Alessandra Ferri in Giselle.
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1/18/2005 - American Ballet Theatre, America’s National Ballet Company™, lead by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie, returns to the Dance at the Music Center series at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for a second consecutive season April 28 to May 1. The programs include four performances of the Company’s acclaimed production of Giselle and a single evening of repertory works to music of Tchaikovsky including Theme and Variations, Ballet Imperial and three pas de deux.
Four casts will dance Giselle beginning with Alessandra Ferri (Giselle), Angel Corella (Albrecht) and Stella Abrera (Myrta) on Friday evening, April 29. On Saturday April 30, Xiomara Reyes, Maxim Beloserkovsky, and Gillian Murphy dance at the matinee, and Julie Kent, Jose Manuel Carreño, and Michele Wiles dance in the evening. The season ends on Sunday matinee May 1 with Paloma Herrera, Marcelo Gomes and Veronika Part leading the cast.
Ferri’s appearance in Los Angeles celebrates her 20th Anniversary season with American Ballet Theatre. Ferri joined the Company as a Principal Dancer in 1985 following a five-year career with The Royal Ballet. She has danced nearly all of the major ballerina roles including Nikiya in La Bayadère, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and the title role in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon, as well as such contemporary works as Jerome Robbins’ Other Dances and Agnes de Mille’s Fall River Legend. Ferri is a permanent guest artist with La Scala in Milan and renowned as an international guest artist.
The engagement opens on April 28 with a program of Mixed Repertory to music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. The program has three works by George Balanchine -- Theme and Variations led by Michele Wiles and Marcelo Gomes, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux danced by Xiomara Reyes and Ethan Stiefel, and Ballet Imperial led by Gillian Murphy, Maxim Beloserkovsky and Stella Abrera.
Two additional Pas de Deux will be performed. Swan Lake Act II Pas de Deux (White Swan Pas de Deux) after choreography by Lev Ivanov, will be danced by Julie Kent and Angel Corella. Swan Lake Act III Pas de Deux (Black Swan Pas de Deux) after choreography by Marius Petipa, will be danced by Paloma Herrera and Jose Manuel Carreño.
Three Music Center Spotlight Award winners - Misty Copeland, Ashley Ellis and Jennifer Whalen – will also be dancing with the company during this engagement.
Countrywide Financial is the National Sponsor of American Ballet Theatre and Cole Haan is a Leading Benefactor.
Tickets for Giselle and the Mixed Repertory at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, are priced from $25.00 to $95.00, and are available at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office, 135 North Grand Avenue. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster Phone Charge at 213/365-3500 or 714/740-7878, online at www.ticketmaster.com, and at all Ticketmaster Outlets including Tower Records, Robinsons-May, Wherehouse Music, Tu Musica, and Ritmo Latino
About the American Ballet Theatre production of Giselle
American Ballet Theatre’s production of Giselle is staged by McKenzie after choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa. The scenery is by Gianni Quaranta, costumes by Anna Anni, and lighting by Jennifer Tipton.
This production of Giselle was created for the 1987 film Dancers (Cannon Films) which incorporated the ballet into its storyline. It was staged at that time by Mikhail Baryshnikov after Coralli, Perrot and Petipa, with additional staging by John Taras and Elena Tchernichova. The first public performance was at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on March 20, 1987, with Marianna Tcherkassky as Giselle and Kevin McKenzie as Albrecht.
McKenzie restaged the ballet in 1995, using the Quaranta sets and Anni costumes. A live orchestra performing the traditional Adolphe Adam score will accompany American Ballet Theatre’s 85-plus member company.
The epitome of romantic ballet, Giselle is a poignant tale of unrequited love, remorse, and forgiveness. The role of Giselle, often described as the Hamlet of the ballet world, requires an exquisite stylist with daring dramatic and technical skills. The current production brings American Ballet Theatre’s unrivalled roster of international ballet stars to Giselle's mystery and ethereal beauty vividly in this universally acclaimed production.
Giselle, a romantic story-ballet in two acts, tells the tale of the weak-hearted peasant girl whose love for Albrecht, a nobleman in disguise, is not realized until her death. Upon dying, Giselle is transported to the moonlit land of the “Wilis”, vengeful spirits of brides who have died before their wedding day. With its sense of mystery, undying love and redemption, Giselle is considered the quintessential Romantic ballet.
