ABT: AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE AMERICA'S NATIONAL BALLET COMPANY®


Gillian Murphy and Roman Zhurbin in Le Corsaire.
Photo:Gene Schiavone.



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ABT RETURNS TO CHICAGO WITH DUAL DELIGHTS:
CHICAGO PREMIERE OF LE CORSAIRE, PLUS GALA OPENING NIGHT MIXED REP PROGRAM, AT THE CIVIC OPERA HOUSE, MARCH 29-APRIL 2, 2006

 
2005-06 Marks Julio Bocca and Julie Kent’s 20th Anniversary Season with ABT

 
12/1/2005 - Returning to Chicago for what has become an annual “rite of Spring,” American Ballet Theatre (ABT), America’s National Ballet Company®, will present two separate programs at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive: A Gala Opening Night of mixed repertory, Wednesday, March 29, 2006, followed by five performances of the full-length swashbuckling adventure, Le Corsaire (The Pirate), March 30 - April 2, 2006. This engagement marks the Chicago Premiere of Anna-Marie Holmes’ staging of Le Corsaire for American Ballet Theatre.

The full-length story ballet Le Corsaire is an exotic Turkish fable of a dashing pirate’s love for a beautiful harem girl, with a story line traveling from the Pasha's dazzling palace to a spectacular shipwreck on a windswept desert island. Le Corsaire is considered the perfect platform for daring and explosive dancing. Principal roles of Medora (the harem girl), Conrad (the pirate), Ali (the slave), Gulnare (Medora’s friend), Lankendem (owner of the bazaar), and Birbanto (Conrad’s friend) will be cast in Chicago as follows: Julie Kent, Julio Bocca, Angel Corella, Xiomara Reyes, Herman Cornejo, and Carlos Lopez (Thursday, March 30, evening); Michele Wiles, David Hallberg, Jose Manuel Carreño, Stella Abrera, Gennadi Saveliev, and Jesus Pastor (Friday, March 31, evening); Irina Dvorovenko, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Angel Corella, Maria Riccetto, Sascha Radetsky, and Herman Cornejo (Saturday, April 1, matinee); Gillian Murphy, Ethan Stiefel, Jose Manuel Carreño, Stella Abrera, Gennadi Saveliev, and Jesus Pastor (Saturday, April 1, evening); and Paloma Herrera, Marcelo Gomes, Angel Corella, Xiomara Reyes, Herman Cornejo, and Carlos Lopez (Sunday, April 2, matinee). All casting is subject to change.

American Ballet Theatre will open its Spring 2006 program in Chicago with a Gala Program on March 29 showcasing pas de deux galore, including Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun (Kent, Stiefel), George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux (Dvorovenko, Beloserkovsky), Pas de deux TBA (Alessandra Ferri, Bocca), and the “Black Swan Pas de Deux” from Kevin McKenzie’s Swan Lake (Herrera, Carreño). Also on the program will be Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo (Reyes, Radetsky) and a suite from Le Corsaire (Wiles, Murphy, Gomes, Corella, Cornejo).

American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancers Julio Bocca and Julie Kent are both celebrating 20-year anniversaries with the company in the 2005-2006 season.

“We are delighted to have Chicago as a regular stop on ABT’s tour,” said American Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. “With the prior success of Swan Lake and Giselle, the Company is proud return to the Civic Opera House with the acclaimed production of Le Corsaire, as well as a program of repertory which showcases the scope of ABT’s artistry.”

This production of Le Corsaire, with sets and costumes by Irina Tibilova and lighting by Mary Jo Dondlinger, was first staged for American Ballet Theatre in 1998 by Anna-Marie Holmes, after choreography by Konstantin Sergeyev, after Marius Petipa. The ballet was filmed for broadcast by PBS’ Dance in America in 1999. American Ballet Theatre’s 85+ member company will be accompanied by a live orchestra performing a score by Adolphe Adam, Cesare Pugni, Leo Delibes, Riccardo Drigo, and Prince Oldenberg.

The Chicago Opening Night Gala, to benefit American Ballet Theatre, takes place Wednesday, March 29, at 7 p.m., and features a pre-performance Gala reception, post-performance champagne toast on stage with the dancers, and prime seating. Opening Night Gala tickets are priced from $400. For more information on the Gala Opening Night program or to purchase Gala tickets, please call 212.477.3030 ext. 1105. Performance-only tickets for Opening Night are available from $98-$20, by calling TicketMaster at (312) 902-1500.

Performances of Le Corsaire at the Civic Opera House are as follows: Thursday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, March 31, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 1, at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, April 2, at 2 p.m. Tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s Le Corsaire, and the Opening Night program, which range in price from $98 - $20, can be purchased by calling (312) 902-1500; visiting the Civic Opera House box office; or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Groups of 15 or more can receive discount pricing by calling (312) 922-2110, ext. 357.

Countrywide Financial is the National Sponsor of American Ballet Theatre and Cole Haan is a Leading Benefactor. For more information on American Ballet Theatre’s presentation of Le Corsaire at the Civic Opera House March 29-April 2, 2006, please call (312) 902-1500 or visit www.civicoperahouse.com.