10/16/2014 - American Ballet Theatre’s 2015 season at the Metropolitan Opera House was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. The season will be highlighted by the New York Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s all-new production of The Sleeping Beauty, a revival of Lar Lubovitch’s Othello and repertory programs featuring historic works in celebration of the Company’s 75th Anniversary Season.
Principal Dancers for the 2015 Metropolitan Opera House season include Roberto Bolle, Isabella Boylston, Herman Cornejo, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, Gillian Murphy, Veronika Part, Xiomara Reyes, Polina Semionova, Hee Seo, Daniil Simkin, Cory Stearns, Diana Vishneva and James Whiteside. Guest Artists for the season include Semyon Chudin, principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, Maria Kochetkova, principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet, Denys Nedak, soloist with the National Ballet of Ukraine, Marianela Nuñez, principal dancer with The Royal Ballet, Evgenia Obraztsova, principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, Natalia Osipova, principal dancer with The Royal Ballet and Olga Smirnova, leading soloist with the Bolshoi Ballet.
75th Anniversary Gala
Breaking with tradition, ABT’s annual Spring Gala, this year in celebration of the Company’s Diamond Anniversary, will be held during the second week of the Met season, on Monday, May 18 at 6:30 P.M. The evening will feature performances spanning ABT’s seven and a half decades. With guest speakers and film excerpts, the evening will honor the historic ballets and the dancers who have shaped the Company's identity. For information on ABT’s 75th Anniversary Gala, please call the Special Events Office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3310.
New York Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty
The New York Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty will take place on Friday evening, May 29 led by Gillian Murphy and David Hallberg. This all-new production set to the classic score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, with original choreography by Alexei Ratmansky, will receive its World Premiere on March 3, 2015 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. The Sleeping Beauty will be given eleven performances at the Metropolitan Opera House, May 29 through 30 and June 8 through 13.
Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty will feature scenery and costumes by Tony Award®-winning designer Richard Hudson. Hudson’s designs will be based on the historic work of Léon Bakst, who created a seminal version of The Sleeping Beauty for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1921. The production represents Hudson’s third collaboration with Ratmansky for American Ballet Theatre, having previously designed scenery and costumes for The Nutcracker (2010) and costumes for Dumbarton (2011).
Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty is American Ballet Theatre’s fourth production of the full-length ballet. The Sleeping Beauty received its World Premiere by the Imperial Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg on January 15, 1890. ABT presented its first full-length production of the ballet with choreography by Mary Skeaping from the original of Marius Petipa and the staging of Nicholas Sergeyev, at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, on June 15, 1976. The Sleeping Beauty, with choreography after Petipa and staging and additional choreography by Kenneth MacMillan, received its World Premiere by American Ballet Theatre at the Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, on February 11, 1987. A new production with choreography after Petipa and additional choreography and staging by Kevin McKenzie, Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov received its World Premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House on June 1, 2007.
ABT gratefully acknowledges Lead Sponsor of The Sleeping Beauty, David H. Koch. Additional leadership support is generously provided by the Lloyd E. Rigler - Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation. ABT gratefully acknowledges Linda Allard for her generous support of costumes for The Sleeping Beauty. Additional support is generously provided by The Susan and Leonard Feinstein Foundation, Caroline and Edward Hyman, Howard S. Paley, and The Ted and Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund. Support has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. This production is generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund. This production of The Sleeping Beauty is a co-production with Teatro alla Scala.
American Ballet Theatre will open its Spring season with a week of repertory programs celebrating the Company’s heritage. Eight performances, May 11 through 16, will include Michel Fokine’s Les Sylphides, Antony Tudor’s Pillar of Fire and Jardin aux Lilas, Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations and Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo.
Hee Seo will lead the season’s first performance of Michel Fokine’s Les Sylphides on Monday evening, May 11. Set to music by Frédéric Chopin, Les Sylphides, a one-act plotless work, was given its Company Premiere at Ballet Theatre's inaugural performance on January 11, 1940 at the Center Theatre in New York City. The ballet received its first performance at the Maryinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg on March 8, 1908. This production of Les Sylphides features scenery by Alexandre Benois and lighting by Nananne Porcher.
The Company will give the season’s first performance of Antony Tudor’s Pillar of Fire on Monday evening, May 11, with Gillian Murphy in the role of Hagar. Pillar of Fire, set to Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), received its World Premiere by Ballet Theatre on April 8, 1942 performed by Nora Kaye (Hagar),
Lucia Chase (Eldest Sister), Annabelle Lyon (Youngest Sister), Antony Tudor (The Friend) and Hugh Laing (The Young Man From the House Opposite). ABT's current production was revived in 2003 with scenery and costumes by Robert Perdziola and lighting by Duane Schuler. Pillar of Fire is staged for ABT by Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner.
