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Works From Justin Peck, Christopher Wheeldon, Jerome Robbins, and More Set For New York City Ballet's 2023 Spring Season

The season will open on Tuesday, April 18 with an All Balanchine program.

By: Mar. 22, 2023
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Works From Justin Peck, Christopher Wheeldon, Jerome Robbins, and More Set For New York City Ballet's 2023 Spring Season  Image

New York City Ballet's 2023 Spring Season will open on Tuesday, April 18 with an All Balanchine program consisting of George Balanchine's Concerto Barocco, Kammermusik No. 2, and Raymonda Variations. The 2023 Spring Season will also feature six additional works by Balanchine including the choreographer's one-act distillation of Swan Lake, which will be performed on a program with Alexei Ratmansky's Pictures at an Exhibition. NYCB will also perform Namouna, A Grand Divertissement by Ratmansky, recently named NYCB Artist in Residence, a position he will begin in August 2023.

Some of your favorite Broadway names will also be featured in this season's lineup, including Justin Peck, Christopher Wheeldon, Jerome Robbins, and more!

Spring Gala: INVENTION - Thursday, May 4

Featuring World Premiere Ballets by ALYSA PIRES and Christopher Wheeldon

NYCB's annual Spring Gala performance on Thursday, May 4 will celebrate NYCB's ongoing commitment to innovation and invention, with World Premiere ballets by Canadian choreographer Alysa Pires, who will be making her first work for NYCB; and Christopher Wheeldon, the acclaimed Tony-Award winning director and choreographer, who was NYCB's first-ever Resident Choreographer (2001-2008) and who will be making his 23rd work for the Company. The Spring Gala program will also feature Justin Peck's electrifying The Times Are Racing, which premiered in 2017 and is set to music by Dan Deacon.

The development of the Pires premiere began during a Working Session of the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet, in the spring of 2019. During that session Pires collaborated with composer Jack Frerer from the Juilliard School of Music, who wrote an original score for Pires' creation. Since then Pires and Frerer have continued to work together, and for the Spring Gala they have created a new piece that expands on some of the ideas from the Institute session. Pires' Spring Gala World Premiere is set to a new score by Frerer, commissioned by NYCB, for full orchestra and saxophone. The costume design for the Pires premiere will be by Dana Osborne, with lighting design by Mark Stanley. Born in Victoria, Canada, Pires has created numerous works for Canadian dance companies, and was a Choreographic Associate at The National Ballet of Canada from 2019 to 2022.

Wheeldon, a New York City-based director and choreographer, danced with NYCB from 1993 through 2000, and then became NYCB's first-ever Resident Choreographer, a position he held until 2008. In addition to his work with NYCB, Wheeldon has created ballets for The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet, among others. In addition, Wheeldon's work on Broadway includes directing and choreographing the Tony Award-winning productions of An American in Paris (2016) and MJ the Musical, which is currently running. The work will be set to Arnold Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht. The visual designs for the new Wheeldon ballet are being created by the acclaimed American artist Kylie Manning, and will feature both costumes and large-scale backdrops, which the artist describes as sister paintings to those in her current solo exhibition at Pace Gallery in Geneva, Switzerland. The lighting for the ballet will be designed by Mary Louise Geiger.

NYCB's 2023 Spring Gala: INVENTION, will be chaired by NYCB Board Member Allyson Tang, with Ayesha Coker, Vice President of Marketing, Porsche Cars North America, serving as Corporate Gala Chair. The event is generously sponsored by Porsche and Chopard, with additional support from The Macallan. The gala evening will begin with a 5:30pm cocktail reception hosted by Ruinart Champagne, followed by a 7pm performance, and dinner and dancing on the Koch Theater Promenade. Benefit-priced tickets for the full gala evening are available through the NYCB Special Events office at specialevents@nycballet.com or 212-870-5585. Performance-only tickets are also available at nycballet.com, by phone at 212-496-0600, or in person at the David H. Koch Theater box office.

