whiteside is White Hot and Coming to a City Near You This Summer
James Whiteside, ballet's most daring principal artist known for his theatrical and technical versatility, will begin an extensive and varied summer tour, with seven appearances worldwide, after the close of the American Ballet Theatre's Metropolitan Opera House Season. Whiteside kicks off the summer at Fire Island Dance Festival, followed by an evening of self-choreographed work at Jacob's Pillow, performances at Joyce Theater with Gemma Bond, BALLETNOW, Vail Dance Festival and Ballet Sun Valley, and lastly a tour to Japan late summer to work with Tokyo Disney. Performances will showcase a variety of dance styles including classical ballet, contemporary ballet, modern, theater jazz and hip-hop.
Now in its 23rd season, the Fire Island Dance Festival, having nearly raised $5 million dollars on behalf of Dancers Responding to AIDS, will invite James to perform in a new work by musical theater chorographer Al Blackstone. How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore? premiering at the festival, July 15 and 16 and set to a soundscape by Prince, centers around a character portrait of a contemporary man, played by James, who has everything-money, power, sex appeal-and the disturbing truth about the lengths he will go to get what he wants.
The following week, James will produce and premiere 5 Dances on Jacob's Pillow Dance's "Inside/Out" stage, July 19. A collection of original works in varied styles that he has created over the last few years, Whiteside will perform with American Ballet Theatre soloist Cassandra Trenary, with narration by actor/show maker Jack Ferver. This program consists of Zero Hour, set to Vivaldi's classic "Winter" and originally co-choreographed by Whiteside and Melissa Hough; On the Water, a pas de deux to Schubert's "Auf Dem Wasser zu Singen"; and You Rascal You, a solo to Louis Armstrong's song of the same name and a murder mystery jazz dance; among other works.
On July 25 and 26, James will join Skylar Brandt, Tyler Maloney, Calvin Royal III, Gabe Stone Shayer, Devon Teuscher, and Cassandra Trenary on the Joyce Stage in the world premiere of Impressions, part of an evening with Gemma Bond. With costume design conceptualized and designed on the Joyce stage by James, the work explores the connection between everyday events and the aesthetics of ballet. Bond's choreography is a study in placing ballet in a less traditional setting-without scenery, without mime and gesture, but through pure dance that creates and inspires emotion and audience connection.