10/7/2013 - American Ballet Theatre's 2014 season at the Metropolitan Opera House was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. The season will be highlighted by the Company Premiere of Frederick Ashton's Cinderella, and a Shakespeare Celebration to include Ashton's The Dream and Alexei Ratmansky's The Tempest. Season revivals include Leonide Massine's Gaîté Parisienne and Kenneth MacMillan's Manon.
Principal Dancers for the 2014 Metropolitan Opera House season include Roberto Bolle, Herman Cornejo, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, Gillian Murphy, Veronika Part, Xiomara Reyes, Polina Semionova, Hee Seo, Daniil Simkin, Cory Stearns, Ivan Vasiliev, Diana Vishneva and James Whiteside. Guest Artists for the season include Alina Cojocaru, principal dancer with English National Ballet, Maria Kochetkova, principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet, and Denis Matvienko, a guest artist with Mariinsky Ballet.
American Ballet Theatre's 2014 Spring Season opens with a Gala Performance featuring ABT's Principal Dancers on Monday, May 12 at 6:30 P.M. For information on ABT's Spring Gala, please call the Special Events Office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3310.
American Ballet Theatre will give the Company Premiere of Frederick Ashton's Cinderella on Monday, June 9 with Hee Seo in the title role and Cory Stearns as the Prince. Set to music by Sergei Prokofiev, Ashton's Cinderella features sets and costumes by David Walker. The ballet received its World Premiere by Sadler's Wells Ballet on December 23, 1948 at London's Royal Opera House. The original cast included Moira Shearer as Cinderella, Michael Somes as the Prince, Frederick Ashton and Robert Helpman as the Stepsisters and Alexander Grant as the Jester. Staged for ABT by Wendy Ellis Somes with additional staging by Malin Thoors, Cinderella will be given eight performances through June 14.
A SHAKESPEARE CELEBRATION
American Ballet Theatre's 2014 Spring Season will also be highlighted by four performances of a Shakespeare Celebration, which includes Frederick Ashton's The Dream and Alexei Ratmansky's The Tempest, Monday, June 30 through Wednesday, July 2. Gillian Murphy and David Hallberg will lead the opening cast of The Dream on June 30 portraying the roles of Titania and Oberon respectively.
Staged for ABT by Anthony Dowell with Christopher Carr, The Dream is set to music by Felix Mendelssohn and features sets and costumes by David Walker and lighting by John B. Read. The Dream received its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London on April 2, 1964, danced by Antoinette Sibley as Titania, Anthony Dowell as Oberon, Keith Martin as Puck and Alexander Grant Bottom. The ballet received its United States premiere by The Royal Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on April 30, 1965, danced by the same cast. The Dream was given its American Ballet Theatre Company Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on May 24, 2002, danced by Alessandra Ferri as Titania, Ethan Stiefel as Oberon and Herman Cornejo as Puck.
Alexei Ratmansky's The Tempest, a ballet in one act, is set to music written for the play by Jean Sibelius. Adapted from William Shakespeare's play of the same name, the ballet features sets and costumes by Santo Loquasto and lighting by Robert Wierzel. Tony Award-winning director Mark Lamos served as the production's dramaturg. The Tempest will receive its World Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on Wednesday, October 30 at the David H. Koch Theater in New York with Marcelo Gomes as Prospero, Daniil Simkin as Ariel and Herman Cornejo as Caliban. The ballet's first performance of the Spring Season on Monday, June 30, will feature Marcelo Gomes as Prospero.
The Revival Premiere of Léonide Massine's Gaîté Parisienne will be presented on Tuesday, May 20 for four performances through May 22. American Ballet Theatre's production of Gaîté Parisienne, set to music by Jacques Offenbach, with costumes by Christian Lacroix, scenery by Zack Brown and lighting by Steven Shelley, was given its Company Premiere on January 19, 1988 in Tampa, Florida with Cheryl Yeager as the Glove Seller, Victor Barbee as the Baron and Johan Renvall as the Peruvian. The ballet received its World Premiere by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1938 at the Theatre de Monte Carlo in Monaco with Nina Tarakanova as the Glove Seller, Frederic Franklin as the Baron and Léonide Massine as the Peruvian. The ballet was last performed by ABT in 1999. Gaîté Parisienne will be presented this season on a program along with George Balanchine's Theme and Variations and Duo Concertant.
