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The Music Center Presents The Royal Ballet


The Music Center Presents The Royal Ballet

After a 24-year absence from Los Angeles, Great Britain's most prestigious ballet company The Royal Ballet returns to The Music Center for two back-to-back-weekends this July at The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. From July 5-7, 2019, The Royal Ballet performs its masterpiece, Mayerling, a three-act work depicting scandal and murder in the 19th century Austro-Hungarian Empire. The following weekend, July 12-13, 2019, the company will also perform as part of Adès & McGregor: A Dance Collaboration, a major partnership between the LA Phil and Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center combining the creative talents of Grammy® Award-winning composer-conductor Thomas Adès and multi award-winning British choreographer Wayne McGregor. The Royal Ballet, as well as Company Wayne McGregor, will dance in Adès & McGregor, an evening of three works including two dance world premieres with performances by the LA Phil under the baton of Adès. The Royal Ballet will debut the staged world premiere of The Dante Project (Inferno), a new work created for them by McGregor, the Royal's resident choreographer and modern dance innovator. Inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy and set to Adès' Inferno, the new work features set and costumes designed by visual artist Tacita Dean. These special presentations close the Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center's 2018/2019 season.

"Although classical in nature with period costumes and romantic music, The Royal Ballet's Mayerling seemingly rips its storyline from today's headlines instead of the 19th century, making its exploration of the human condition relevant to our times," said Rachel Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center. "Thrilling and theatrical, this ballet's dark and tortured dangerous liaisons make for an intense and spellbinding performance."

The Royal Ballet's Mayerling depicts the drama of dangerous desires, family secrets and political intrigue. The production is based on the true story of the 1889 deaths of the Austro-Hungarian Crown Prince and his teenage mistress. Multi award-winning principal dancers for these performances include Ryoichi Hirano, Matthew Ball, and Thiago Soares as Prince Rudolf, and Natalia Osipova, Sarah Lamb and Lauren Cuthbertson as Mary Vetsera with Francesca Hayward as Princess Stephanie.*

Set in the brilliant backdrop of the Viennese palace and the Mayerling hunting lodge, the performance brings to life the incident that shook the royal courts of the 19th century with a fatal attraction and the mysterious deaths of Crown Prince Rudolf and Baroness Mary Vetsera. The two gunshots that rang out at Mayerling in the Vienna Woods still echo in Kenneth's MacMillan's vivid dramatization today. Sex, death, the misfit and the pas de deux are hallmarks of MacMillan's choreography, balancing classical tradition and innovation.

Choreographed in 1978, Mayerling features one of the most demanding, complex male roles in the ballet repertory. Rudolf dances seven duets among the women in his life that express heightened emotion and the source of his despair from the mutual misunderstanding between he and his mother, Empress Elisabeth, to the brutality of his wedding night with Princess Stephanie, and from the unbridled physicality and lust in his first encounter with Vetsera to their tortured final duet. MacMillan's large-scale crowd and court scenes also present the entire company at its dramatic finest. The ensemble scenes at court that force Rudolf to "behave" crackle with the tension between what he must do and his own wish not to do it.

Featuring the famous Bedroom pas de deux, Mayerling explores the darkest reaches of the human experience of seduction and obsession within the privileges of royal life. Rudolf's dissipated decline is set brilliantly against the crumbling, oppressive Austro-Hungarian court, a tragedy of both personal and political proportions.

Tickets for Mayerling performances at The Music Center start at $34 and are available online at; at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office, 135 N. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012; or by calling (213) 972-0711. For groups of 10 or more, call (213) 972-8555 or email

One hour prior to each performance of Mayerling, The Music Center will host DANCETALKS led by dance historian and author Elizabeth Kaye. Ticketed guests can join this fascinating behind-the-scenes pre-performance discussion.

As part of its commitment to deepening the cultural lives of Angelenos, The Music Center will integrate a number of the dance engagements with free arts education programs in conjunction with The Royal Ballet. On July 5, 2019, a select number of high school dance students will attend a masterclass and work with a member of the ballet staff from The Royal Ballet. The dance students will be instructed on technique and then learn a variation from Mayerling. That afternoon, they will have the opportunity to watch an open rehearsal, along with other students from local dance schools. From July 8-12, 2019, Royal Ballet teaching artists will work with Los Angeles-based Straight Up Abilities, which provide dance opportunities to children and adults with intellectual or physical disabilities. Participants will engage in a week-long residency with The Royal Ballet at The Music Center, exploring themes from Wayne McGregor's new ballet, Inferno, culminating in a public sharing on Friday morning.

The Royal Ballet also performs July 12-13, 2019, during Adès & McGregor: A Dance Collaboration, an extraordinary meld of music and dance world premieres.

Set to Adès' new score Inferno, with set and costume designs by Dean, The Dante Project (Inferno) is an epic journey through the afterlife performed by The Royal Ballet. The creative team for this work also includes lighting design by Lucy Carter and Simon Bennison and dramaturgy by Uzma Hameed. Inferno is the first act of this new ballet premiering in Los Angeles during this engagement. In May 2020, The Royal Ballet will present the full three-act ballet as a complete work at the Royal Opera House in London. The Music Center program will also feature a second dance world premiere of McGregor's work danced by Company Wayne McGregor as well as the West Coast premiere of Outlier performed by both Company Wayne McGregor and dancers from The Royal Ballet.

Created in partnership with Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, the LA Phil and Company Wayne McGregor and The Royal Ballet, tickets for Adès & McGregor: A Dance Collaboration performances at The Music Center start at $34 and are available online at; at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office, 135 N. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012; or by calling (213) 972-0711. For groups of 10 or more, call (213) 972-8555 or email

Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, a program of The Music Center Arts (TMC Arts), is one of the leading presenters of dance on the West Coast. The celebrated series offers significant works by prestigious ballet and contemporary dance artists from around the world. Now in its 16th year, Dance at The Music Center is a powerful commissioning force, supporting new works and artists-in-residence projects by today's most influential companies and choreographers.

The Music Center convenes artists, communities and ideas with the goal of deepening the cultural lives of every resident in Los Angeles County. The non-profit performing arts organization has two divisions: The Music Center Arts (TMC Arts) and The Music Center Operations (TMC Ops). TMC Arts, The Music Center's programming engine provides year-round programming inside The Music Center's four theatres, on The Music Center Plaza, outside at Grand Park-a 12-acre adjacent green space-and in schools and other locations all over Los Angeles County. TMC Arts presents world-class dance with Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, free and low-cost public concerts and events, as well as K-12 arts education programs.

Under the directorship of Kevin O'Hare, The Royal Ballet unites tradition and innovation in world-class performances, and is a driving force in the development of ballet as an art form. Based at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, it brings together today's most dynamic and versatile dancers with a world-class orchestra and leading choreographers, composers, conductors, directors and creative teams to share awe-inspiring theatrical experiences with diverse audiences worldwide. The Company's extensive repertory embraces 19th-century classics, the singular legacy of works by Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton and Principal Choreographer Kenneth MacMillan and the compelling new canon of work including pieces by Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor, Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon and Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett.

Photo Credit Helen Maybanks / ROH

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