VIDEO: City Center Teases Repertory for BALANCHINE

VIDEO: City Center Teases Repertory for BALANCHINE

BroadwayWorld has a first look at the programming for Balanchine: The City Center Years, the centerpiece of the 75th Anniversary Season. Beginning on October 31 (through Nov 4), an international roster of eight prestigious companies-American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, The Mariinsky Ballet, Miami City Ballet, New York City Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, The Royal Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet-perform thirteen works over six programs. Check out the video below!

In 1948, George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein founded New York City Ballet at City Center. A time of incendiary creative revolution and experimentation, it was here that Balanchine continued to develop his definitive style, which remains at the pinnacle of modern ballet. Many of Balanchine's iconic ballets from that time had world or US premieres at City Center. The repertory chosen for City Center's Balanchine tribute (four companies perform on each program to live music by the New York City Ballet Orchestra) ranges from early seminal works and monuments of modernism to essentials of classicism.

Two of Balanchine's most beloved large-cast ballets (in their only performance during the festival) bookend the opening Program I: Miami City Ballet in the sublimely romantic Serenade (1935), the first ballet he made in America, and New York City Ballet in Symphony in C (1947), a grand study in classicism that filled every corner of the stage when it premiered as part of the company's first season at City Center. Rounding out the bill are two gems: Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux (1960), a showcase of virtuosity performed by The Mariinsky Ballet, and The Royal Ballet in Tarantella (1964), the charming display of speed and exuberance which was the last ballet created by Balanchine at City Center.

The four programs that follow comprise a diverse roster of quintessential Balanchine pieces. Highlights include Apollo (1928), Balanchine's first major collaboration with composer Igor Stranvinsky, danced by The Mariinsky Ballet (Programs II and V); New York City Ballet in Concerto Barocco (Program II), presented as part of the company's inaugural performance at City Center; San Francisco Ballet performing Divertimento No. 15 (1956), an eminent study in pristine classicism set to Mozart (Programs II and IV); Joffrey Ballet in The Four Temperaments (1946), an icon of modern ballet set to a score that Balanchine commissioned from composer Paul Hindemith (Programs III, IV, and VI); and a second rendering of the revered Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux performed by The Royal Ballet.

The celebration will close with a final Program VI bookended by two contemporaneous yet vastly divergent ballets-the revolutionary The Four Temperaments (1946) danced by Joffrey Ballet, and the classic standard-bearer, Symphonie Concertante (1945), by American Ballet Theatre. Between these two exemplars of Balanchine's virtuosity and vision, Paris Opera Ballet repeats the sublime Act II Divertissement Pas de Deux from A Midsummer Night's Dream (1962), and The Mariinsky Ballet again performs the precise, thrilling Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux (1960).

Offering behind-the-scenes conversations and performances with today's great dance artists, two special Studio 5 programs featuring dancers who worked with Balanchine and others who inherited his legacy will complement the festival. On Thursday, October 25, former NYCB Principal Dancer and "Balanchine ballerina" Heather Watts will explore the repertory being presented during the festival with excerpts performed by NYCB principal dancers Tiler Peck and Jared Angle, accompanied by pianistCameron Grant. When Balanchine was first approached by Kirstein to establish an American ballet company, his famous response was, "But first a school." And so, the School of American Ballet (SAB) was established in 1934 as the first step toward accomplishing their dream. The specialized training that goes into the making of a Balanchine dancer will be presented in partnership with SAB as the festival's second Studio 5 event on Monday, October 29.

During the 75th Anniversary Season, New York City Center's rich history is being celebrated in two striking archival exhibitions - one at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center (Oct 23 - Mar 2), and the other in a revolving installation at City Center itself. During the festival, the exhibit at City Center will shine a special light on Balanchine and New York City Ballet's historic years as resident ballet company through a range of archival materials including photographs and other ephemera.

Tickets for Balanchine: The City Center Years, on sale at noon to Members Monday, June 25 and General Public Monday, July 9, can be purchased online at NYCityCenter.org, by calling 212.581.1212, or in person at the City Center Box Office. The City Center Box Office will be closed July 29 through September 3. New York City Center is located at 131 W 55th St between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

Visit NYCityCenter.org/Balanchine for more information.

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