A revival of Kenneth MacMillan's Manon is scheduled for Monday, June 2 with Julie Kent in the title role, Robert Bolle as Des Grieux, Stella Abrera as Lescaut's Mistress and Daniil Simkin as Lescaut. Staged for ABT by Julie Lincoln and Yuri Uchiumi, the ballet is set to music by Jules Massenet. Manon was given its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London on March 7, 1974, danced by Antoinette Sibley as Manon and Anthony Dowell as Des Grieux. Manon was given its United States premiere by The Royal Ballet at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York on May 7, 1974, danced by the same cast. The Company Premiere of the full-length Manon was given on May 28, 1993 at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, danced by Alessandra Ferri as Manon, Julio Bocca as Des Grieux, Gil Boggs as Lescaut, Kathleen Moore as Lescaut's Mistress, Michael Owen as Monsieur G.M., Victor Barbee as Jailer and Georgina Parkinson as Madame. Manon was last performed by ABT in 2007. The ballet will be given eight performances through June 7.
American Ballet Theatre's 2014 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House includes five additional full-length ballets opening with Don Quixote on Tuesday evening, May 13 led by Polina Semionova as Kitri and Cory Stearns as Basilio. The ballet which will be given eight performances through May 19, is staged by Kevin McKenzie and Susan Jones, with choreography after Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky. Don Quixote is set to music by Ludwig Minkus and features scenery and costumes by Santo Loquasto and lighting by Natasha Katz. The McKenzie/Jones staging of the current production was first performed by ABT on June 12, 1995.
La Bayadère choreographed by Natalia Makarova after Marius Petipa, will be given seven performances May 23 through May 29. Diana Vishneva as Nikiya, Marcelo Gomes as Solor and Gillian Murphy as Gamzatti will lead the season's opening night cast of the ballet. Set to music by Ludwig Minkus, specially arranged by John Lanchbery, La Bayadère features scenery by PierLuigi Samaritani, costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge and lighting by Toshiro Ogawa. The full-length La Bayadère received its World Premiere by the Imperial Ballet at the Bolshoi Kamenny in St. Petersburg on February 4, 1877. The dancers were Ekaterina Vazem as Nikiya and Lev Ivanov as Solor. La Bayadère, Act II (The Kingdom of the Shades) was first performed in the West by the Leningrad-Kirov Ballet in 196l.
Natalia Makarova first staged The Kingdom of the Shades scene for American Ballet Theatre in 1974 and it received its premiere at the State Theater in New York City on July 3 of that year, danced by Cynthia Gregory as Nikiya and Ivan Nagy as Solor. Makarova subsequently produced and choreographed the complete version of La Bayadère (in three acts) for American Ballet Theatre, which received its World Premiere on May 21, 1980 with Natalia Makarova as Nikiya, Anthony Dowell as Solor, and Cynthia Harvey as Gamzatti.
Eight performances of Giselle begin Monday evening, June 16 with Diana Vishneva dancing the title role opposite Marcelo Gomes as Albrecht. Set to music by Adolphe Adam, with scenery by Gianni Quaranta, costumes by Anna Anni and lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Giselle has choreography after Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa and has been staged for ABT by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. The world premiere of Giselle, one of the oldest continually-performed ballets, occurred at the Theatre de l'Academie Royale de Musique in Paris on June 28, 1841, danced by Carlotta Grisi as Giselle and Lucien Petipa as Albrecht. The ballet was first presented by American Ballet Theatre (then Ballet Theatre) at the Center Theatre in New York City on January 12, 1940 with choreography by Anton Dolin and scenery and costumes by Lucinda Ballard. The leading roles were danced by Annabelle Lyon and Anton Dolin. American Ballet Theatre's sixth production featuring scenery by Gianni Quaranta and costumes by Anna Anni, was created for the film Dancers, produced in 1987 by Cannon Films. This production's first public performance was given on March 20, 1987 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with Miss Tcherkassky as Giselle and Kevin McKenzie as Albrecht. The current staging is by McKenzie, using the Quaranta and Anni designs.
