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ABT Fall 2015 season


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No, KarenAG, although I LOVE the Bard campus (I went to music camp there decades ago), it's much easier for me to go into the city. I remember seeing The Green Table as a child, and being bored to tears, but I didn't yet have a context to appreciate it. But it's going to take more ballet than is so far programmed to get me into the city. I've never seen Company B--I'll have to look it up on YouTube.

Oh, too bad, it would be so nice to meet! I love the Bard campus, too. Going to Bard is definitely great for me because I can't go to NYC all the time and plan on two NYCB ballets during the Fall season. So being able to trek to Bard, a mere 50 miles away, is wonderful for me. However, ABT at Bard is the same weekend for matinee performances of Liebeslieder Waltzer, which is a a ballet I haven't seen in quite a long time and want very much to see. So unfortunately, it will be one of those 'feast' weekends and thus, somewhat tiring with all the travel. But definitely worth it! Company B is terrific.

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Although I prefer Taylor's version I wouldn't mind seeing ABT do Company B again, and I'd certainly like to see the Green Table again (especially if they give it to Foster!) but both on the same program, and with a Mark Morris piece rounding out the program? No, definitely not. I'm not any more interested in seeing ABT turn into American Modern Dance Theater in the fall than I was in seeing them turn into Hee Seo Ballet Theater at the Met.

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The Mark Morris piece is most likely going to be modern. The only classical Morris piece that I know of is Sylvia for SFB. I do hope for a balance diet with classical ballets and tutus. I may skip any all-modern programs. The fall season will be announced this Wed.

Thanks, mussel. I will see ABT at Bard, regardless. Can't miss them at a perfect country venue, and in the Fall, too!

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Are you talking about the national dances in the 3rd act of Swan Lake? Cause those are character dances, which are often part of a ballet (also see the Mazurka in Raymonda), but they are not ballet, they are character dances (except in the Bolshoi's version where Grigorovich puts them on point and turns them into kind of a mash up of character & ballet). Also, the Prince's Mother, Bathilde in Giselle - those are character roles, they dancers portraying them are not dancing ballet. In these two cases they aren't even dancing, they are walking & acting.

No, actually I'm referring to the current production at ABT that has two distinct groups in the first Act. The Aristocrats (who dance in pointe shoes), and the Peasants who dance in soft slippers. But they are not doing National character dances here, but rather a more generic "country style" of dance. But it is ballet. As to the photo up thread of Michelle Wiles in "Dark Elegies" (courtesy of Decoster), the lead does wear pointe shoes, but not the other women. I don't believe the wearing of pointe shoes should be the bottom line to calling something "ballet dancing". What is "After The Rain Pas de Deux"? Most definitely ballet.

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But ABT often misses the accents of many works, stager or no stager. For instance Symphony in C was staged by Merrill Ashley but the end product was horrifying.

That hurts! Symphony in C is one of those Balanchine ballets which is very hard to get right, so that it shines like the exquisite, multi-faceted, sparkling gem that it is. I contemplated buying tickets for ABT's SiC (two seasons ago?), but changed my mind because I felt that I might be really disappointed. I'm thrilled I'll be seeing it performed twice at SPAC this week and next week. toot.gif I never tire of that work.

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No, actually I'm referring to the current production at ABT that has two distinct groups in the first Act. The Aristocrats (who dance in pointe shoes), and the Peasants who dance in soft slippers. But they are not doing National character dances here, but rather a more generic "country style" of dance. But it is ballet. As to the photo up thread of Michelle Wiles in "Dark Elegies" (courtesy of Decoster), the lead does wear pointe shoes, but not the other women. I don't believe the wearing of pointe shoes should be the bottom line to calling something "ballet dancing". What is "After The Rain Pas de Deux"? Most definitely ballet.

Two more! "Baker's Dozen" and "Sinatra Suite". No pointe shoes, very much ballet.

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Company B is not a ballet. No pointe work. And I agree that it is performed too often in New York City. I go to ABT to see ballet, not modern dance.

I also go to ABT to see ballet, abatt. For me, what make a dance ballet are the following: (a) ballet line, i.e., classical ballet placement of the body (very different in modern dance); (b) turnout, except when specifically choreographed otherwise, e.g., specific steps in some Balanchine ballets; © pointed feet and straight legs, except for certain steps and (d) not absolutely necessary but makes a big difference: pointe shoes.

