James Whiteside and Isabella Boylston to Star in World Premiere of NEO Presented by The Joyce

A virtual post-stream discussion with the artists, moderated by Rob Ashford will take place on May 17.

By: May. 05, 2021
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James Whiteside and Isabella Boylston to Star in World Premiere of NEO Presented by The Joyce

The Joyce Theater Foundation in association with the Argyros Performing Arts Center brings three of the biggest talents from American Ballet Theatre downtown for Neo, a world premiere digital duet. ABT Principal Dancers (and best friends) James Whiteside and Isabella Boylston take on their first post-quarantine collaboration in the brand-new choreography from ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky. Filmed on stage at The Joyce Theater with live musical accompaniment, the tailor-made work for two begins its free 30-day streaming engagement on Monday, May 17 at www.Joyce.org. "Dancing Dialogues," a virtual post-stream discussion with the artists, moderated by Tony Award-winning director/choreographer and Joyce Theater Trustee Rob Ashford, about the creation of Neo immediately follows the May 17 debut. For more information, please visit www.Joyce.org.

In a digital spring season already packed to the hilt with dance luminaries and celebrated companies, The Joyce has added another star-studded offering with one unique twist-free admission. James Whiteside and Isabella Boylston, ABT Principals and stars of the dance world in their own right, come together to celebrate their bond as dancers, collaborators, and friends in the world premiere of Neo. Choreographed by another frequent collaborator of the duo, ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, this debut work allows both dancers to shine individually in their grace and athleticism while also showcasing the strength of their friendship and artistic partnership. Accompanied by live music from Sumie Kaneko and filmed on stage at The Joyce Theater on March 26 under the direction of Nel Shelby Productions, Neo is a joyous reunion of great artists celebrating the ability to create-and each other.

James Whiteside began his training at age nine at the D'Valda & Sirico Dance and Music Centre and continued his training at the Virginia School of the Arts. In 2002, Whiteside joined Boston Ballet II, joined the corps de ballet of Boston Ballet in 2003 and became a second soloist in 2006. He was promoted to first soloist in 2008 and to principal dancer with Boston Ballet in 2009. Whiteside joined American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in September 2012 and was named a Principal Dancer in October 2013. In addition to his vast repertoire, he created The Man in AfterEffect, Harlequin in Ratmansky's Harlequinade, Dionysius in Of Love and Rage, Zephyr in The Seasons, leading roles in AFTERITE, Garden Blue, Serenade after Plato's Symposium, A Time There Was and With a Chance of Rain, and a featured role in Dream within a Dream (deferred). Whiteside has choreographed for music videos, commercials, film and ballet, including New American Romance for ABT, City of Women for ABT Incubator, Sway for Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night's Swing, and On the Water, Zero Hour, and Bells & Whistles, all for Boston Ballet. In 2018, he starred in Arthur Pita's dance/theater work The Tenant at The Joyce Theater. Whiteside hosts his own podcast, "The Stage Rightside with James Whiteside."

Isabella Boylston began dancing at the age of three. While training at the Academy of Colorado Ballet, she won the gold medal in 2001 at the Youth America Grand Prix Finals in New York City. In 2002, she began training at the Harid Conservatory. Boylston joined the ABT Studio Company in 2005, the main Company as an apprentice in May 2006 and the corps de ballet in March 2007. She was promoted to Soloist in June 2011 and to Principal Dancer in August 2014. Beyond her extensive repertoire with ABT, Boylston also created Columbine in Alexei Ratmansky's Harlequinade, The Spirit of the Corn in Ratmansky's The Seasons, and the Diamond Fairy in Ratmansky's The Sleeping Beauty, as well as leading roles in Ratmansky's Chamber Symphony, Christopher Wheeldon's Thirteen Diversions, and Gemma Bond's A Time There Was, and featured roles in Lauri Stallings' Citizen, Ratmansky's Dumbarton, and Demis Volpi's Private Light. Boylston won the 2009 Princess Grace Award and was nominated for the 2010 Prix Benois de la Danse. In 2011, she received the Clive Barnes Award. She was the recipient of the 2014 Annenberg Fellowship. She has appeared as a guest artist with the Mariinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg and the Royal Danish Ballet.

Alexei Ratmansky was born in St. Petersburg and trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow. His performing career included positions as principal dancer with Ukrainian National Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and the Royal Danish Ballet. He has choreographed ballets for the Mariinsky Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Kiev Ballet, and the State Ballet of Georgia, as well as for Nina Ananiashvili, Diana Vishneva, and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Ratmansky's 1998 work, Dreams of Japan, earned a prestigious Golden Mask Award by The Theatre Union of Russia. In 2005, he was awarded the Benois de la Danse prize for his choreography of Anna Karenina for the Royal Danish Ballet. He was made Knight of the Order of Dannebrog by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in 2001. He won his second Benois de la Danse for Shostakovich Trilogy in 2014. Ratmansky was named Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Ballet in January 2004 and later joined American Ballet Theatre as Artist in Residence in January 2009. For American Ballet Theatre, Ratmansky has choreographed On the Dnieper (2009), Seven Sonatas (2009), Waltz Masquerade, a ballet honoring Nina Ananiashvili's final season (2009), The Nutcracker (2010), Dumbarton (2011), Firebird and Symphony #9 (2012), Chamber Symphony, Piano Concerto #1, and The Tempest (2013), The Sleeping Beauty (2015), Serenade after Plato's Symposium (2016),Songs of Bukovina (2017), Whipped Cream (2017), Harlequinade (2018), The Seasons (2019), Of Love and Rage (2020), and Bernstein in a Bubble (2021). Ratmansky was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow for 2013. In 2020, he received a Critics' Circle National Dance Award for Best Classical Choreography for his work with San Francisco Ballet on Shostakovich Trilogy, a co-commission with American Ballet Theatre.

The Joyce Theater Foundation in association with the Argyros Performing Arts Center presents the world premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Neo, starring James Whiteside and Isabella Boylston. The free 30-day streaming engagement will kick off at 5pm on Monday, May 17 and be available through 11:59pm on Wednesday, June 16 at www.Joyce.org. Immediately following the debut, Whiteside and Boylston will participate in a filmed "Dancing Dialogues" event, a Q&A about the piece and the artists' process and partnership moderated by Tony Award-winning Director/Choreographer and Joyce Theater Trustee Rob Ashford. For more information, please visit www.Joyce.org.

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