Swan Lake, choreographed by Kevin McKenzie, will be given eight performances beginning Monday evening, June 23 with Gillian Murphy as Odette/Odile and Marcelo Gomes and Prince Siegfried. Swan Lake is set to the score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky and features scenery and costumes by Zack Brown and lighting by Duane Schuler. This production of Swan Lake premiered on March 24, 2000 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. with Julie Kent (Odette-Odile), Angel Corella (Prince Siegfried) and Marcelo Gomes (von Rothbart).
Coppélia, with staging by Frederic Franklin after Nicholas Sergeyev, will be given six performances, May 30 and 31 and July 3 through 5. Coppélia features music by Léo Delibes, scenery by Tony Straiges, costumes by Patricia Zipprodt and lighting by Brad Fields. Misty Copeland will lead the season's first performance of the ballet on Friday, May 30, dancing opposite Herman Cornejo as Franz. Franklin's staging of Coppélia is directly descended from the 1933 Nicholas Sergeyev revival for the Camargo Society, danced by members of the Vic-Wells (later Sadler's Wells and now Royal) Ballet at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London. Sergeyev's staging, a two-act version in which Franklin danced the czardas, was based upon choreography by Lev Ivanov and Enrico Cecchetti after the original by Arthur Saint-Léon. Franklin's staging received its ABT premiere at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, California on February 14, 1997, danced by Paloma Herrera (Swanilda) and Angel Corella (Franz).
ABTKids, American Ballet Theatre's annual one-hour introduction to ballet, is scheduled for Saturday morning, May 17 at 11:30 A.M. All tickets for ABTKids are $25.
Subscriptions for American Ballet Theatre's 2014 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, on sale beginning Tuesday, October 15, are available by phone at 212-362-6000, or online at ABT's website www.abt.org.
American Airlines is the Official Airline of American Ballet Theatre. Northern Trust is the Leading Corporate Sponsor of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. 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.
American Ballet Theatre's performances of Giselle are generously supported through an endowed gift from Sharon Patrick.
Don Quixote is generously supported through an endowed gift from Anka K. Palitz, in memory of Clarence Y. Palitz, Jr.
Cinderella is generously supported through an endowed gift from the Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund. Cinderella is also generously supported through an endowed gift from Monica, Stefano, Cosima, and Tassilo Corsi.
La Bayadère is generously sponsored through an endowed gift from Drs. Philip and Marjorie Gerdine. La Bayadère is presented in loving memory of Mrs. Caroline Newhouse. A generous grant from the Rockefeller Foundation has made this production possible. Major funding for this production has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Manon is generously supported through an endowed gift from Ruth and Harold Newman.
David H. Koch is the Lead Underwriter of The Tempest. This production is generously supported through an endowed gift from the Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund. Linda Allard, Arlene and Harvey Blau, and an anonymous donor are Leading Sponsors. The Gwen and Austin Fragomen Fund and Mary Jo and Ted Shen are Sponsors. Additional support has also been generously provided by Howard S. Paley and Michael and Sue Steinberg.
Original funding for Coppélia was provided by The Lucia Chase Foundation and The Green Fund, Inc.
Swan Lake has been generously underwritten by R. Chemers Neustein. Costumes for Swan Lake are generously sponsored by the Ellen Everett Kimiatek Costume Preservation Trust.
Gaîté Parisienne was generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.
The Dream is presented in loving memory of Clarence Y. Palitz, Jr. by his family.
ABT gratefully acknowledges Mr. and Mrs. John C. Sites, Jr. for their generous support of Theme and Variations through both an endowed gift and an additional special Leading Sponsor gift for costumes in 2013. Cindy and Chip Murphy are also Leading Sponsors of Theme and Variations. Additional support has been provided by the Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation, and Richard S. Ungerleider, M.D.