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New York City Ballet's 2015 Fall Gala Set for 9/30

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New York City Ballet's 2015 Fall Gala will once again bring together the worlds of dance and fashion with a program consisting of five ballets each featuring original costumes created by an international roster of six of the fashion world's most exciting creative artists.

Included are world premiere ballets by choreographers Robert Binet, Justin Peck, Troy Schumacher and Myles Thatcher, as well as a major revival of Peter Martins' Thou Swell, last performed by NYCB in 2013. Designers for the evening will include Peter Copping, Humberto Leon & Carol Lim, Hanako Maeda, Marta Marques & Paulo Almeida, and Zuhair Murad. The one-time-only gala evening will take place on Wednesday, September 30, as part of NYCB's four-week fall season at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.

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 Gala has since featured costumes designed by Thom Browne, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Prabal Gurung, Carolina Herrera,
Mary Katrantzou, Olivier Theyskens, Iris Van Herpen, and Valentino, who have designed costumes for works by Peter Martins, Benjamin Millepied, Justin Peck, Angelin Preljocaj, Liam Scarlett, Troy Schumacher, and Christopher Wheeldon. Since the inception of the first fashion-themed Fall Gala in 2012, the annual event has raised more than $7.5 million for New York City Ballet. For the 2015 Fall Gala, philanthropist and business leader Adrienne Arsht will join Parker as a co-chairman.

For the 2015 edition, the gala evening will include world premiere ballets by four acclaimed young choreographers. Included are works by Robert Binet, the Canadian-born choreographer making his first- ever work for NYCB, who will collaborate with the young Japanese-born designer Hanako Maeda who launched her own label, ADEAM, in 2012; NYCB Resident Choreographer and Soloist Justin Peck, who will work with Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, the Co-Founders of the influential brand and international concept store, Opening Ceremony, and the Co-Creative Directors of the luxury fashion house Kenzo since 2012; NYCB Corps de Ballet member and choreographer Troy Schumacher, who will work with the Portuguese designers Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida, founders of the London-based womenswear label Marques'Almeida, and the 2015 winners of the prestigious LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers; and choreographer Myles Thatcher, a dancer and choreographer with the San Francisco Ballet who is also making his first-ever work for NYCB and will collaborate with Zuhair Murad, the Lebanese-born, Paris- trained haute couture designer with boutiques and showrooms in Beirut and Paris.

The final ballet of the evening will be a revival of Thou Swell by NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins, which premiered in 2003 to a score consisting of classic songs by Richard Rodgers, and was last performed by NYCB in 2013. For the Fall Gala revival, Martins will collaborate on new costume designs with Peter Copping, the British-born designer who was appointed creative director of Oscar de la Renta last year.

World Premiere by Robert Binet
Costumes Designed by Hanako Maeda of ADEAM

Canadian-born choreographer Robert Binet will create his first-ever work for NYCB using music from two movements of Maurice Ravel's piano score Miroirs - "Oiseaux Tristes" and "Une Barque sur l'Ocean." Binet is currently the Choreographic Associate at the National Ballet of Canada, where he also received his ballet training, and previously served as the first-ever Choreographic Apprentice for London's Royal Ballet, a position that was created expressly for him. Binet has created works for The National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Ballet, Wayne McGregor Random Dance, and the German National Youth Ballet, the second company of The Hamburg Ballet.

The costumes for Binet's Fall Gala premiere will be created by Hanako Maeda, the Japanese-born, New York-based designer who launched her label, ADEAM, in 2012. With an art history education from Columbia University, followed by work with VOGUE and 3.1 Philip Lim, Maeda moved back to Tokyo to work as Vice President for the largest Japanese fashion house, FOXEY. Two years later Maeda launched the ADEAM label, which was invited by the Japanese government to present its Fall 2012 collection at Shanghai Fashion week. ADEAM's launch collection also debuted at New York Fashion Week in Fall 2013. Maeda now has studios in both New York and Tokyo, with the global presence of the ADEAM brand continuing to expand in the U.S, Asia, and Europe with collections that infuse both art and wearability.

World Premiere by Justin Peck
Costumes Designed by Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony

For the 2015 Fall Gala, New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer and Soloist Justin Peck will create a new ballet set to composer Steve Reich's Variations for Vibes, Pianos, and Strings, which will be the ninth work that Peck has created for the Company since 2012.

Peck, who has been called one of the ballet world's most exciting young choreographers, was recently the subject of the acclaimed documentary film Ballet 422, and has also created works for such companies as Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and LA Dance Project. His most recent work for NYCB, 'Ro?de?,o?: Four Dance Episodes, premiered during the Company's 2015 Winter Season.

For his Fall Gala premiere Peck will collaborate with designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, Co- Founders of Opening Ceremony, as well as the Co-Creative Director of the Parisian fashion house Kenzo. As natives of California, Leon and Lim met while studying at the University of California at Berkeley, opened the now international concept store Opening Ceremony in 2002, where both oversee the brand's private label collection and direction of their stores as a creative platform and forum. Leon serves as Creative Director, and Lim as Chief Executive Officer. Through their collective direction, Opening Ceremony has collaborated with influencers and iconic brands such as Chlo?e Sevigny, Spike Jonze, Pendelton, and Levi's. In 2011, the French luxury group LVMH appointed Leon and Lim as Co-Creative Directors of Kenzo, the storied brand that was founded in 1970 by the visionary Japanese designer Kenzo Takada.