There's a Balanchine ballet in several parts in which, in one of the parts, the dancers are in soft shoes, and even though they have (a), (b), and © above, I still miss the pointe work. Pointe work elongates ("finishes") the classical line.

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Oh, too bad, it would be so nice to meet! I love the Bard campus, too. Going to Bard is definitely great for me because I can't go to NYC all the time and plan on two NYCB ballets during the Fall season. So being able to trek to Bard, a mere 50 miles away, is wonderful for me. However, ABT at Bard is the same weekend for matinee performances of Liebeslieder Waltzer, which is a a ballet I haven't seen in quite a long time and want very much to see. So unfortunately, it will be one of those 'feast' weekends and thus, somewhat tiring with all the travel. But definitely worth it! Company B is terrific.

KarenAG, please let me know when you're coming to New York. Maybe we can see a ballet together.

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"Dark Elegies", "Moor's Pavanne", "Glass Pieces". "Upper Room", uses both pointe shoes and sneakers. The list of ballets not using pointe shoes is quite long. What about the use of soft shoes in the first act of "Swan Lake", for example. Are these dancers not doing"ballet"

Jose Limon choreographed "The Moor's Pavanne" and it most certainly NOT a ballet. Those were the days when modern dance was pretty strictly opposed to ballet. When I did a residency with the company we saw a film (sorry, it's not on DVD), with Jose performing the role of the Moor. It had a lot of weight into the ground and looked nothing like what ABT dances.

About 10-15 years ago I also saw ABT perform Martha Graham's "Diversion of Angels". That is a piece I saw the Graham company perform many, many times in their heyday. It, too, is most emphatically, NOT a ballet. And ABT really did a terrible job performing it. You can not learn Graham technique in 10 days (or whatever they had). Not ONE ABT dancer did a proper contraction. It was awful to watch. The only saving grace was that when the Graham studio's costumes and sets were tragically ruined by Hurricane Sandy, ABT lent them the costumes for "Diversion".

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I also go to ABT to see ballet, abatt. For me, what make a dance ballet are the following: (a) ballet line, i.e., classical ballet placement of the body (very different in modern dance); (b) turnout, except when specifically choreographed otherwise, e.g., specific steps in some Balanchine ballets; © pointed feet and straight legs, except for certain steps and (d) not absolutely necessary but makes a big difference: pointe shoes.

There's a Balanchine ballet in several parts in which, in one of the parts, the dancers are in soft shoes, and even though they have (a), (b), and © above, I still miss the pointe work. Pointe work elongates ("finishes") the classical line.

Modern dancers also need turnout, just not to the same extent as ballet dancers. Modern dancers also need nice, pointed feet and straight legs, just, again not to the same extent as ballet dancers. I would say ballet (in the past) required certain steps and positions. But beginning with Balanchine (and his use of flexed legs and arms) that all began to change. Forsythe really speeded up the incorporation of modern dance idiom into ballet. Nowadays, most contemporary ballet choreographers (Ratmansky, maybe not as much) incorporate non balletic steps into their choreography.

Still, as abatt noted, Paul Taylor does not consider his work ballet nor does he especially like ballet. Jose Limon and Martha Graham would be rolling over in their graves to think a ballet company is performing their work. I'd just say that as unprofitable as ballet is, modern dance is more so. That is the only reason I can come up with for why these companies allow ABT to perform their work.

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I think a lot of modern dance choreographers and their estates agree to allow ballet companies to perform their works because there is money to be made in doing so.

Paul Taylor allows numerous companies, not just ABT, to perform his works. As an example, Ailey performed Taylor's Arden Court a few years ago. The Ailey dancers were pretty awful in it, in my opinion.

Re Taylor's Black Tuesday, which was commissioned by and premiered at ABT, Taylor himself NEVER worked directly with the ABT dancers. He created the work in his own studios with the Paul Taylor dancers, and then one of his stagers set the work on ABT's dancers.

I agree with Amour on Diversion of Angels. It definitely did not look like what the Graham trained dancers do. Ditto the ABT performances of a Merce Cunningham work a few years ago.

