New York City Ballet Will Not Perform Live During Winter and Spring of 2021; Announces Plans to Return for 2021-22 Season

The 2021-22 Season is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

By: Oct. 23, 2020
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New York City Ballet Will Not Perform Live During Winter and Spring of 2021; Announces Plans to Return for 2021-22 Season

New York City Ballet, which has not presented live performances since March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, today announced that it will be unable to perform at the David H. Koch Theater during the winter and spring of 2021 due to continuing health concerns and mandatory New York State and New York City regulations prohibiting large-scale, live indoor gatherings which are required for both NYCB's rehearsals and performances. The decision was finalized at a meeting with the Company's board of directors late yesterday.

NYCB plans to return to the stage of the David H. Koch Theater, its home at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts since 1964, for its 2021-22 Season, which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

The announcement was made by NYCB Executive Director Katherine Brown and Artistic Director Jonathan Stafford. "We are devastated that New York City Ballet will not be able to perform next winter and spring as we previously hoped, but our primary focus during the ongoing health crisis is the safety of our artists, staff, and audiences. In consultation with medical and government officials, it has become increasingly clear that returning to our home at Lincoln Center to present live performances will not be possible during the early months of 2021," said Brown and Stafford.

"After already cancelling our 2020 spring, fall, and Nutcracker seasons, losing an additional 12 weeks of performances in the winter and spring of next year is heartbreaking for everyone at NYCB. The financial ramifications related to the ongoing pandemic have been staggering with projected losses of more than $45 million in ticket sales alone," said Brown. "Despite these challenges, it has been very heartening to make plans for a return to our theater in September of 2021."

"While more than a year off the stage is an eternity for dancers whose careers are already short, the Company has recently begun to take small steps towards a return, with our rehearsal studios reopening last month for dancers to begin conditioning on their own," said Stafford. "In the coming weeks we hope to move into the next phase of activity and expand studio access to small groups of dancers as we continue to build towards a safe and healthy return for the full company."

Brown and Stafford added that if circumstances change and allow for some kind of live performance activity sooner than next September at an appropriate venue that is safe for artists and audiences alike, NYCB will be open to exploring those opportunities.

"In the meantime, the Company plans to maintain an online presence through performance streams, interactive virtual classes and educational workshops, and other original content," Brown and Stafford added. Plans for additional digital offerings will be made in the coming months.


The 2021-22 Season will also mark NYCB's first season fully planned by the Company's new artistic leadership team, with programming curated by Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan working in collaboration with Artistic Director Jonathan Stafford and Resident Choreographer and Artistic Advisor Justin Peck.

In announcing the programming for the 2021-22 Season, Whelan said, "While the ongoing shutdown continues to be challenging for everyone, it has been very gratifying to look to the future and make plans to launch this first full season that Jon, Justin and I have programmed. It is certain to be a very exciting and moving year of performances by our amazing company of artists."

Six World Premiere Ballets

Highlights of the 2021-22 season will include six world premiere ballets, including new works by Sidra Bell and Andrea Miller during the 2021 Fall Season, new works by Justin Peck and Jamar Roberts during the 2022 Winter Season, and new works by Silas Farley and Pam Tanowitz during the 2022 Spring Season.

"We are honored to present the most diverse group of choreographers who have ever been commissioned by NYCB during a single season," said Whelan. "I know that these artists will inspire and energize everyone here as we continue our unparalleled commitment to expanding the ballet repertory, as well as continuing our work to make the Company a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution."

September 21, 2021 - Opening Night Performance

New York City Ballet's 2021-22 Season at Lincoln Center will open on Tuesday, September 21, with a special celebration of the Company's return to the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. "This opening night performance at our home theater after more than a year away from its stage will be an unforgettable evening for both the Company and our audiences," said Whelan. Programming for this one-time-only performance will be announced at a later date.

Fall Fashion Gala - Thursday, September 30 - Bell and Miller World Premieres

The Company's annual Fall Fashion Gala will take place on Thursday, September 30 featuring the World Premiere ballets by Sidra Bell and Andrea Miller, both of whom are making their first-ever works for the stage at NYCB. The fashion designers who will collaborate with Bell and Miller will be announced at a later date.

Winter Season World Premieres by Justin Peck and Jamar Roberts

For the 2022 Winter Season, NYCB Resident Choreographer and Artistic Advisor Justin Peck will create a new work that will premiere on Thursday, January 27 as part of the Company's annual New Combinations Evening, on a program that will also include Merce Cunningham's Summerspace.

