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New York City Ballet's Spring 2014 Gala to Feature Sufjan Stevens, CAROUSEL and Kristen Bell, 5/8; Spring Season Announced!

Related: New York City Ballet
New York City Ballet's Spring 2014 Gala to Feature Sufjan Stevens, CAROUSEL and Kristen Bell, 5/8; Spring Season Announced!

New York City Ballet's 2014 Spring Season will open on Tuesday, April 29, with a one-week Festival of 21st Century Choreographers featuring 11 ballets by 10 different choreographers - Mauro Bigonzetti, William Forsythe, Peter Martins, Benjamin Millepied, Justin Peck, Angelin Preljocaj, Alexei Ratmansky, Liam Scarlett, Richard Tanner, and Christopher Wheeldon - as well the world premiere of a pièce d'occasion by the artist JR, which will debut on opening night.

The Spring Season will also pay tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Company's home at Lincoln Center, the David H. Koch Theater (originally named the New York State Theater), which opened its doors in 1964. In addition to special events and programs throughout the season, NYCB's 2014 Spring Gala on May 8 will celebrate the anniversary year with a one-time-only program both honoring the theater's history and celebrating its future, highlighted by a world premiere collaboration from choreographer and NYCB Soloist Justin Peck and the acclaimed American singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens, who NYCB has commissioned to write a new score for the ballet.

The season will also feature the return of Benjamin Millepied's most recent work for the Company, Neverwhere, on May 27. Neverwhere is set to a score by Nico Muhly, one of Millepied's frequent collaborators, and features costumes designed by the Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen. The work has not been seen since its premiere at the Company's one-time-only Fall Gala performance in September 2013.

Other highlights of the season include two all-Balanchine repertory programs; the first, debuting on May 6, will feature Raymonda Variations, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Le Tombeau de Couperin, and Symphony in C; the second, debuting on May 14, will feature Robert Schumann's "Davidsbu?ndlerta?nze" and Union Jack. The spring will also include an all-Robbins program, consisting of Glass Pieces, Opus 19/The Dreamer, and The Concert, which will debut on May 9. Balanchine's Jewels will also be performed, as well as his full-length production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which will close the spring with a week of performances from June 3 through 8.

Festival of 21st Century Choreographers, April 29-May 4, 2014

The 2014 Spring Season will open with a special week of performances dedicated to the work of 21st century choreographers, featuring 11 ballets by 10 different choreographers as well as an original theatrical work conceived and directed by JR, the prize-winning artist and creator of NYCB's 2014 Art Series installation, The Eye of New York City Ballet.

The Festival of 21st Century Choreographers will feature performances of Peter Martins' Barber Violin Concerto, Christopher Wheeldon's This Bitter Earth, William Forsythe's Herman Schmerman Pas de Deux, and Alexei Ratmansky's Namouna, A Grand Divertissement on April 29 at 7:30 pm, May 2 at 8 pm, and May 4 at 2 pm; Justin Peck's Year of the Rabbit, Angelin Preljocaj's La Stravaganza and Christopher Wheeldon's DGV: Danse a? Grande Vitesse on April 30 at 7:30 pm and May 3 at 2 pm; and Mauro Bigonzetti's Vespro, Richard Tanner's Sonatas and Interludes, Benjamin Millepied's Two Hearts and Liam Scarlett's Acheron on May 1 at 7:30 pm, and May 3 at 8 pm.

World Premiere by Artist JR, April 29, 2014

JR's new work titled Les Bosquets will premiere on Tuesday, April 29, the opening night of the spring season, and will be performed at all performances during the opening week, Tuesday, April 29 through Sunday, May 4, with the exception of the 2 pm matinee on Saturday, May 3.

An eight-minute pièce d'occasion set to an original score composed for the New York City Ballet Orchestra by acclaimed musical artist Woodkid, the work will feature more than 40 NYCB dancers as well as Guest Artist Lil Buck, the Memphis jookin dancer who has worked with such diverse artists as Madonna and Yo-Yo Ma. The work will also feature video projections and costumes by JR (created in collaboration with Marc Happel, NYCB's Director of Costumes), and lighting by Mark Stanley, NYCB's Resident Lighting Director. The premiere will mark JR's debut as a theatrical director, and he is working with NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins to translate his ideas for the stage.

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