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That hurts! Symphony in C is one of those Balanchine ballets which is very hard to get right, so that it shines like the exquisite, multi-faceted, sparkling gem that it is. I contemplated buying tickets for ABT's SiC (two seasons ago?), but changed my mind because I felt that I might be really disappointed. I'm thrilled I'll be seeing it performed twice at SPAC this week and next week. toot.gif I never tire of that work.

That doesn't mean I'm inflexibale about seeing another company perform it.

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KarenAG, please let me know when you're coming to New York. Maybe we can see a ballet together.

Thank you, Angelica, for the invitation, how nice of you! I would love to meet you and enjoy a ballet together. I'll PM you as the Fall gets closer and I'm deciding which matinees and perhaps one evening (I'll be in New Rochelle for business in September (the 1st NYCB week, I think) and would take MN in.)

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Company B is great, but you might consider seeing it the next time Paul Taylor revives it, instead of going to ABT to see it. It is a Paul Taylor classic that is often revived by his own company.

In the best of all possible worlds, see it with both companies -- you'll learn a lot about the work, and about the companies.

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The central pdd is clearly ballet in Glass Pieces. Upper Room also extensively uses pointe work along with balletic choreography. I would not classify Moor's Pavane as ballet. It is modern dance. Don't recall Dark Elegies.

Dark Elegies is usually performed on pointe, if that's your criterion, though one of the most affecting performances I've heard of was a soft shoe version by the current iteration of the Rambert Company, which generally doesn't dance on pointe.

Tudor's use of classical vocabulary to created an emotional/expressive effect is particularly strong in this work. It is quite dark, but still, one of my favorite works ever.

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And both of them made for Tharp's company long before she amalgamated with ABT.

Yes. And that may be her genius and strength. That both of these "ballets" can be danced by ballet companies as well as her own company.

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I found that Tharp's works often looked quite different with her dancers, and one saw qualities that only a few ballet dancers have been able to bring out even in works created for ballet dancers.

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Yes. And that may be her genius and strength. That both of these "ballets" can be danced by ballet companies as well as her own company.

And that has been part of her strategy to keep her repertory alive, I think. At one point, she made an agreement with Hubbard Street to become a kind of living repository of her rep up until her move to ABT, but that was under the last artistic director, and seems to be mostly forgotten. This plan functions well far some of her earlier rep, but not for everything. Works like Sinatra and Baker's Dozen fit easily into most ballet company reps today, but other dances like Bad Smells (premiered the same year as Sinatra) are harsher in tone and technique -- they don't seem to make the shift so easily.

I'd heard that she was thinking of reviving Bad Smells for her upcoming 50th anniversary season, bet I don't know if it's still in the cards. It was made during one of her experiments with video technology (live camera on stage, projected in real time on the backdrop), and was in some ways a meditation on violence. It was very disturbing, and though I saw it on its premiere tour all those years ago, I still think about it. I don't know that it would be a good transfer to a mixed rep ballet company, but I hate to think that we'll lose it altogether.

I re-watched the opening of Push Comes to Shove a couple days ago, and was reminded how radical that work seemed in the context of a mainstream ballet company at the time. All the isolations, the subtle weight shifts and changes of direction, the multiple systems going on in overlapping, syncopated timing -- at the time, these were the smartest dancers we could see, and they'd struggled mightily to get there. Back then, Tharp could not have franchised her earlier rep as she does now -- most ballet companies weren't capable of dancing like that. She's not the only reason for the diversification of training and repertory that we see today, but she was certainly an instigator.

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I found that Tharp's works often looked quite different with her dancers, and one saw qualities that only a few ballet dancers have been able to bring out even in works created for ballet dancers.

Absolutely. Shelley Washington.

