The Joyce Theater Announces Casting for Biennial BALLET FESTIVAL

The Joyce Theater Announces Casting for Biennial BALLET FESTIVAL

Casting updates have been announced for The Joyce Theater Foundation's upcoming Ballet Festival, a two-week festival of ballet showcasing some of America's most exciting contemporary companies and choreographers with Joyce commissions on each program.

Co-curated by Curatorial Associate John Selya, the Festival -- July 19-29 -- is designed to recognize dancers and choreographers who are creating work outside the traditional large company setting and, in many.

This year's festival, newly supported by an endowment established with major support from the Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation, features the Joyce debuts of Claudia Schreier & Company, Cirio Collective, and Gemma Bond, as well as the return of Emery LeCrone DANCE and Amy Seiwert's Imagery.

Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased at www.Joyce.org or by calling JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street. For more information, visit www.Joyce.org.


Emery LeCrone DANCE

Tue, July 18 & Wed, July 19 at 7:30pm; Thu, July 20 at 8pm

Following the success of 2015's sold out performances during The Joyce's Ballet Festival, New York-based choreographer Emery LeCrone returns with a program including three world-premiere ballets and one NY premiere, which will be performed almost entirely with live music. The works will be performed by world renowned artists from the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, as well as the seasoned company members of Emery LeCrone DANCE. Ms. LeCrone's commitment in developing works that feature live music and costume collaborations with fashion designers (which in the past have included Yigal Azrouël and Victoria Barlett) will be a mainstay in this program. This year's program will feature designs by Victoria Bartlett, as well as new pieces in collaboration with Collina Strada, Marine Penvern, and Flagpole Swim. Other designers still to be announced.

These performances will feature New York City Ballet soloist Megan LeCrone, and American Ballet Theatre's Stephanie Williams and Cory Stearns, among Emery LeCrone's own resident company, Emery LeCrone DANCE.

Claudia Schreier & Company

Fri, July 21 & Sat, July 22 at 8pm

"Up-and-coming choreographer" Claudia Schreier (The New York Times) is "making waves," declares Dance Magazine. For its Joyce Theater debut, Claudia Schreier & Company welcomes guest artist Wendy Whelan - hailed as "America's greatest contemporary ballerina" (NY Times) - to premiere a solo Schreier created for her, and to perform Vigil, a breathtaking duet with Dance Theatre of Harlem's Da'Von Doane surrounded by live choir. Additional works highlighting Schreier's distinctive choreographic voice feature leading dancers and musicians from across the country and include a world premiere for New York City Ballet soloist Unity Phelan and principal Jared Angle; a preview of a ballet commissioned by the 2017 Vail Dance Festival set to Leonard Bernstein's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano; the New York premiere of Solitaire, Schreier's acclaimed ballet commissioned by VDF in 2016; and Charge, her contemporary ballet for large ensemble set to an electrifying score by Dutch composer Douwe Eisenga.

These performances will feature former New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan, current NYCB principal dancer Jared Angle, soloist Unity Phelan, corps de ballet member Cameron Dieck, and apprentice Gilbert Bolden III; Dance Theatre of Harlem's Da'Von Doane and Francis Lawrence; Los Angeles Ballet soloist Elizabeth Claire Walker, and company members Jasmine Perry and Samuel Akins; and Pennsylvania Ballet's Craig Wasserman.

Cirio Collective

Sun, July 23 & Mon, July 24 at 7:30pm

Founded by ABT principal Jeffrey Cirio, Cirio Collective was created in the summer of 2015 to explore and develop new choreography. Mr. Cirio approaches the Collective's third season with a special focus on exploring the process, specifically the result from the inspired bond created when artists live and work closely together. For its Joyce debut, the company of ten dancers and two live musicians, present works by Cirio, Paulo Arrais, and Gregory Dolbashian.

These performances will feature American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Jeffrey Cirio soloist Blaine Hoven; current Boston Ballet principal dancers Lia Cirio & Paul Craig, and soloist Isaac Akiba, as well as former Boston Ballet soloist Bradley Schlagheck and former second soloist Altan Dugaraa; Mook Dance Company dancer Brooke Naylor; Kansas City Ballet dancer Emily Mistretta; and Norwegian National Ballet principal dancer Whitney Jensen.

Gemma Bond

Tue, July 25 & Wed, July 26 at 7:30pm

Gemma Bond had her first taste of choreography at the young age of 13 and later returned to the craft when she joined American Ballet Theatre in 2008. In her Joyce debut, produced by INTERMEZZO Dance Company, Ms. Bond presents evenings of dance featuring her new and reconstructed works: Then and Again, The Giving, and Impressions. The three works consider the connection between everyday events and the aesthetics of ballet. Bond's choreography is a study in placing ballet in a less traditional setting-without scenery, without mime and gesture, but through pure dance that creates and inspires emotion, which connects with the audience.