The Winter Season will also include a new ballet by Jamar Roberts set to music by Kyle Preston, which was originally announced for the 2020 Spring Season, and will now premiere on Thursday, February 3. In 2019 Roberts was named the Resident Choreographer of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where he joined as a dancer in 2002.

World Premiere by Silas Farley for the 50th Anniversary of NYCB's 1972 Stravinsky Festival

Highlighting the 2022 Spring Season will be a two-week celebration of the 50th Anniversary of NYCB's legendary 1972 Stravinsky Festival, from Tuesday, May 3 through Sunday, May 15. The celebration will feature ballets to Stravinsky's music by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Justin Peck, as well as two orchestral works performed by the 62-piece New York City Ballet Orchestra which is led by NYCB Music Director Andrew Litton.

The anniversary celebration will also include a World Premiere ballet created in tribute to Stravinsky and Balanchine's landmark works by former NYCB dancer Silas Farley, who recently retired from dancing to pursue other educational and artistic opportunities. The score for the new ballet will be created by composer and writer David K. Israel and based on a 1946 musical exchange between Balanchine and Stravinsky, in which Balanchine wrote an acrostic poem in Russian as a gift for Stravinsky's 65th birthday and set it to a simple melody. Stravinsky then harmonized the melody as a gesture of gratitude for Balanchine.

The new Farley ballet will premiere on Thursday, May 5 as part of the Company's annual Spring Gala performance.

Spring Season Premieres by Pam Tanowitz and Collaboration with Dance Theatre of Harlem

The 2022 Spring Season will also feature the World Premiere of a new work by choreographer Pam Tanowitz set to composer Ted Hearne's Law of Mosaics for string ensemble, which was originally scheduled to premiere during the 2020 Spring Season, and will now premiere on Friday, April 22.

The same performance will also include the NYCB Premiere of Pam Tanowitz's Gustave Le Gray No. 1, a quartet that was originally created in 2019 for "Ballet Across America" at the Kennedy Center and featured dancers from Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) and Miami City Ballet. For the NYCB premiere of Gustave Le Gray No. 1, which is set to music by Caroline Shaw performed by an on-stage pianist, the work will be performed by two dancers from NYCB and two guest dancers from DTH, marking the first time in 20 years that the two companies have performed together at Lincoln Center.

Ask la Cour, Maria Kowroski, Gonzalo Garcia - Farewell Performances

The 2021-22 Season will also feature Farewell Performances for three of the Company's long-time Principal Dancers - Ask la Cour on Saturday, October 9, 2021; Maria Kowroski, on Sunday, October 17, 2021; and Gonzalo Garcia on Sunday, February 27, 2022. "It is always bittersweet for both the Company and our audiences to say goodbye to beloved dancers, but we look forward to celebrating Maria, Ask, and Gonzalo's incredible careers at these three special performances," said Stafford.

Chun Wai Chan Joins NYCB As Soloist

Chun Wai Chan, formerly a Principal Dancer with the Houston Ballet, will join NYCB as a Soloist next year. "We are very happy to announce that Chun Wai Chan will join New York City Ballet as a Soloist," said Stafford and Whelan. "We first talked to him in January about becoming a member of NYCB for the start of the 2020 Fall Season, but had to postpone those plans when that season was cancelled. Chun Wai will be a wonderful addition to our roster of dancers and we look forward to working with him when we return to rehearsals for the 2021-22 season."

  1. in Guangdong, China, Chan trained at the Guangzhou Art School from 2004 to 2010. In 2010 Chan was a finalist at the Prix de Lausanne ballet competition which earned him a full scholarship to study with Houston Ballet's Second Company, Houston Ballet II. In 2012 Chan joined Houston Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet and he was promoted to Principal in 2017.

His repertory with Houston Ballet included leading roles in ballets by Stanton Welch, Ben Stevenson, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, John Cranko, William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Edwaard Liang, Wayne McGregor, Trey McIntyre, and Justin Peck, among others.

Chan was also featured in Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" in 2016 and Pointe Magazine's "Standouts of 2017." He has also appeared at the Nijinsky Gala XLI in Hamburg, Germany (2015), New York City Center's Fall for Dance Festival (2015), and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (2018). Chan was also a Guest Principal with Hong Kong Ballet in 2018 and 2019.


