ABT Studio Company/JKO School year-end performances

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From the company:






Year-end performances for American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company and the

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School are scheduled for Friday, April 5 and Saturday,

April 6 at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University.

American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company performance on Friday, April 5 at 7:30pm

will include full performances of Alexei Ratmansky’s Le Carnaval Des Animaux, Paul Taylor’s

Airs, Raymond Luken’s Jerusalem Divertissement and George Balanchine’s Tarantella. The

show will be part of the second annual “Pace Presents” program, a series of performing and

visual arts programs.

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School will perform Saturday, April 6 at 2pm and

7:30pm. Students will perform excerpts of ABT’s The Sleeping Beauty, Alexei Ratmansky’s

Le Carnaval des Animaux, and original works by JKO School faculty, including Franco De Vita,

Raymond Lukens, Jessica Lang and Melissa Allen Bowman. The matinee will also include a

performance by students from select levels of the JKO School Children’s Division.

American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company is comprised of 12 dancers of outstanding

potential aged 16-20. In addition to a schedule of classes including ballet technique, pointe,

variations, partnering, modern, and dance history, the Studio Company gains performance

experience through residencies, cultural exchanges and local performances.

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre is a pre-

professional ballet training program for students ages 11-18. The JKO School utilizes American

Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum, which combines scientific principles with

elements from the French, Italian and Russian schools of training. Admission is by audition only.

The JKO School also includes a Children's Division, for younger dancers ages 4-13.

Under the direction of American Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie,

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School Principal Franco De Vita, JKO School Assistant Principal

Melissa Allen Bowman and ABT Studio Company Artistic Associate Kate Lydon, the ABT

Studio Company and JKO School incorporate a faculty of ABT alumni, members of ABT’s

Artistic Staff and renowned teachers, including Kevin McKenzie, Franco De Vita, Harriet Clark,

Olga Dvorovenko, Susan Jones, Jessica Lang, Clinton Luckett, Raymond Lukens, Kate Lydon,

Clarice Marshall, Adrienne Hurd, Keith Sabado, Lupe Serrano and Martine van Hamel.

Northern Trust is the leading Corporate Sponsor of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.

Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University is located at 3 Spruce Street,

New York, NY. For detailed directions, please visit schimmel.pace.edu. Tickets range in price

from $25-$40 for the performance Friday, April 5, and $25-$35 for the performance Saturday,

April 6. Tickets can be purchased at the box office Monday through Friday, 1-6pm and two

hours before show time at Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University. Tickets can

also be ordered by phone at 866.811.4111.

For more information, please visit www.abt.org.

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Friday night's ABT Studio Company performance at PACE was most enjoyable. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself loving the modern piece (Taylor's Airs, set to Handel) the most. All seven dancers in the work were emotionally touching and musical. Katerina Eng gave real pathos and gravitas to the 'tall girl' role with the solo adagio. Also, Airs was the piece in which, for me, 'superstar in the making' Catherine Hurlin truly shined with her uniquely sinewy plastique. She's a willowy, lyrical wonder best served in such works (a Reichlen or Kent, not a Bouder or Herrera)...so why put her in Tarantella for a 2nd year running??? I know that I'm in the minority here but...Catherine Hurlin was born to dance the lyrical Paul Taylor works (or other such 'modern' ballets requiring extraordinary 'plastique' of form, such as Ashton's Five Brahms Waltzes or Yakobsen's Rodin Sculptures). I can't wait to see this lovely young dancer progress, hopefully in lyrical roles!

The evening opened with that Tarantella - not bad, for a student performance. Hurlin was, in fact, sharper and more musical than her performance last year. Perhaps she was more secure because this time she was paired with a less hotshot-virtuoso male? This year's gent, Xavier Nunez, is very capable (wonderful turner!), handsome and charming but a bit more shy in manner than the dynamic Shu Kinouchi was last year. Hurlin/Nunez are a more balanced couple.

Five movements from Alexei Ratmansky's 2003 Carnival des Animaux (to Saint-Saens) followed: from the 'Birds' segment to the finale of the full ballet. It's one of the most enjoyable and clever-funny Ratmansky works around, with just the right amount of humor without disintegrating to slapstick. I loved the 'Fossils' segment in which male dancers in nude-colored tights warmed up and showed off...and one amazing lad among them truly showed off: Jun Xia, with extraordinary jump, finesse, FEET, musicality, charisma, FEET, centered turns...did I mention his gorgeous pointed FEET in every move he does? WOW. Hannah Marshall was lovely in the Pavlova-tribute segment to 'The Swan' in which the corps reacted to and mimicked some of the famous Fokine movements.

JKO School instructor Raymond Lukens' classical-tutu piece to Verdi ballet music, Jerusalem Divertissement, closed the evening. Hurlin and Nunez received the loudest 'bravos' but my personal kudos go to more classically stable female soloists Carolyn Lippert (a glamorous look, technical security, brio and balances to die for!) and Alexandra Pullen (a lovely blonde dancer in the Obraztsova soubrette mold with fine pirouttes and personality to spare). Again, Jun Xia was the male standout, particularly in the Raymonda-esque Male Pas de Quatre deftly delivered, along with Juan Jose Carazo Arranz, Xavier Nunez and Kyle Torres-Hiyoshi. Nunez opened our eyes with a Cuban-style 'endless pirouette' during the Coda. Bravo!

Kudos to all! I wonder if any of the ABT Studio members and/or other JKO graduates will be moving on to the main ABT company?

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