Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

Morphoses/The Wheeldon Co 2008 City Center Seasonrep and casting posted, tickets on sale


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 nysusan

nysusan

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,002 posts

Posted 22 July 2008 - 04:44 AM

Tickets went on sale yesterday, and the rep and casting are both up on City Center's site. Wheeldon's new ballet to Pulcinella is scheduled for every performance. In the first program it is joined by Polyphonia and the new Molnar ballet but it's the second program that's most exciting to me. It revives his new piece from last year, Fools Paradise along with "Shutters Shut" (which I'm not familiar with) Leanne Benjamin and Edward Watson in the pdd from The Dream and Monotones II with the NYCB dream cast of Wendy Whalen, Tyler Angle and Adrian Danchig-Waring. Their physiques are perfect for the Monotones trio, can't wait to see what they look like in Ashton!

Tickets are priced at $30, $50, $95 and $110

#2 carbro

carbro

    Late Board Registrar

  • Rest in Peace
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,361 posts

Posted 22 July 2008 - 12:47 PM

Thanks, Susan. Program II does look like a must-see. I have long admired Leanne Benjamin so am delighted to have this special opportunity to see her.

#3 Jane Simpson

Jane Simpson

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 956 posts

Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:06 AM

... Monotones II with the NYCB dream cast of Wendy Whalen, Tyler Angle and Adrian Danchig-Waring. Their physiques are perfect for the Monotones trio, can't wait to see what they look like in Ashton!


I don't remember the two men well enough to comment, but I have to say I don't see Whelan as having the 'perfect physique' for Monotones - I think of the role as needing someone with a rounded, soft style and perfect line, and much though I admire Whelan I don't see her in these terms. Am I misjudging her, or are you looking for different qualities in the role?

#4 Dale

Dale

    Emeralds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,078 posts

Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:26 AM

I'm only an Ashton neophyte compared to Jane, but I agree. I think if you look at the role about being about flexibility and adagio qualities then you might think Whelan is perfect for the role. When I think of dancers I've seen in Monotones II, for example Darcey Bussell, there was also a beauty to her form in itself that made the ballet for me. Same with Vergie Derman. At this point in her career, I don't think Whelan has the same effect on me. Looking at the dancers involved, I'd love to see Reichlan or Kowroski in the part.

The programs seem more balanced this season. Last year, one of the complaints was that all the ballets were very similar in tone, costume, music, lighting etc... I also think it is interesting that Wheeldon said that scheduling Allegro Brillante in London was his way of leaving Balanchine behind and forging ahead in his quest to bring ballet into the 21st century, the future (whatever all that really means). But then here he's got Ashton. Is this his farewell to Ashton? Or has Wheeldon recognized he might have use for Ashton and Balanchine after all? Or at least until his own work can more suitably fill complete programs.

#5 carbro

carbro

    Late Board Registrar

  • Rest in Peace
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,361 posts

Posted 23 July 2008 - 10:41 AM

Interesting observation about the Ashton/Balanchine business, Dale. I guess only time (or an astute interviewer) will tell.

#6 Dale

Dale

    Emeralds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,078 posts

Posted 23 July 2008 - 02:35 PM

The official release:

NEW YORK CITY CENTER PRESENTS

Second Annual Season of

MORPHOSES/THE WHEELDON COMPANY

Includes U.S. Premieres by Christopher Wheeldon
and Emily Molnar

Works by Lightfoot León and Sir Frederick Ashton

Accompanied by Orchestra of St. Luke’s

Tyler Angle, Gonzalo Garcia, Craig Hall, Maria Kowroski,
Edwaard Liang and Wendy Whelan to Perform

October 1 – 5, 2008


New York, New York, July 22, 2008 – New York City Center will present the second annual season of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, October 1 – 5, 2008, featuring works by Artistic Director Christopher Wheeldon, including a U.S. premiere co-commissioned by New York City Center and Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London. Also featured will be a U.S. premiere of a new work by Canadian choreographer Emily Molnar as well as works by Lightfoot León and Sir Frederick Ashton.

The company will perform to live music each evening, including performances with full orchestra comprised of members of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Leading dancers from major U.S. and European ballet companies will once again join the company, including Tyler Angle, Leanne Benjamin, Gonzalo Garcia, Craig Hall, Maria Kowroski, Edwaard Liang, Tiler Peck, Teresa Reichlen, Edward Watson, Wendy Whelan and others.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our newest resident company back to its New York home, following the enormous success of its inaugural season,” said Arlene Shuler, President and CEO of New York City Center. “It is with great pride that we continue to encourage the development and talent of this brilliant young choreographer.”