Complete programming details for the 2021-22 Season will be announced at a later date, in addition to the new works, repertory highlights will include:

2021 Fall Season - Tuesday, September 21 through Sunday, October 17

George Balanchine's Serenade, Agon, Symphony in C, Chaconne, Western Symphony, and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

Jerome Robbins' Glass Pieces and Opus 19/The Dreamer

Alexei Ratmansky's Namouna, A Grand Divertissement

Christopher Wheeldon's Mercurial Manoeuvres and After the Rain (pas de deux)

Justin Peck's Rotunda

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker® -- Friday, November 26 through Sunday, January 2

2022 Winter Season -- Tuesday, January 18 through Sunday, February 27

George Balanchine's Diamonds, The Four Temperaments, Mozartiana, La Valse, Pavane, and Prodigal Son, Walpurgisnacht Ballet, and The Unanswered Question from Ivesiana

Jerome Robbins' Moves and Andantino

Pam Tanowitz's Bartók Ballet

Peter Martins' Swan Lake

Christopher Wheeldon's DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse

2022 Spring Season -- Tuesday, April 19 through Sunday, May 29

George Balanchine's Agon, Apollo, Orpheus, Firebird, Symphony in Three Movements, Rubies, Duo Concertant, Divertimento from 'Le Baiser de la Fée,' Le Tombeau de Couperin,

Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Divertimento No 15, and A Midsummer Night's Dream

Jerome Robbins' The Cage, Circus Polka, Afternoon of a Faun, and Piano Pieces

Justin Peck's Pulcinella Variations and Scherzo Fantastique


packages for the 2021-22 season will go on sale in mid-November. Single tickets for George Balanchine's The Nutcracker® and repertory performances for the 2021-22 Season will go on sale next year, date to be announced. packages and single tickets will be available online at or by phone at 212-496-0600. All performances will take place at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, which is located at West 63rd Street and Columbus Avenue. Programming is subject to change.


ASK LA COUR - Saturday, October 9 at 8pm

Ask la Cour, who joined NYCB in 2002, will give his farewell performance with the Company on Saturday, October 9 at 8pm dancing Balanchine's Monumentum pro Gesualdo and Movements for Piano and Orchestra, and Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain (pas de deux).

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, la Cour began his dance training at the age of nine at the Royal Danish Ballet School. He joined the Royal Danish Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2000, where he performed featured roles in ballets by August Bournonville, John Cranko, Peter Martins, John Neumeier, Alexei Ratmansky, and Lila York. In the fall of 2002 la Cour joined New York City Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to the rank of Soloist in the spring of 2005 and was named a Principal Dancer in the winter of 2013.

Since joining NYCB, la Cour has danced an extensive repertory of ballets by NYCB's co-founding choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, and has also performed leading roles in works by Robert Binet, August Bournonville, Boris Eifman, Jorma Elo, Lauren Lovette, Peter Martins, Benjamin Millepied, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Susan Stroman, Richard Tanner, and Christopher Wheeldon.

In January 2020, la Cour was named the artistic director of the Frank Ohman School of Ballet and New York Dance Theatre, which is based in Commack, New York and was founded in 1979 by former NYCB soloist Frank Ohman who passed away in 2019.

MARIA KOWROSKI - Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 3pm

Maria Kowroski, who has danced with New York City Ballet for more than 25 years, will give her farewell performance with the Company on Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 3pm. The program for the performance will be announced at a later date.

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Kowroski began her ballet training at age seven with the School of Grand Rapids Ballet. She entered the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of NYCB, in the fall of 1992. Kowroski became an apprentice with NYCB in the summer of 1994 and was invited to join the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in January of 1995. In the spring of 1997, she was promoted to the rank of Soloist and in the spring of 1999, Kowroski was promoted to Principal Dancer.

During her extraordinary career with NYCB, Kowroski has performed leading roles in a vast range of works by NYCB's co-founding choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, and is the only current dancer with NYCB to have worked directly with Robbins.

Kowroski has also originated featured roles in works by numerous choreographers including Mauro Bigonzetti, Boris Eifman, Jorma Elo, Eliot Feld, Douglas Lee, Edwaard Liang, Peter Martins, Wayne McGregor, Benjamin Millepied, Matthew Neenan, Justin Peck, Susan Stroman, Helgi Tomasson, and Christopher Wheeldon, among others.

Kowroski has performed as a guest artist with the Mariinsky Ballet in productions of Swan Lake, Jewels, Prodigal Son, and most recently Serenade and In the Night. She has performed in international galas and guested with several ballet companies around the world. She appeared in the production of Carmen at The Metropolitan Opera. She was also a recipient of the Princess Grace Award in 1994 and the statuette award in 2006.