Additional highlights of the Spring Season include the return of three ballets that premiered earlier in NYCB's 2022-23 Season. Peck's Copland Dance Episodes, set to four iconic Aaron Copland scores and featuring set design by visual artist Jeffrey Gibson, costumes by Ellen Warren and lighting by Brandon Stirling Baker, will return from the 2023 Winter Season. Kyle Abraham's Love Letter (on shuffle), set to music by James Blake and featuring costumes by Giles Deacon and lighting by Dan Scully, and Gianna Reisen's Play Time, set to a commissioned score by Solange Knowles and featuring costumes by Alejandro Gómez Palomo for Palomo Spain and lighting by Stanley, will return from the 2022 Fall Season, on a program with Peck's 2022 work Partita, set to music by Caroline Shaw and featuring scenery designed by artist Eva LeWitt, costumes by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung, and lighting by Baker.

The Spring Season also includes three works by Jerome Robbins: Afternoon of a Faun, Fancy Free, and Brandenburg, which premiered in 1997 and was the last original ballet Robbins created for NYCB. Brandenburg, set to music by Bach, will be performed during the 2023 Spring Season for the first time since 2008.

Principal Dancer Harrison Ball Farewell Performance - Sunday, April 30

Principal Dancer Harrison Ball will give his final performance with New York City Ballet on Sunday, April 30, performing in George Balanchine's Haieff Divertimento and Jerome Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun. A member of the Company since 2012, Ball plans to pursue a variety of new artistic projects following his final performance with New York City Ballet.

Since joining New York City Ballet, Ball has performed featured roles in a range of works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Mauro Bigonzetti, August Bournonville, William Forsythe, Peter Martins, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Jamar Roberts, Troy Schumacher, and Christopher Wheeldon. In addition, he has originated roles in works by Kyle Abraham, Sidra Bell, Kim Brandstrup, Pontus Lidberg, Martins, Peck, Ratmansky, Gianna Reisen, and Wheeldon, among others. In 2022, Ball was commissioned by New Jersey Ballet and made his choreographic debut with Purcell Suite, a ballet for 12 dancers set to Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Ball was the recipient of the 2013-14 Janice Levin Award, which is bestowed annually on a promising member of NYCB's corps de ballet. In 2011, Ball received the School of American Ballet's Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise.

Spring Season Public Programs for All Audiences

This spring New York City Ballet will also present a series of public programs for children, teens, and adults designed to give audience a closer look at the Company's repertory and artists.

These programs will include a special Inside NYCB presentation on Monday, May 8 from 6:30-7:30pm at the David H. Koch Theater. The program will explore the Balanchine pas de deux. Featuring NYCB dancers performing some of George Balanchine's most memorable pas de deux, this one-night-only program will explore the complexities and rewards of sharing the stage with a partner.

On Saturday, May 20 at 11am the Company will present a Family Saturdays program hosted by NYCB Principal Dancer Megan Fairchild, who is the Creative Director for NYCB's Family Saturdays programming. For this presentation Fairchild will explore the "life of a dancer," from training and daily preparation to performing onstage at Lincoln Center. The one-hour interactive presentation is designed especially for families with children ages 5 and older and will feature the Company's dancers and members of the NYCB Orchestra onstage at the David H. Koch Theater.

The season will also include a series of in-person movement workshops held in NYCB's rehearsal studios at Lincoln Center. These will include Children's Workshops for children ages 5 to 7 on Sunday, May 21 from 1:30-2:15pm and Saturday, May 27 from 12:30-1:15pm; an In Motion Workshop for children ages 8 to 12 on Sunday, May 21 from 1:30-2:15pm; Ballet Essentials Live workshops for teens and adults on Monday, April 17 from 6:30-7:45pm and Saturday, May 27 from 10:30-11:45am; Children's Access Workshops for children with disabilities (ages 4-12) on Saturday, April 29 from 11:00am-12:00pm and Sunday, May 21 from 11:00am-12:00pm; Access Workshops for teens and adults with disabilities on Saturday, April 22 from 11:00am-12:15pm and Monday, May 22 from 6:00-7:15pm; and Autism-Friendly Access Workshops on Saturday April 22 from 1:00-2:00pm and Saturday, May 27 from 10:00-11:00am.

NYCB will also continue to present its virtual Ballet Essentials Online workshop for teens and adults on Monday, May 15 from 6:30-7:15pm. All workshops, both in-person and virtual, are led by NYCB dancers and include a ballet warm-up and choreography inspired by NYCB's repertory. The workshops are open to all and there is no prior dance training required.

For additional information on NYCB's upcoming public programs including dates, times, location, pricing, and COVID-19 safety protocols for each event visit: www.nycballet.com/educate/public-programs, www.nycballet.com/access, or www.nycballet.com/educate/virtual-programs.





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