“Morphoses is thrilled to be embarking on its second year as Guest Resident Company of New York City Center with an exciting season of dynamic ballet performances,” said Christopher Wheeldon. “City Center continues to offer us support and guidance, along with the luxury of a New York home, with the possibility to present new work by young dancemakers through its collaboration with Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London.”

U.S. PREMIERES
The U.S. premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s newest work for eight dancers, with music by Igor Stravinsky, will have its world premiere in September at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London. About his new piece, Mr. Wheeldon said, “In anticipation of next year’s Ballets Russes centenary, I will create a new ballet to Pulcinella Suite by Igor Stravinsky, with designs by the vibrant and creative Isabel Toledo.”

Emily Molnar’s new piece is set to the music of Steve Reich’s Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards (1979) and will also debut in September at Sadler’s Wells. Molnar was named as one of Canada’s “new generation of ballet sensations” (Maclean’s Magazine) and works as both a choreographer and solo artist. She is a former member of The National Ballet of Canada and Frankfurt Ballet, under director William Forsythe, and was a principal dancer with Ballet British Columbia.

SIR FREDERICK ASHTON
Two of Sir Frederick Ashton’s classic works from the 1960’s, The Dream Pas De Deux (1964) and Monotones II (1965), staged by Lynn Wallis, will be performed by Morphoses dancers Leanne Benjamin and Edward Watson (The Dream Pas De Deux), and Wendy Whelan, Adrian Danchig-Waring and Tyler Angle (Monotones II).

LIGHTFOOT LEÓN
Lightfoot León’s Shutters Shut (2003) features two dancers in a four-minute ballet set to a poem by Gertrude Stein. Paul Lightfoot and Sol León met as dancers with Nederlands Dans Theatre in 1987. Since the beginning of their collaboration in 1991, they have created over thirty ballets for NDT. Paul Lightfoot and Sol León were named resident choreographers of the Nederlands Dans Theater in its 2002 season.

WHEELDON REPERTOIRE
Christopher Wheeldon describes Polyphonia, choreographed in 2001 to ten eclectic piano pieces by Ligeti, as “romantic with comic twists.” Created for four couples, its brief sections run the choreographic spectrum from the neoclassic to playful duets, anchored by dynamic opening and closing ensembles filled with twisting turns, jabs and quirky hard movements. Fools’ Paradise, which premiered during Morphoses’ inaugural season in 2007 to great acclaim, is a work for nine dancers set to The Dying Swan score by contemporary composer Joby Talbot.

Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company was formed by Christopher Wheeldon in 2007 to broaden the scope of contemporary classical ballet by marrying dance, music, visual art and design. The company is Guest Resident Company at both New York City Center and at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London. Christopher Wheeldon is Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

American Express is the lead sponsor of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company at New York City Center and a proud sponsor of the Company’s transatlantic season at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London.

New York City Center also gratefully acknowledges the generous support of The Rockefeller Foundation for the presentation of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company at New York City Center.

New York City Center has long been known and beloved by New York audiences not only as one of the City’s preeminent performing art institutions but also as an accessible and welcoming venue for dance and theater. New York City Center produces the Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series and its new Encores! Summer Stars series, and is home to some of the country’s leading dance companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor Dance Company and Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, as well as Manhattan Theatre Club, one of New York’s leading theater companies. Continuing to fulfill its mission to make the arts accessible to the broadest possible audience, in 2004 New York City Center launched the acclaimed Fall for Dance Festival. In 2006, New York City Center and Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London created a partnership to facilitate the exchange of innovative dance works, and new commissions by up-and-coming and acclaimed choreographers and dance companies, both in London and New York City.

Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company will play for six performances, October 1 - 5, at New York City Center, West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues, according to the following schedule: Wednesday, October 1 at 7pm (Gala), Thursday, October 2 at 8pm, Friday October 3 at 8pm, Saturday, October 4 at 2pm and 8pm, and Sunday, October 5 at 3pm. Tickets can be purchased by calling CityTix® at 212-581-1212, online at www.NYCityCenter.org or at the City Center Box Office (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues).

Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company dancers appear courtesy of New York City Ballet, The Royal Ballet and Norwegian National Ballet.


MORPHOSES/THE WHEELDON COMPANY
2008 Complete Schedule




PROGRAM 1
Wednesday, October 1 at 7 pm
Thursday, October 2 at 8 pm
Friday, October 3 at 8 pm

POLYPHONIA (2001)
Music: György Ligeti
Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Costumes: Holly Hynes
Lighting: Mark Stanley
Pianist: Cameron Grant

Dancers: Wendy Whelan and Tyler Angle
Tiler Peck and Gonzalo Garcia
Beatriz Stix-Brunell and Craig Hall
Teresa Reichlen and Jason Fowler

NEW MOLNAR (U.S. Premiere)
Music: Steve Reich: Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards (1979)
Choreography: Emily Molnar
Lighting: Pierre Lavoie

Dancers: Leanne Benjamin, Céline Cassone, Rory Hohenstein, Drew Jacoby, Edwaard Liang, Rubinald Pronk, Beatriz Stix-Brunell, Ed Watson

NEW WHEELDON (U.S. Premiere)
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Costumes: Isabel Toledo
Scenery: Ruben Toledo
Lighting: Penny Jacobus

Dancers: Leanne Benjamin, Céline Cassone, Rory Hohenstein, Drew Jacoby, Edwaard Liang, Rubinald Pronk, Beatriz Stix-Brunell, Ed Watson

PROGRAM 2
Saturday October 4 at 2 pm and 8 pm
Sunday, October 5 at 3 pm

FOOLS' PARADISE (2007)
Music: Joby Talbot
Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Costumes: Narciso Rodriguez
Lighting: Penny Jacobus
Pianist: Cameron Grant

Dancers:
Wendy Whelan and Craig Hall
Maria Kowroski and Edwaard Liang
Teresa Reichlen and Adrian Danchig-Waring
Tiler Peck and Tyler Angle
Gonzalo Garcia

SHUTTERS SHUT (2003)
Text: Gertrude Stein
Choreography: Lightfoot León

Dancers: Christine Thomassen and Andreas Heise

THE DREAM PAS DE DEUX (1964)
Music: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Choreography: Sir Frederick Ashton
Costumes: David Walker
Lighting: John B. Read

Dancers: Leanne Benjamin and Edward Watson

MONOTONES II (1964)
Music: Eric Satie
Choreography: Sir Frederick Ashton
Costumes: Sir Frederick Ashton
Lighting: Sir Frederick Ashton

Dancers: Wendy Whelan, Tyler Angle, Adrian Danchig-Waring

NEW WHEELDON (U.S. Premiere)
Music: Igor Stravinsky
Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Costumes: Isabel Toledo
Scenery: Ruben Toledo
Lighting: Penny Jacobus

Dancers: Leanne Benjamin, Céline Cassone, Rory Hohenstein, Drew Jacoby, Edwaard Liang, Rubinald Pronk, Beatriz Stix-Brunell, Ed Watson

#7 Lynette H

Lynette H

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 124 posts

Posted 28 July 2008 - 04:30 AM

We get a sligtly different line up at Sadler's Wells in September.

Programme 1 is:

Polyphonia (Christopher Wheeldon)
Monotones II (Ashton)
Other Dances (Jerome Robbins)
New Christopher Wheeldon Ballet (same as Programme 2)

Programme 2 is:

Fools' Paradise (Christopher Wheeldon)
New Emily Molnar Ballet
New Christopher Wheeldon Ballet (same as Programme 1)

As I recall, there were slight differences between the UK programe and the US one last year too.

The list of dancers on the Morphoses web site for 2008 includes Martin Harvey of the RB, but I didn't spot his name in any casting.

#8 nysusan

nysusan

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,002 posts

Posted 29 July 2008 - 04:47 AM

... Monotones II with the NYCB dream cast of Wendy Whalen, Tyler Angle and Adrian Danchig-Waring. Their physiques are perfect for the Monotones trio, can't wait to see what they look like in Ashton!


I don't remember the two men well enough to comment, but I have to say I don't see Whelan as having the 'perfect physique' for Monotones - I think of the role as needing someone with a rounded, soft style and perfect line, and much though I admire Whelan I don't see her in these terms. Am I misjudging her, or are you looking for different qualities in the role?


