New York City Ballet to Host 2016 Fall Gala in September
On September 20, 2016, New York City Ballet will open its 2016-17 Season at Lincoln Center with the fifth anniversary of its annual Fall Fashion Gala, featuring an evening of world premiere ballets created by an internationally-acclaimed roster of choreographers and fashion designers.
This year's edition will include world premiere ballets by choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, featuring costumes designed by Rosie Assoulin; NYCB Principal Dancer Lauren Lovette, who will make her first-ever work for NYCB, featuring costumes designed by Narciso Rodriguez; NYCB Resident Choreographer and Soloist Justin Peck, featuring costumes designed by Dries Van Noten; and NYCB Corps de Ballet member Peter Walker, who will make his first-ever work for the Company, featuring costumes designed by Jason Wu. The lighting design for each of the world premiere ballets will be created by NYCB's Resident Lighting Designer Mark Stanley.
Conceived by NYCB Board Vice Chair Sarah Jessica Parker, and launched in 2012 with a gala celebration of the legendary designer Valentino, NYCB's Fall Fashion Gala has since featured costumes designed by Thom Browne, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Peter Copping for Oscar de la Renta, Prabal Gurung, Carolina Herrera, Mary Katrantzou, Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony and Kenzo, Hanako Maeda of ADEAM, Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida of Marques'Almeida, Zuhair Murad, Olivier Theyskens, Iris Van Herpen, and Valentino, who have designed costumes for works by choreographers Robert Binet, Peter Martins, Benjamin Millepied, Justin Peck, Angelin Preljocaj, Liam Scarlett, Troy Schumacher, Myles Thatcher, and Christopher Wheeldon.
Since the inception of the first Fall Fashion Gala in 2012, the annual event has raised more than $10 million for New York City Ballet. For the fifth anniversary of the event, Noriko "Daisy Lin" Maeda will join Parker as a co-chairman, and the evening will also feature a retrospective look at many of the designs that have been constructed over the past five years by the NYCB Costume Shop in collaboration with the designers and NYCB's Director of Costumes Marc Happel.
World Premiere by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa Costumes Designed by Rosie Assoulin
Internationally-acclaimed choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa will make her first-ever work for the Company, which will be set to a selection of scores written for cello by composers Luigi Boccherini, Edward Elgar, and Peteris Vasks. Of Colombian and Belgian descent, Lopez Ochoa studied at the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp, and was a soloist with Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. In 2003, she stopped dancing to focus solely on choreography and has made works for dance companies around the world including the Dutch National Ballet, Cuban National Ballet, West-Australian Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet. In 2012 she created the choreography for the Scottish Ballet's award-winning production A Streetcar Named Desire. In the fall of 2007, Lopez Ochoa participated in a working session at the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet.
The costumes for Lopez Ochoa's premiere will be created by designer Rosie Assoulin, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where she first used her grandmother's sewing machine at the age of 13 to experiment with pattern, texture, and style as a means of exploring her identity. Fifteen years later, and after honing her skills under the tutelage of her mentor, and future mother-in-law, jewelry designer Roxanne Assoulin, as well as two of her childhood idols -- Oscar de la Renta and Alber Elbaz -- Assoulin launched her eponymous label with a Resort 2014 debut collection and in 2015, won the CFDA's Swarovski Award for Womenswear. At its core, her design aesthetic bridges the line between effortless elegance and the romantically fantastical - a blend of sculpted ease and bold lines.
World Premiere by Lauren Lovette Costumes Designed by Narciso Rodriguez
NYCB Principal Dancer Lauren Lovette will choreograph her first-ever work for a ballet company, which will be set to Robert Schumann's Introduction and Concert Allegro, Op. 134. Born in California, Lovette began studying ballet at the age of 11 at the Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, North Carolina. She attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, in the summers of 2004 and 2005, and enrolled at SAB as a full-time student in 2006. She became a member of the NYCB corps de ballet in 2010, was promoted to Soloist in 2013, and became a Principal Dancer in 2015. In addition to her work as a dancer, Lovette began choreographing while a student at SAB where she participated in the School's annual choreography workshops in 2008 and 2009. In the summer of 2012, Lovette also participated in a working session of the New York Choreographic Institute.