These performances will feature American Ballet Theatre principal dancers Cory Stearns and James Whiteside; ABT soloists Skylar Brandt, Thomas Forster, Luciana Paris, Christine Shevchenko, Devon Teuscher and Cassandra Trenary; and ABT corps de ballet members Alexandra Basmagy, Tyler Maloney, Lauren Post, Calvin Royal III, Jose Sebastian, Gabe Stone Shayer, Katherine Williams and Stephanie Williams.

Amy Seiwert's Imagery

Thu, July 27, Fri, July 28 & Sat, July 29 at 8pm

Amy Seiwert returns to The Joyce with her contemporary ballet company, Imagery, and her first evening-length ballet, which is set to Franz Schubert's voice and piano cycle Winterreise, commissioned by The Joyce Theater. A dramatic monologue portraying a wanderer feeling lost from himself and the world, this ballet explores both internal and physical journeys. Although Seiwert employs classical ballet technique, the piece resonates with current times, investigating the power of modern myth and the Hero's journey cycle. Imagery's artists are ballet trained dancers who are critical thinkers, willing to leave their comfort zones, and who delight in breaking preconceptions of ballet.

These performances will feature Sacramento Ballet's Anthony Cannarella and Shania Rasmussen; Cincinnati Ballet's Tina Laforgia Morse, and former Cincinnati Ballet company member James Gilmer; Smuin Ballet's Ben Needham-Wood; BalletMet's Gabriel Smith; Atlanta Ballet's Jackie Nash; and Oakland Ballet's Alyisia Chang.

Ballet Festival, a sampling of five of the country's most exciting young dance companies whose works represents a range of ballet styles, from neo-classical to contemporary, will be presented at The Joyce Theater from July 18 - 29 according to the following schedule:

Emery LeCrone DANCE

Tue, July 18 & Wed, July 19 at 7:30pm; Thu, July 20 at 8pm

Claudia Schreier & Company

Fri, July 21 & Sat, July 22 at 8pm

Cirio Collective

Sun, July 23 & Mon, July 24 at 7:30pm

Gemma Bond

Tue, July 25 & Wed, July 26 at 7:30pm

Amy Seiwert's Imagery

Thu, July 27, Fri, July 28 & Sat, July 29 at 8pm

Tickets range in price from $10 - $46 and can be purchased by calling JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800 or online at joyce.org. Please note: ticket prices are subject to change. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street.


ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

EMERY LECRONE is an American choreographer, dancer, and teacher, who continues to push the boundaries as an emerging female choreographer of her generation. The Solomon R. Guggenheim has twice commissioned evenings of Ms. LeCrone's choreography for their esteemed Works & Process series. Ms. LeCrone has created new pieces for Colorado Ballet, St. Louis Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and Minnesota Dance Theatre among others. She has received a 2010 New Essential Works Grant to support the development and creation of her work Divergence for Oregon Ballet Theatre and she is a 2011 New York City Center Choreography Fellowship recipient. Ms. LeCrone has choreographed for The New York City Ballet's New York Choreographic Institute, The National Choreographers Initiative, Ballet Builders, and The A.W.A.R.D Show!, as well as created new ballets for the Juilliard School's New Dances, Barnard College, Columbia University, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Goucher College, and The Hartt School, among many others. In 2013, she founded her own company, Emery LeCrone DANCE, with the goal of providing a home for the creation of her new dance pieces and an environment in which to preserve her past repertory.

CLAUDIA SCHREIER has been praised for her distinctive choreographic voice, which fuses neoclassical technique with a contemporary vocabulary. Born in New York, Ms. Schreier trained at the Ballet School of Stamford under the direction of Stephanie Marini and received a B.A. in Sociology and Secondary Degree in Dramatic Arts from Harvard University in 2008. Ms. Schreier has been commissioned by companies and organizations including the New York Choreographic Institute, Vail International Dance Festival, Ballet Academy East, The Ailey School, Lake Tahoe Dance Collective, Intermezzo Dance Company, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, The Harvard Club of New York Foundation, Harvard Ballet Company, and the Academy of Music Arts. She served as choreographic assistant to Damian Woetzel for the premiere of SPACES by Wynton Marsalis at Jazz at Lincoln Center, featuring Lil Buck and Jared Grimes, and rehearsal assistant to Mr. Woetzel for Vail Dance Festival: Remix NYC and the 2016 White House Turnaround Arts Program Talent Show, hosted by Michelle Obama. Since 2015, Claudia Schreier & Company has presented several full-evening performances of her choreography, featuring dancers from New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Dance Theatre of Harlem and collaborations with composers and musicians, including Emmy Award-winning composer Jeff Beal, Douwe Eisenga, and chamber choir Tapestry.