I guess I should have been a little more specific. While I'm looking forward to seeing this trio in Monotones and think Wendy's unique brand of spiky lyricism will be wonderful I was thinking more of the 2 male dancers in terms of physique. They have a very similar look, and I like it when the 2 men are like bookends. Also both have a very lithe, long limbed physique and beautiful long line which I think will work well in Monotones. But I must admit I've only seen this a few times, it's rarely performed in NY which is why I'm so excited to see that it's programmed for the Morphoses season.

#9 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,881 posts

Posted 03 October 2008 - 10:11 AM

Looks like Wheeldon has done a "bait and switch": Ashton's The Dream Pas De Deux is not listed on City Center's website anymore for Program 2. Instead, a work called "One" is being performed. I know the fine print always warns that programs are subject to change. However, this is a VERY disappointing change.

#10 Leigh Witchel

Leigh Witchel

    Editorial Advisor

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,466 posts

Posted 03 October 2008 - 10:54 AM

I have no information on this, but I'm guessing from the rest of casting that either Leanne Benjamin or Edward Watson is unable to dance.

#11 sealings

sealings

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 61 posts

Posted 04 October 2008 - 08:03 PM

Christopher Wheeldon introduced the program tonight and said they removed the pas de deux because of injury. He didn't specify whose.

#12 vipa

vipa

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,098 posts

Posted 04 October 2008 - 08:16 PM

Christopher Wheeldon introduced the program tonight and said they removed the pas de deux because of injury. He didn't specify whose.


I was there too. What did you think?

#13 drb

drb

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,508 posts

Posted 04 October 2008 - 08:32 PM

I've been waiting for BT'er reviews of this season, so far to no avail. Maybe (almost) no one went? And that might be Morphoses biggest problem. Seen from the Mezzanine level, there was a wide arc of empty seats there on opening night, and far fewer still attended today's matinee, the debut of the second program.

Opening night, October 1, 2008.
For early arrivers there was a film loop of new Morphoses dancer Celine Cassone sitting on the stairs preparing a new pair of pointes. Mr. Wheeldon came out to welcome and thank the (gala) audience, and had a lot to say about each of the dances to come.
The young choreographer was perhaps overly enthusiastic about his 2001 Polyphonia, the evening's curtain-raiser. Especially with so much so similar to that which has been seen since, it took quite a while to become engaging (for me... most critics did not seem to have this difficulty). While making a more immediate effect back then, it was, as then, that things really got cooking with Craig Hall's PdD. Then it was with the irreplaceable (for NYCB) and since exiled Alexandra Ansanelli. Wheeldon offered quite a replacement, however, with 15 year-old Beatriz Stix-Brunell. Mr. Hall partnered with the demeanor of a proud big brother, yet also with all due gravitas to this most impressive young dancer. Her subsequent solo sung with joy. Surely we shall not see her in NYCB productions of this work, but it is a role in need of Erica Pereira there. Things reached a peak with choreography for his Muse Wendy Whelan, here with Tyler Angle, but why in retrospect do all Wheeldon's Whelan dances blur into one grand pretzel puzzle?

The central duo of the program began with the evening's sublime PdT, Sir Fred Ashton's Monotones II. In NYC of the 70's and 80's this was a Joffrey specialty, and their Ashton fluency was quite lacking with Wheeldon's company. (But where is Ashton fluency? Shame on the Royal Ballet: a half century ago the debate as to who was greater, Ashton or Balanchine, was a serious one: NYCB remembered, the Royal forgot.) Maria Kowroski had the requisite majestic cool glamour, though not Ashton technique. The pair of men were not ideally matched, though oddly Netherlands' Rubinold Pronk seemed more at home than did the Royal's star Edward Watson.
Emily Molnar's Six Fold Illuminate seems to have been panned by every critic. Well, I enjoyed it. It seems to me that its clue is in the title. She had six terrific dancers, and illuminated each. Although all, except Ms. Cassone, are at least a little familiar here, I got the sense that I knew each better after seeing this dance. The two women could not be more different (except that both are terrific dancers). Drew Jacoby was first out, a big ballerina in size, muscle and charisma. And big, charismatic Rubinold Pronk was a superb partner for her. When Celine Cassone came out it was all in contrast, sweetness, gamin-like, bangs... These six dancers (also Rory Hohenstein, Edwaard Liang, Edward Watson) were all to be in the following Wheeldon premiere.