Gonzalo Garcia - Sunday, February 27, 2022 at 3pm

Gonzalo Garcia, who joined NYCB as a Principal Dancer in 2007, will give his farewell performance with the Company on Sunday, February 27, 2022 at 3pm. The program for the performance will be announced at a later date.

Born in Zaragoza, Spain, Garcia began studying ballet at the age of eight at Maria Avila's school. In 1995, he attended the summer session at San Francisco Ballet School and participated in the Prix de Lausanne, becoming the youngest dancer to receive a gold medal. He then returned to the San Francisco Ballet School to resume his studies and joined San Francisco Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in March 1998. He was promoted to Soloist in 2000, and became a Principal Dancer in 2002. His repertory with SFB included leading roles in works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, William Forsythe, Mark Morris, Yuri Possokhov, Helgi Tomasson, and Christopher Wheeldon.

Garcia made his first appearance with NYCB as a guest artist in 2004 when he was invited to perform Balanchine's Ballo della Regina as part of the Company's Balanchine Centennial Celebration.

Since joining NYCB in the fall of 2007, Garcia has performed numerous featured roles in ballets by Balanchine, Robbins, and many other choreographers, including August Bournonville, Benjamin Millepied, and Twyla Tharp. Garcia has also created featured roles in five ballets by NYCB Resident Choreographer Justin Peck, as well as works by Mauro Bigonzetti, Peter Martins, Wayne McGregor, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon, among others. In 2018 Garcia was named to the permanent faculty of the School of American Ballet.


SIDRA BELL - World Premiere - September 30, 2021 (Fall Fashion Gala)

Sidra Bell is the founder of Sidra Bell Dance New York and a choreographer and educator who is currently a Master Lecturer at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, an Adjunct Professor at Marymount Manhattan College, a Lecturer at SUNY Purchase, and an Adjunct Professor at Ball State University in Indiana. She has been an artist in residence at Harvard University, and an Adjunct Professor at Georgian Court University and Barnard College. Bell received a BA in History from Yale University and an MFA in Choreography from Purchase College Conservatory of Dance. She is the founder and creative director of the award-winning MODULE Laboratory, a New York City-based immersive platform for movement and theater artists.

Bell has won several awards, notably a First Prize for Choreography at the Solo Tanz Theater Festival in Stuttgart, Germany and a National Dance Project Production Award from the New England Foundation for the Arts. Her work has been seen throughout the United States and in Denmark, France, Austria, Bulgaria, Turkey, Slovenia, Sweden, Germany, China, Canada, Aruba, Korea, Brazil, and Greece.

Bell has created over 100 works notably for BODYTRAFFIC, Ailey II, The Juilliard School, Whim W'Him, Boston Conservatory at Berklee College, River North Dance Chicago, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Sacramento Ballet, Ballet Austin, Springboard Danse Montréal, and Alonzo King's LINES Ballet School, among others.

Andrea Miller - World Premiere - September 30, 2021 (Fall Fashion Gala)

Andrea Miller is the Artistic Director, Choreographer, and Founder of Brooklyn-based company GALLIM. She creates movement-based works for stage, film, museums, and gallery spaces, and is currently working on a series of dance films and site-specific works.

Her highly acclaimed dances are performed by GALLIM as well as other leading dance companies around the world. Recent commissions include New York City Ballet, Works & Process at the Guggenheim, Martha Graham Dance Company, A.I.M., Ballet Hispánico, Ailey II, Rambert 2, and The Juilliard School, as well as Netherlands Dance Theater 2, Bern Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Grace Farms, and Noord Nederlands Dans.

From 2017-2018, Miller became the first choreographer to hold the distinction of being named Artist-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has been recognized with fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Sadler's Wells, New York City Center, and the Princess Grace Foundation. In October 2018, she was featured in Forbes as a female entrepreneur and leader in the dance world.

Film credits include The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (2018), directed by Xavier Dolan; In This Life (2018) starring former NYCB Principal Dancer Robbie Fairchild; Sara (2020) starring NYCB Principal Dancer Sara Mearns and directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost; Notes on Gathering (2020) directed by Miller and Ben Stamper; Orilla (2002) directed by Miller and Ben Stamper; and Shaping Absence (2020) directed by Miller and Ben Stamper.

Currently an adjunct professor at Marymount Manhattan College, Miller has also served as an adjunct professor at Barnard College, and has been invited to teach across the U.S., recently at Harvard University, The Juilliard School, New York University, Wesleyan University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, among others.