Giselle is the oldest continually performed ballet, having had its World Premiere on June 28, 1841 at the Theatre de l’Academie Royale de Musique in Paris, with choreography by Coralli and Perrot. Since then, this ballet has entered the repertoire of almost all of the major ballet companies in the world. It has a particularly rich history with American Ballet Theatre and was first presented by the Company (then Ballet Theatre) during it’s inaugural season at the Center Theatre in New York on January 12, 1940.
The first production had choreography by Anton Dolin after Jean Coralli and scenery and costumes by Lucinda Ballard. The lead roles were danced by Annabelle Lyon as Giselle and Anton Dolin as Albrecht. American Ballet Theatre’s second production debuted on October 15, 1946 at the Broadway Theatre in New York. It featured choreography by Dimitri Romanoff, with contributions by George Balanchine and Antony Tudor, and scenery and costumes by Eugene Berman. Alicia Alonso and Igor Youskevitch danced the leading roles.
The third production, directed by David Blair, with choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, received its first performance at the Carter Baron Amphitheatre in Washington, DC on July 4, 1968, danced by Lupe Serrano as Giselle and Royes Fernandez as Albrecht. Scenery was by Oliver Smith and costumes by Peter Hall. It premiered in New York at the Metropolitan Opera House on July 10, 1968 with the same cast.
Using the Oliver Smith and Peter Hall’s scenery and costumes, Mikhail Baryshnikov staged the fourth and fifth productions of Giselle for American Ballet Theatre after choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa. The first premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC on December 16, 1980, with Marianna Tcherkassky as Giselle and Baryshnikov as Albrecht. The second, which featured additional staging by John Taras and Elena Tchernichova, received its first performance at the Filene Theatre at Wolf Trap Farm in Vienna, Virginia on August 28, 1985, danced by Miss Tcherkassky and Fernando Bujones.
About American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre, founded in 1940, is recognized as one of the great dance companies of the world, and is a living national treasure. The Washington Post wrote, “Once in a not too frequent while there comes along an evening that reminds you what dancing is … such an evening is American Ballet Theatre.”
ABT annually tours the United States and has appeared in all 50 states, performing for more than 600,000 people, and is the only major ballet company to do so. It has also made more than 15 international tours, appearing in 126 cities in 42 countries. As a result, ABT is perhaps the most recognized and presented American ballet company, and it has been sponsored by the United States Department of State on many of these engagements.
The repertoire, perhaps unmatched in the history of ballet, includes all of the full-length ballets of the nineteenth century, such as Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle, the finest works from the early part of the 20th century, as well as acclaimed contemporary masterpieces.
In addition to acquiring such an extraordinary repertoire, ABT has commissioned works by all of the great choreographic geniuses of the 20th century: George Balanchine, Anthony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille, and Twyla Tharp, among others.
Kevin McKenzie is the Artistic Director of ABT. He was appointed in 1992, after a tenure as Principal Dancer dating from 1979-91. Steadfast in his vision of ABT as “American,” McKenzie is committed to maintaining the company’s vast repertoire, and to bringing the magic of dance-theater to the great stages of the world.
Kevin McKenzie was a leading dancer with both the National Ballet of Washington and The Joffrey Ballet before joining American Ballet Theatre as a Soloist in March, 1979. He was appointed a Principal Dancer the following December and performed with the Company until 1991. As a Principal Dancer with ABT, McKenzie danced leading roles in all of the major full-length classics.
Calendar Listing for American Ballet Theatre
5 Performances April 28 to May 1, 2005
Program of Mixed Repertory to Tchaikovsky
Thursday, April 28 at 7:30pm
- Theme & Variations
- Swan Lake Act II Pas de Deux (White Swan Pas de Deux)
- Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux
- Swan Lake Act III Pas de Deux (Black Swan Pas de Deux)
- Ballet Imperial
Four Performances - Friday, April 29 at 8pm, Saturday, April 30 at 2pm & 8pm, Sunday, May 1 at 2pm
Theatre: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center, 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
Tickets: $25, $35, $50, $85, $95
Ticketmaster Phone Charge 213/365-3500 or 714/740-7878
In Person - Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office, 135 North Grand Avenue
Ticketmaster Outlets - including Tower Records, Robinsons-May, Wherehouse Music, Tu Musica, and Ritmo Latino.
Mail/Fax - Single Ticket (Music Center PDF Printable Form)
Groups: 15 or more, call Connie Nelson at 310/446-4398
Online – www.musiccenter.org
Music Center Dance information line – 213/972-0711
About American Ballet Theatre online -- www.abt.org