I liked Mr. Wheeldon's Commedia to Stravinsky's Pulcinella for two reasons: First, the eight dancers (Leanne Benjamin and Ms. Stix-Brunell added to the prior six) quickly escaped from much of the ridiculous commedia dell'arte costuming (sorry, I lack the refinement of taste for what seems to me just silly stuff) and got down to dancing. Second, I thought there was some advance in his choreography.
The duet with Ms. Benjamin and Ms. Stix-Brunell had them pretty much dancing the same steps. Comparing, there was something very special about the younger dancer's legs: it was if she moved in a medium somewhere between air and water, something so smooth yet with both substance and clarity, crisp and soft, and no doubt that we are seeing someone very special. In the arms, however, there is so much she can learn from Ms. Benjamin: poetry. Also, at some point the young dancer must go beyond a permanent smile. But for now she's 15: let her enjoy dancing. It was especially pleasing to see Mr. Wheeldon choreographing so lightly: fun! Then came the already critically-admired PdD for Ms. Benjamin and Mr. Watson. The dance critic-in-chief of the Times has complained that Mr. Wheeldon's PdD's are too much the man manipulating (physically) the ballerina. Although Watson did at times manipulate Benjamin, it was much more just natural ballet partnering, and at times she manipulated him. But this was really a love PdD, in its happy Springtime, when they are still finding new ways to touch, yet know each other well enough to act confidently. Fairly early on they dance together with their only contact being lips-to-lips. I wonder, was Ashton included to tell us that Mr. Wheeldon had found the Ashton humanity?

Saturday matinee, October 4, 2008
There was some program juggling. Commedia was moved from finale to curtain-raiser. Good.

In the middle were a trio of dances. First he replaced Ashton's PdD from The Dream. I would have liked to see Ms. Benjamin and Mr. Watson in this, but it is quite familiar in NYC, what with both Alessandra Ferri and Diana Vishneva having danced it recently with ABT. But he wanted to show Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's PdD One that, as he explained, had been performed as .5 in Vail, since only the female part was danced there. Since the dancers were Drew Jacoby and Rubinold Pronk, I was happy to see it. Kind of Forsythe, but when steps or positions seemed repeated, the emotional connection between dancers would vary. Lets face it, these dancers are worth seeing!
Next came Monotones II. But with very different dancers: Wendy Whelan, Tyler Angle, and Adrian Danchig-Waring, all in debuts. The men were a more natural pair to frame a ballerina than we saw on opening night. Early on one was especially aware of choreographic detail, Balanchine dancers finding their way through Ashton. But in this process they seemed to find Ashton's essence, beyond the steps. That calm warmth, moon-walkers (Ashton's inspiration for this piece) yes, but humans, carrying that inner core of what we really are to a strange new land.
The third piece, Shutters Shut, was to a recording of Gertrude Stein reading what was probably once creative and humorous. The entertainment was created by the pair Lightfoot Leon, and performed by the pair (seemingly not otherwise associated with Morphoses) Christine Thomassen and Andreas Heise. It was funny.

The program closed with Fool's Paradise, a hit for Mr. Wheeldon with last year's audiences, me included, critics not. Mr. Wheeldon obviously loves it, I still enjoy it, although invention flags a little along the way, and the final tableaux vivant is still fantastic.

So for the future, there are two problems. Filling seats. Creating that elusive, large-scale masterpiece.

#14 sealings

sealings

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 61 posts

Posted 04 October 2008 - 10:01 PM

I was in the mezzanine and almost everyone around me had purchased $10 student tickets through the special offer. And we had great seats. The wings were empty. I didn't get a look upstairs or at the orchestra. I would have picked up a few more performances this weekend but had the lsat today. Nice to see the ABT stars out and about.

I found "One" intense, emotional, and arresting. A darker mood than the rest of the program; I loved it! So much in fact I didn't mind the swap. Also really enjoyed Christine Thomassen doing quick, inventive choreography in "Shutters Shut." Some nice partnering in "Commedia," and I've seen "Fool's Paradise" before.

#15 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,881 posts

Posted 06 October 2008 - 06:16 AM

I sat in the Rear Mez on opening night and Sat night. I was surprised by the large numbers of empty seats on both nights. I guess Wheeldon has enough corporate sponsorship so that it doesn't matter how many tickets sell. I thought Commedia and Fool's Paradise were enjoyable. However, the highlights for me were Polyphonia and Monotones II.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):