Peck also participated in the 2014 Fall Gala, collaborating with designer Mary Katrantzou on Belles-Lettres, as well as the 2013 Fall Gala when he collaborated with designer Prabal Gurung on Capricious Maneuvers.

World Premiere by Troy Schumacher
Costumes Designed by Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida of Marques'Almeida

For his contribution to the 2015 Fall Gala, choreographer and NYCB Corps de Ballet member Troy Schumacher will create a new work to a commissioned score by Ellis Ludwig-Leone, the frontman and acclaimed composer for the baroque pop band San Fermin. Schumacher, who has danced with NYCB since 2005, is the founder of BalletCollective, the dance, music and art collective, where Ludwig-Leon also serves as Composer and Music Director. This will be the second work that Schumacher has created for NYCB. His first piece, Clearing Dawn, was created for the 2014 Fall Gala, and featured costumes by designer Thom Browne.

This year Schumacher will collaborate with designers Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida, founders of the London-based womenswear label Marques'Almeida, who last month became the second-ever recipients of the prestigious LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers. Marques and Almeida first met in 2007 while studying fashion in their native Portugal, and later moved to London where Marques worked for Vivienne Westwood and Almeida worked for Preen. In 2009 they both began the acclaimed M.A. Fashion program at London's Central Saint Martins at which time they also began designing as a duo. Marques'Almeida first showed at London Fashion Week in the Fall of 2011, a collection picked up by both Opening Ceremony and Joyce, the Hong Kong-based fashion retailer. Today their designs are carried by more than 85 fashion outlets around the world.

World Premiere by Myles Thatcher Costumes Designed by Zuhair Murad

The final premiere of the Fall Gala will be created by choreographer Myles Thatcher, a member of San Francisco Ballet's Corps de Ballet since 2010. Thatcher's ballet, his first-ever for NYCB, will be set to the first movement of William Walton's Piano Quartet in d minor. Thatcher is one of seven artists who participated in the 2014-15 Rolex Mentor & Prote?ge? Arts Initiative, which matches emerging artists in various disciplines with established artists from the same field. Thatcher was selected for the program by his mentor, choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. The first work Thatcher created for the San Francisco Ballet, Manifesto, premiered in February 2015.

For his New York City Ballet premiere, Thatcher will collaborate with Zuhair Murad, Lebanese-born, Paris-trained fashion designer who dresses an array of international celebrities and fashion icons. Shortly after finishing high school Murad left Lebanon for Paris, where he obtained a degree in fashion, and then returned to Lebanon to open his first atelier in 1997. In 1999 Murad first showed a collection at Alta Roma Fashion Week in Rome, which firmly established his presence on Italy's fashion calendar. In 2001, Murad presented his haute couture collections in Paris with ready-to-wear debuting there in 2005. The headquarters of the Zuhair Murad Fashion House is located in Beirut, with a boutique in Paris housing ready-to-wear couture and bridal collections. His designs have been worn by numerous celebrities, from pop music stars such as Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez, to actresses such as Marion Cotillard and Blake Lively.

Peter Martins' Thou Swell
Costumes Designed by Peter Copping for Oscar de la Renta

In addition to the four world premiere ballets, the 2015 Fall Gala will also include a major revival of Peter Martins' Thou Swell, which was choreographed to music by Richard Rodgers in 2003, and evokes the romance and glamour of a 1930s Manhattan supper club, with four couples, two singers, and more than 15 classic Rodgers songs. Thou Swell was last performed by New York City Ballet in 2013.

Martins began his long association with New York City Ballet as a guest artist in 1967, and has spent more than 40 years with the Company as a dancer, choreographer, and ballet master. Currently the Company's Ballet Master in Chief, Martins has choreographed more than 80 ballets for the Company since 1977. Martins is also the Artistic Director and Chairman of the Faculty at the School of American Ballet, the official school of NYCB, and is also the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of NYCB that was created in 2000 to foster new choreography.

For this revival of Thou Swell, new costumes will be created by the British designer Peter Copping, the Creative Director of Oscar de la Renta, who was handpicked by Mr. de la Renta to be his successor. Raised in Oxford, England, Copping moved to London at the age of 18 to study fashion at Central Saint Martins. He then went on to receive a graduate degree from the Royal College of Art, and during his graduate studies was invited to intern with Christian Lacroix in Paris, an experience that launched his career in high fashion. He next accepted a position with Sonia Rykiel, followed by a 12-year tenure at Louis Vuitton where he oversaw the women's ready-to-wear collection as Studio Director under Marc Jacobs. In 2009, Copping joined the French fashion house Nina Ricci as Artistic Director, where he spent five years finessing the label's legacy of supreme femininity and romance. For his work with Nina Ricci, Copping received the Fashion Group International Fashion Star award in 2014. Copping became Creative Director of Oscar de la Renta in October 2014.

Benefit-priced tickets for the gala evening, which include the 7 p.m. performance, a pre- performance reception, and a black-tie supper ball following the performance, are available through the NYCB Special Events Office at 212-870-5585. Tickets for the performance only start at just $30 and will be available beginning August 2 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 at Lincoln Center.


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