Justin Peck - World Premiere - January 27, 2022

Justin Peck is the Resident Choreographer and Artistic Advisor of New York City Ballet. He has worked with a range of artistic collaborators including composers Dan Deacon, Bryce Dessner, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and Sufjan Stevens; visual artists John Baldessari, Jules de Balincourt, Marcel Dzama, Shepard Fairey, Karl Jensen, Stephen Powers, and Sterling Ruby; and fashion designers Tsumori Chisato, Prabal Gurung, Mary Katrantzou, Humberto Leon, and Dries Van Noten.

He has created more than 40 works for a range of institutions including New York City Ballet, the Paris Opéra Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, and L.A. Dance Project, and his works have also been performed by Dutch National Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Pennsylvania Ballet, among other companies. A native of San Diego, California and a dancer with New York City Ballet from 2007 to 2019, Peck participated in the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of NYCB, in 2009, and received NYCI's first year-long choreographic residency in 2011. Peck was named NYCB's Resident Choreographer, the second in the Company's history, in July 2014.

Peck was the subject of the 2014 documentary Ballet 422, which followed him for two months as he created NYCB's 422nd original ballet, Paz de la Jolla. In 2015, his ballet Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes won the Bessie Award for Outstanding Production. Peck was the Tony Award-winning choreographer of the 2018 Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, and he is the choreographer of the upcoming film adaptation of West Side Story, directed by Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg.

Jamar Roberts - World Premiere - February 3, 2022

Jamar Roberts is the Resident Choreographer of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT). A dancer with the company since 2002, Roberts' first full-length work for the company, Members Don't Get Weary, premiered at New York City Center in December of 2016 to critical acclaim. In December of 2019 he premiered his next work entitled Ode. Roberts has set his work entitled Gemeos on Ailey II.

Roberts is a graduate of the New World School of the Arts and The Ailey School and has danced for AAADT, Ailey II, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. He won the 2016 Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer and has performed as a guest artist with The Royal Ballet in London and made multiple television performance appearances.

He has been commissioned by the Juilliard School Dance Division for both live and virtual works, the March on Washington Film Festival to create a dance on film tribute to the honorable John Lewis, New York City Center's Fall For Dance Festival, and as a Works and Process Virtual Commissioned artist, where he created the acclaimed short work on film entitled Cooped.

PAM TANOWITZ - World Premiere - April 22, 2022

Pam Tanowitz, New York-based choreographer and founder of Pam Tanowitz Dance, is known for her unflinchingly post-modern treatment of the classical dance vocabulary.

Tanowitz was recently named the first-ever Choreographer in Residence at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. In 2019, she received the Herb Alpert Award in Dance. Other awards include Baryshnikov Arts Center's Cage Cunningham Fellowship (2017), City Center Choreography Fellowship (2016), Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University Fellowship (2016), Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University (2013), Guggenheim Fellowship (2011), and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Grants to Artist Award (2010). She received Bessie Awards in 2009 & 2016.

In addition to Bartók Ballet (2019) created for NYCB, Tanowitz's recent works include commissions from American Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, the Kennedy Center's "Ballet Across America," Martha Graham Dance Company, The Joyce Theater, Bard Summerscape Festival, Vail International Dance Festival, and New York Live Arts, among numerous others. She has also created or set work for City Center's Fall for Dance Festival, The Juilliard School, Ballet Austin, New York Theater Ballet, and Saint Louis Ballet; and has been a guest choreographer at Barnard College and Princeton University.

Originally from New Rochelle, New York, Tanowitz holds degrees from The Ohio State University and Sarah Lawrence College, and is currently a visiting guest artist at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

SILAS FARLEY - World Premiere - May 5, 2022 (Spring Gala)

Silas Farley is a choreographer and an Armstrong Visiting Artist-in-Residence in Ballet at Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts. Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, Farley danced with New York City Ballet from 2012-2020, and has been a choreographer since age 11.

Farley has created ballets for MetLiveArts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum's Virtual Commissions initiative, the School of American Ballet (SAB), the New York Choreographic Institute, the Columbia Ballet Collaborative, and the Practicing Silence workshop at Grace Farms Foundation. He has been commissioned by The Washington Ballet to create a work scheduled to premiere in June 2021.

Farley is a guest teacher at SAB and has also guest taught internationally. He served as the 2018-19 Artist in Residence for Ballet Hartford and was an inaugural Jerome Robbins Dance Division Fellow at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, where his research earned him Lincoln Center's 2015 Martin E. Segal Award. He has lectured on ballet extensively and is the host of the "Hear the Dance" episodes of NYCB's City Ballet The Podcast. Since the summer of 2019, Farley has served on the Board of Directors of The George Balanchine Foundation.