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New York City Ballet Opens 4th Annual Art Series, Featuring Marcel Dzama, Today

New York City Ballet will present the fourth installation of its acclaimed Art Series initiative during the Company's 2016 Winter Season. Launched in 2013, the New York City Ballet Art Series features annual collaborations between NYCB and contemporary visual artists who create original works for exhibition at the Company's home, the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.

For the 2016 Art Series, NYCB has commissioned an installation from Marcel Dzama, one of the contemporary art world's most celebrated young artists, whose work has been exhibited extensively around the world and is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art and The Guggenheim Museum in New York, and Tate Modern in London, among other places. Represented by the David Zwirner gallery, the Canadian-born Dzama currently resides and works in Brooklyn.

The theme for Dzama's multidisciplinary Art Series installation is chess in a nod to the artist's ongoing obsession with the chess-loving Marcel Duchamp, and will feature video, drawings, and sculpture.

The installation will be on display from today, January 19 through Sunday, February 28 during all of NYCB's 2016 Winter Season performances. NYCB will also host free, open hours for the general public to view the exhibition on the following dates: Saturday, February 13 through Sunday, February 21 - Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon; Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

NYCB will also hold three special Art Series performances, which will take place on Saturday, February 6 at 8 p.m.; Thursday, February 11 at 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, February 19 at 8 p.m. All single tickets for these three Art Series performances are priced at just $30 and will go on sale at noon on Monday, January 11 at, or by calling 212-406-0600. Each Art Series performance will be followed by a post-performance party on the theater's Promenade open to all audience members, each of whom will receive a special limited-edition takeaway created by Dzama to commemorate the NYCB Art Series collaboration.


In addition to Dzama's Art Series installation, this winter will also mark the first time that an artist has simultaneously created work for both Art Series and a New York City Ballet production, with Dzama designing the sets and costumes for NYCB Resident Choreographer Justin's Peck's winter season world premiere ballet, The Most Incredible Thing, which will be included on all three Art Series performances on February 6, 11, and 19.

Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story of the same name, The Most Incredible Thing is the tale of a young man who builds a spectacular clock in an attempt to win a contest and the incredible consequences that ensue. For the set and costume design Dzama has created two hand-drawn drops and additional scenic elements, as well as more than 50 elaborate costumes, taking inspiration from the Bauhaus artist Oskar Schlemmer and his avant-garde Triadic Ballet from 1922.

The original score for the ballet, which was commissioned by NYCB, has been written by Bryce Dessner, co-founder and guitarist of the Grammy-nominated band The National, and an acclaimed composer who founded the influential MusicNOW Festival and has collaborated with such artists as Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Sufan Stevens, Nico Muhly, and many others. Dessner and Peck previously collaborated on Murder Ballades for L.A. Dance Project. The lighting design for The Most Incredible Thing is by Brandon Stirling Baker.

A dancer with NYCB since 2007, Peck was named the Company's Resident Choreographer in 2014 at the age of 26, and is one of the dance world's most acclaimed young choreographers. The Most Incredible Thing will be Peck's tenth work for NYCB since 2012. He has also created ballets for such companies as Miami City Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet, with upcoming commissions from both the Paris Opera Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Peck is also the subject of the acclaimed documentary film Ballet 422.

In addition to The Most Incredible Thing, the first two Art Series performances on February 6 and 11 will also include ballets by Robert Binet, Troy Schumacher, Myles Thatcher, and Christopher Wheeldon; with the final Art Series performance on February 19 also including works by George Balanchine, Peter Martins, and Christopher Wheeldon.


Marcel Dzama's work is characterized by an immediately recognizable visual language that draws from a diverse range of references and artistic influences, including Dada, Dante, and Duchamp. Best known for his prolific drawings with their distinctive palette of muted colors, in recent years Dzama has expanded his practice to encompass sculpture, painting, film, and dioramas.

Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Dzama received his BFA from the University of Manitoba in 1997 where he was a founding member of the Royal Art Lodge, an artists' collective whose darkly humorous drawings landed an exhibition in a prominent Winnipeg contemporary art space. Since then Dzama's work has been widely exhibited in solo and group presentations throughout the United States and abroad.

In 2014 David Zwirner, New York presented a solo exhibition of Dzama's work, which is where Peck and Dessner, who were looking for a visual artist to collaborate with on their next project, were first introduced to his practice. The exhibition included the US debut of Dzama's film Une danse des bouffons (or A jester's dance), which featured as a performer Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth fame.

Dzama's next show at David Zwirner, New York will take place from January 14 through February 20, 2016, in a two-person exhibition featuring the work of Dzama and artist Raymond Pettibon.


Launched in 2013, the NYCB Art Series was designed to produce annual collaborations between contemporary visual artists and New York City Ballet in an effort to showcase and celebrate the visual arts during NYCB performances at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. The first three installments of Art Series have featured acclaimed installations by FAILE (2013), JR (2014), and Dustin Yellin (2015).

Through the use of non-traditional marketing, social media engagement, and specially priced tickets, the NYCB Art Series was also conceived to engage audiences new to NYCB, as well as to cross pollinate NYCB's existing fans with those of the commissioned artists. During the first three years of Art Series, more than 14,000 ticket buyers attending Art Series performances have been new to NYCB.

In addition to NYCB's unparalleled history of commissioning new work from numerous composers and choreographers, the Company also has a long tradition of working with visual artists such as Isamu Noguchi, Julian Schnabel, Francesco Clemente, Helen Frankenthaler, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, Santiago Calatrava, Per Kirkeby, and others, all of whom have created artworks and other visual elements for NYCB performances. The lobby of the David H. Koch Theater, which was built for NYCB and opened at Lincoln Center in 1964, also features a permanent collection that includes several landmark works of art, including Jasper Johns' Numbers, Lee Bontecou's Untitled Relief, and Elie Nadelman's Two Female Nudes and Two Circus Women.

To learn more about New York City Ballet, or to purchase tickets for any performance, visit, or call 212-460-0600. The David H. Koch Theater is located at Lincoln Center, Columbus Avenue and West 63rd Street.

NEW YORK CITY BALLET is one of the foremost dance companies in the world, with a roster of more than 90 dancers and an unparalleled repertory of modern masterpieces. The Company was founded in 1948 by the legendary choreographer George Balanchine and arts patron Lincoln Kirstein, and quickly became world-renowned for its contemporary style and a repertory of original ballets that has forever changed the face of classical dance. Now under the direction of Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins and Executive Director Katherine Brown, NYCB is committed to promoting creative excellence and nurturing a new generation of dancers and choreographers.

The Travelers Companies, Inc. is the Global Sponsor of New York City Ballet.

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