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Official release:

NEW YORK CITY PREMIERE BY MARK MORRIS AND COMPANY PREMIERES OF FREDERICK ASHTON’S MONOTONES I and II,

GEORGE BALANCHINE’S VALSE-FANTAISIE AND MARCELO GOMES’ AFTEREFFECT TO HIGHLIGHT AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE’S

FALL SEASON AT DAVID H. KOCH THEATER,

OCTOBER 21-NOVEMBER 1, 2015

REVIVALS OF TWYLA THARP’S THE BRAHMS-HAYDN VARIATIONS,

MICHEL FOKINE’S LE SPECTRE DE LA ROSE AND KURT JOOSS’

THE GREEN TABLE ALSO PLANNED

Programming for American Ballet Theatre’s 2015 Fall season at the David H. Koch Theater was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. Highlighting the season will be the New York City Premiere of a new work by Mark Morris and the Company Premieres of Frederick Ashton’s Monotones I and II, George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie and AfterEffect by Marcelo Gomes. The 2015 Fall season at the David H. Koch Theater, October 21 through November 1, marks the conclusion of ABT’s 75th Anniversary celebration.

Principal Dancers for the 2015 Fall season include Stella Abrera, Isabella Boylston, Misty Copeland, Herman Cornejo, Marcelo Gomes, Maria Kochetkova, Alban Lendorf, Gillian Murphy, Veronika Part, Hee Seo, Daniil Simkin, Cory Stearns and James Whiteside.

PREMIERES AND OPENING NIGHT GALA

American Ballet Theatre’s Opening Night Gala on Wednesday, October 21 at 6:30pm will feature a New York City Premiere by choreographer Mark Morris, the Company Premiere of Frederick Ashton’s Monotones I and II and the Revival Premiere of Twyla Tharp’s The Brahms-Haydn Variations. Set to music by Johann Nepomuk

Hummel (Septet in C Major, No. 2 “Military”), Morris’ new work for 12 dancers features costumes by Isaac Mizrahi and lighting by Michael Chybowski. Morris’ new work will receive its World Premiere on October 9, 2015 at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. The new Morris work will be given six performances during ABT’s Koch Theater season.

Frederick Ashton’s Monotones I and II features music by Erik Satie and costumes by Ashton. A one-act ballet in two parts, Monotones II was given its World Premiere on March 24, 1965 performed by Vyvyan Lorraine, Anthony Dowell and Robert Mead. Ashton expanded the piece in 1966 with the World Premiere of Monotones I featuring Antoinette Sibley, Georgina Parkinson and Brian Shaw. Monotones I and II, staged for ABT by Lynn Wallis, will be given five performances for the season.

A revival of Twyla Tharp’s The Brahms-Haydn Variations will round out the opening night Gala program. Set to music by Johannes Brahms (Variations on a Theme by Haydn for Orchestra), the ballet for thirty dancers features costumes by Santo Loquasto and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. The Brahms-Haydn Variations, which will have five performances during the Fall season, received its World Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on March 21, 2000 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC. Staged for ABT by Susan Jones, the ballet was last performed by the Company in 2010.

JPMorgan Chase is the Lead Sponsor of American Ballet Theatre’s Opening Night Fall Gala.

George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie will be given its Company Premiere on Friday evening, October 23. Staged for ABT by Stacey Caddell, the ballet is set to Valse-Fantaisie in B minor by Mikhail Glinka. Valse-Fantaisie was given its World Premiere by New York City Ballet on January 6, 1953 performed by Diana Adams, Melissa Hayden, Tanaquil Le Clerq and Nicholas Magalanes. The ballet will receive three performances during the Fall season.

The Company Premiere of AfterEffect by Principal Dancer Marcelo Gomes will be given on Wednesday evening, October 28. Set to Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence, Op 70, Gomes’ work features a set design by artist

Françoise Gilot and costumes by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung. Gomes’ work will consist of four movements, the first of which was premiered by American Ballet Theatre as Aftereffect on October 30, 2013 at the David H. Koch Theater. The ballet will receive three performances during the Fall season.

REVIVALS

Kurt Jooss’ The Green Table, a Dance of Death in Eight Scenes, last performed by American Ballet Theatre in 2006, will receive its Revival Premiere on Thursday evening, October 22. Set to music by F.A. Cohen, The Green Table features costumes by Hein Heckroth, with masks by Hermann Markard and lighting by Brad Fields after the Jooss/Markard design. The ballet received its Company Premiere at City Center in New York City on October 21, 2005. The Green Table was given its World Premiere by Jooss Ballet at the Théåtre de Champs-Élysées, Paris, France on July 3, 1932 with the choreographer in the role of Death. Staged for ABT by Jeanette Vondersaar, The Green Table will be given six performances during the Fall season.

