New York City Ballet's Spring 2014 Gala Features Sufjan Stevens, CAROUSEL and Kristen Bell Tonight
New York City Ballet hosts its 2014 Spring Gala tonight, May 8 at 7pm, featuring a special one-time-only program designed by NYCB's Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins to pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the opening of the New York State Theater (now the David H. Koch Theater) at Lincoln Center, as well as celebrate its future with a World Premiere ballet by choreographer Justin Peck and composer Sufjan Stevens.
The first half of the evening will feature works that were performed at the theater's inaugural performances in April 1964, including George Balanchine's Allegro Brillante, which was created in 1956 to music by Tschaikovsky, and Igor Stravinsky's Fanfare for a New Theater, which was composed in 1964 for the opening of the theater.
The inaugural performance also included excerpts from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, and for the 2014 Spring Gala the actress and singer Kristen Bell will perform an excerpt from the beloved 1945 Broadway musical. The Music Theater of Lincoln Center, which was directed by Richard Rodgers, was one of the original resident companies of the New York State Theater, and presented musical theater productions at the venue from 1964 to 1969.
Bell, whose studied musical theater at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, recently voiced the starring role of Princess Anna in Disney's Oscar-winning animated film Frozen. She made her Broadway debut as Becky Thatcher in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in 2001, and is best known as the title character Veronica Mars in both the television series and feature film. Bell has also appeared in numerous films and television projects, including Showtime's House of Lies, When in Rome, and the title character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
The second half of the evening will feature a world premiere ballet by the young choreographer and NYCB Soloist Justin Peck, set to a commissioned score by the acclaimed musician and composer Sufjan Stevens. The Peck/Stevens world premiere will celebrate the extraordinary legacy of new work created by the New York City Ballet since taking up residency at Lincoln Center in 1964. NYCB has presented more than 300 world premieres on the theater's stage during the past 50 years.
Designed by the legendary architect Philip Johnson and built especially for George Balanchine and the New York City Ballet, the New York State Theater was the second venue to open on the Lincoln Center campus, following Philharmonic Hall (now Avery Fisher Hall) which opened 1962. (New York City Ballet was co-founded by Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein at the City Center of Music and Drama in 1948.)