JEFFREY CIRIO has performed with some of the world's best ballet companies, including Boston Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Cirio's vision and work as a major choreographer began with "of Trial" for Boston Ballet's BB@Home series in January 2014. He was then commissioned by Boston Ballet to create a piece for the main season and the Boston Opera House stage. This piece, entitled fremd, was graciously funded by a Jerome Robbins Foundation grant. In 2015, Cirio Collective was born out of Cirio and his sister Lia's a vision to bring dancers and other artists together to create and collaborate, kicking off the company's season at Vineyard Arts Project and finishing with the premiere of MiniM at the Cape Dance Festival. The company's second season was the first time the company collaborated with live musicians and additional choreographers to create and present its dancers and new work, and culminated in the premiere of Cirio's Efil Ym Fo Flah (Half Od My Life) and Paulo Arrais' Sonnet of Fidelity. Cirio Collective now holds its third season, beginning this summer with return engagements to Vineyard Arts Project and Cape Dance Festival, before closing the season with its debut at The Joyce Theater.

GEMMA BOND got her first taste of choreography at the young age of 13 when she competed in the Royal Ballet's Sir Kenneth MacMillan Choreographic Competition. She later returned to choreography when she joined American Ballet Theatre, in 2008. From 2010 to the present, Ms. Bond has created three new ballets for ABT's Choreographic Institute, and various new works for New York Theatre Ballet, INTERMEZZO Dance Company, and the Hartt School. She choreographed a pas de deux that was performed at the prestigious Eric Bruhn Prize, and a ballet that was performed at the Youth America Grand Prix Gala in 2014. Bond has also worked on commercial projects with 1stAveMachine. She was awarded the fellowship grant from The New York Choreographic Institute (an affiliate of New York City Ballet) in 2014. With this grant, Ms. Bond was able to create her work, The Giving, inspired by Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. Ms. Bond took this opportunity to commission original music by Lori Scacco, and worked with two dancers from American Ballet Theatre, Christine Shevchenko, and Sterling Baca. She now makes her Joyce debut with new and reconstructed works.

AMY SEIWERT enjoyed a nineteen-year performance career dancing with the Smuin, LA Chamber, and Sacramento Ballets. As a dancer with Smuin Ballet she became involved with the "Protégé Program" where she was mentored by Michael Smuin, and became Choreographer in Residence there upon her retirement from dancing in 2008. Named one of "25 to Watch" by Dance Magazine, her first full evening of choreography was named one of the "Top 10" dance events of 2007 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Twice she has worked with dancers from New York City Ballet, participating in the NY Choreography Institute at the invitation of Peter Martins. Collaborations include works with visual designers Marc Morozumi and Matthew Antaky, composers Daniel Bernard Roumain and Mason Bates, media designer Frieder Weiss and spoken-word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph. Amy Seiwert's Imagery, a contemporary ballet company in San Francisco, embodies Amy's belief that ballet is an expressive and vital voice relevant to our times. Imagery's artists share the belief that through collaboration & experimentation, vibrant and courageous ideas are expressed and habitual reactions are discouraged. Imagery's mission is to expand the definition of ballet by exploding preconceptions of what ballet is and can be.

The Joyce Theater Foundation ("The Joyce," Executive Director, Linda Shelton), a nonprofit organization, has proudly served the dance community for over three decades. Under the direction of founders Cora Cahan and Eliot Feld, Ballet Tech Foundation acquired and The Joyce renovated the Elgin Theater in Chelsea. Opening as The Joyce Theater in 1982, it was named in honor of Joyce Mertz, beloved daughter of LuEsther T. Mertz. It was LuEsther's clear, undaunted vision and abundant generosity that made it imaginable and ultimately possible to build the theater. Ownership was secured by The Joyce in 2015. The theater is one of the only theaters built by dancers for dance and has provided an intimate and elegant home for over 400 U.S.-based and international companies. The Joyce has also presented dance at Lincoln Center since 2012, and launched Joyce Unleashed in 2014 to feature emerging and experimental artists. To further support the creation of new work, The Joyce maintains longstanding commissioning and residency programs. Local students and teachers (K-12th grade) benefit from its school program, and family and adult audiences get closer to dance with access to artists. The Joyce's annual season of about 48 weeks of dance now includes over 340 performances for audiences in excess of 150,000.

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