Michel Fokine’s Le Spectre de la Rose, last performed by the Company in 2005, will receive its Revival Premiere this fall on Wednesday evening, October 23. Set to music by Carl Maria von Webster (Invitation to the Dance), Le Spectre de la Rose features costumes by Léon Bakst, recreated by Robert Perdziola, scenery by Perdziola and lighting by Brad Fields.

Le Spectre de la Rose was first presented by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes at the Theatre de Monte Carlo on April 19, 1911 with Tamara Karsavina and Vaslav Nijinsky in the roles of the Young Girl and the Spirit of the Rose. The ballet was given its United States premiere by the same company at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on April 3, 1916, danced by Lydia Lopoukhova and Alexander Gavrilov. Twenty five years later, for the last time before his death, Fokine taught the roles to Ballet Theatre’s Annabelle Lyon and Ian Gibson and the Company presented it for the first time at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City on October 31, 1941 with Lyon and Gibson in the leading roles. It was given its New York Premiere at the 44th Street Theatre on December 4, 1941. Le Spectre de la Rose, staged by Lyon and Andre Eglevsky, was

given its American Ballet Theatre premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on July 7, 1972, danced by Carla Fracci and Paolo Bortoluzzi. An excerpt of Le Spectre de la Rose was performed at a gala on May 12, 1997, danced by Vladimir Malakhov with Alicia Alonso. Le Spectre de la Rose was previously revived in 2004 at New York’s City Center with Herman Cornejo and Xiomara Reyes in the leading roles.

American Ballet Theatre’s 2015 Fall season also includes three performances of Paul Taylor’s Company B and two performances of Alexei Ratmansky’s Piano Concerto #1. Staged for ABT by Cathy Buck, Company B is set to songs sung by the Andrews Sisters, with costumes by Santo Loquasto and lighting by Jennifer Tipton, recreated by Brad Fields. The ballet was given its World Premiere by Houston Ballet in 1991 and received its ABT Premiere in 2008.

Piano Concerto #1, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky and set to music by Dmitri Shostakovich (Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet and Strings, Op. 35), will be given two performances, Thursday evening, October 29 and Sunday matinee, November 1. The ballet features scenery by George Tsypin, costumes by Keso Dekker and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. Piano Concerto #1 was given its World Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on May 31, 2013 with Diana Vishneva, Cory Stearns, Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev in the leading roles.

Tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s 2015 Fall season at the David H. Koch Theater go on sale beginning July 20, 2015. Tickets priced from $25 are available online, at the Koch Theater box office or by phone at 212-496-0600. Performance-only tickets for the Opening Night Gala begin at $25. The David H. Koch Theater is located at Lincoln Center, Broadway and 63rd Street in New York City. For more information, visit ABT’s website at www.abt.org.

American Airlines is the Official Airline of American Ballet Theatre. Northern Trust is the Leading Corporate Sponsor of the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. ABT is supported, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

The Mark Morris Premiere has been generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.

The Company Premiere of AfterEffect has been generously underwritten by the Ted and Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund. Additional support provided by Lillian E. Kraemer. This production has been generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.

Monotones I and II has been generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.

Valse-Fantaisie has been generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.

The Brahms-Haydn Variations has been made possible by the generous support of Patsy and Jeff Tarr and the JCT Foundation. Additional support provided by Michele and Steve Pesner.

Company B has been generously supported by a gift from Marjorie S. Issac in honor of ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

David H. Koch is the Lead Underwriter of Piano Concerto #1. Additional leadership support has been generously provided by The Susan and Leonard Feinstein Foundation. ABT gratefully acknowledges Linda Allard for her generous support of costumes for this production. Mary Jo and Ted Shen, Mrs. Marjorie S. Isaac, and an anonymous donor are Leading Sponsors of this production. Additional support has been provided by Edward and Caroline Hyman, Charlotte and Macdonald Mathey, Michele and Steven Pesner, and Michael and Sue Steinberg. This production has been generously supported through an endowed gift from the Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund. This production has been made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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