The costumes for Lovette's premiere will be designed by Narciso Rodriguez, one of America's foremost fashion designers. Raised in Newark, New Jersey, Rodriguez received his formal education at Parsons The New School for Design, and worked at Anne Klein, under Donna Karan, before moving to Calvin Klein where he worked on the Women's Collection. Rodriguez later held Design Director positions at TSE, Cerruti, and Loewe before establishing his own atelier in New York City in 2001. Rodriguez has won numerous design awards, and in 2002 and 2003 he was the first designer ever to win consecutive Womenswear Designer of the Year awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. In 2005, Time Magazine honored the designer by naming him one of the "25 Most Influential Hispanics in America." In addition to his career in fashion, Rodriguez has also created designs for films and the stage, including collaborations with choreographers such as Christopher Wheeldon, Jonah Bokaer, and Stephen Petronio.
World Premiere by Justin Peck Costumes Designed by Dries Van Noten
For the 2016 Fall Fashion Gala NYCB Soloist and Resident Choreographer Justin Peck will create a pas de deux set to the second movement of Bohuslav Martinu?'s Piano Quintet No. 2. Peck also used a score by Martinu? for the ballet Paz de la Jolla, which he created for NYCB in 2013.
Since creating his first work for NYCB in 2012, Peck has become one of the ballet world's most in- demand choreographers with recent commissions from such companies as San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, L.A. Dance Project, and the Paris Opera Ballet. Born in Washington, DC, Peck spent his formative years in San Diego, California, where he studied at the California Ballet, prior to beginning his training at the School of American Ballet in 2003. He joined NYCB in 2007 and was promoted to Soloist in 2013. In 2009, Peck participated in his first working session at the New York Choreographic Institute, and in 2011 was awarded with the Institute's first year-long choreographic residency. In 2012 he created In Creases, his first work for NYCB, and has since created a total of 10 ballets for the Company. In 2014, Peck was named NYCB's Resident Choreographer, only the second person to hold that title in NYCB history.
The costumes for Peck's ballet will be designed by Dries Van Noten, the Belgian designer, who was born in Antwerp and is the third generation of a family of tailors. Part of the famed Antwerp Six, a group of fashion designers who graduated from the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the early 1980s and went on to establish Antwerp as an important center for visionary fashion design, Van Noten launched his debut collection in 1986 to international acclaim. The same year he opened his first eponymous boutique in Antwerp's gallery arcade, carrying both men's and women's collections, which were initially made from the same fabrics. Today the label, which includes womenswear and menswear collections, as well as accessories, is carried in free-standing boutiques and department stores around the world, and is headquartered in a 60,000 square foot warehouse space in Antwerp. In 2008 Van Noten was awarded the prestigious International Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America; and in 2014 the first major museum exhibition of his work, Dries Van Noten - Inspirations, opened at the Les Arts De?coratifs in Paris.
World Premiere by Peter Walker Costumes Designed by Jason Wu
NYCB Corps de Ballet member Peter Walker will make his first-ever work for NYCB, which will be set to an original score by Thomas Kikta, a classical guitarist and professor of music at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Walker and Kikta have previously collaborated on a work for the School of American Ballet's annual Winter Ball in 2015. Born in Fort Myers, Florida, Walker started his ballet training with former NYCB Principal Dancer Melinda Roy at the Gulfshore Ballet. Walker began his studies at the School of American Ballet during the 2006 summer course, enrolled as a full-time student in the winter of 2007, and joined the NYCB corps de ballet in 2012. Walker has also participated in working sessions at the New York Choreographic Institute in 2011 and 2012, and has created works for students at SAB for the School's 2015 and 2016 Winter Balls.
The costumes for Walker's ballet will be designed by Jason Wu, who was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and at the age of nine moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he first began designing and sewing, using dolls as mannequins. Wu spent his senior year of high school in Paris and then moved to New York City to enroll at Parsons The New School for Design. Wu debuted his first Ready-to-Wear collection in New York City in 2007 and today more than 90% of the Jason Wu Collection is manufactured in the city's Garment District. Wu has received many accolades, including being named one of the finalists in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in July 2008. In June 2010 he won the Swarovski Award for Womenswear at the CFDA Fashion Awards and in April 2011 he was nominated for the CFDA/Swarovski Award for Accessory Design. Wu was appointed Artistic Director of Hugo Boss womenswear Ready to Wear and Accessory collection in June 2013. More recently, Wu was honored with the Fashion Star Award at The Fashion Group International Night of Stars 2015, and won the 2016 International Designer of Year at the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards.
Benefit-priced tickets for the gala evening, which include the 7 p.m. performance, a pre- performance reception, and black-tie supper ball following the performance, are available through the NYCB Special Events Office at 212-870-5585 and at nycballet.com/fallgala. Tickets for the performance only start at just $30 and will be available beginning August 7 at nycballet.com, by calling 212-496-0600, or at the David H. Koch Theater box office, located at West 63rd Street and Columbus Avenue.