Jardin aux Lilas will receive its first performance of the season on Tuesday evening, May 12, led by Hee Seo (Caroline), Cory Stearns (Her Lover), Veronika Part (An Episode in His Past) and Roman Zhurbin (The Man She Must Marry). Jardin aux Lilas, choreographed by Antony Tudor for Ballet Rambert in 1936, entered the repertory of Ballet Theatre on January 15, 1940. Set to music by Ernest Chausson, Jardin aux Lilas features sets and costumes by Peter Cazalet. Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner staged this production for ABT.
The first of four performances of Fancy Free on Monday evening, May 11 will be led by Herman Cornejo, David Hallberg and Marcelo Gomes. Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, the story of three sailors on shore leave in New York City during World War II, is set to a score by Leonard Bernstein and features scenery by Oliver Smith, costumes by Kermit Love and lighting by Jennifer Tipton after original designs by Nananne Porcher. Robbins’ work received its World Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on April 18, 1944 at the Metropolitan Opera House. Fancy Free is staged for ABT by Jean-Pierre Frohlich.
George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations will have its first performance on Tuesday evening, May 12, led by Polina Semionova and Cory Stearns. Theme and Variations, set to music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, received its World Premiere on November 26, 1947, danced by Alicia Alonso and Igor Youskevitch. This production, featuring sets and costumes by Zach Brown, with lighting by Brad Fields, received its World Premiere at the David H. Koch Theater on October 30, 2013, led by Gillian Murphy and James Whiteside.
Xiomara Reyes and David Hallberg will lead the season’s first performance of Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo on Tuesday, May 12. Rodeo, featuring music by Aaron Copland and scenery by Oliver Smith, was first presented by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo at the Metropolitan Opera House on October 16, 1942, with Agnes de Mille as the Cowgirl, Frederic Franklin as the Champion Roper and Casimir Kokitch as the Head Wrangler. Rodeo was first performed by Ballet Theatre in Wiesbaden, Germany on August 14, 1950. A new production, featuring sets by Oliver Smith and costumes by Santo Loquasto, was given its Revival Premiere in 1989 in St. Louis, Missouri. Rodeo will be staged for ABT by Paul Sutherland.
Commissioned by American Ballet Theatre in 1997, Lar Lubovitch’s Othello, last performed by ABT in 2007, will have its Revival Premiere on Tuesday evening, May 19 with Julie Kent as Desdemona and Marcelo Gomes in the title role. Choreographed by Lubovitch and set to a commissioned score by Elliot Goldenthal, the full-length work features scenery by George Tsypin, costumes by Ann Hould-Ward and projections by Wendall K. Harrington. Othello received its World Premiere on May 23, 1997 at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City led by Desmond Richardson (Othello) and Sandra Brown (Desdemona). Othello will be given four performances through May 21.
American Ballet Theatre’s 2015 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House includes five additional full-length ballets beginning with the classic Giselle on Friday evening, May 22 led by Hee Seo in the title role, opposite Cory Stearns as Albrecht and Gillian Murphy as Myrta. Set to music by Adolphe Adam, with scenery by Gianni Quaranta, costumes by Anna Anni and lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Giselle features 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. The ballet was first presented by ABT (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 Marianna Tcherkassky as Giselle and Kevin McKenzie as Albrecht. The current staging is by McKenzie, using the Quaranta and Anni designs. Giselle will receive eight performances through May 28.
The first of eight performances of La Bayadère on Monday, June 1 will be led by Polina Semionova as Nikiya and Gillian Murphy as Gamzatti. Choreographed by Natalia Makarova after Marius Petipa, La Bayadère is set to music by Ludwig Minkus, specially arranged by John Lanchbery, and 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. 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.
Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet will be given eight performances beginning Monday evening, June 15 with Polina Semionova and Cory Stearns in the title roles. Set to the score by Sergei Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet features scenery and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis and lighting by Thomas Skelton. The ballet received its World Premiere by The Royal Ballet in London on February 9, 1965 and was given its ABT Company Premiere at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 1985 with Leslie Browne and Robert La Fosse in the leading roles.
Swan Lake, choreographed by Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov and set to the score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, will be given eight performances beginning Monday evening, June 22 with Gillian Murphy as Odette-Odile, Marcelo Gomes as Prince Siegfried and Cory Stearns as von Rothbart. The first production of Swan Lake, with choreography by Julius (Wentzel) Reisinger, received its World Premiere by the Russian Imperial Ballet at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow on March 4, 1877. Swan Lake as we know it, with the Petipa/Ivanov choreography, was given its first full‑length production at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, on January 27, 1895. This production of Swan Lake, featuring scenery and costumes by Zack Brown and lighting by Duane Schuler, 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).
American Ballet Theatre’s 2015 Spring Season will conclude with eight performances of Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella, beginning Monday evening, June 29, with Hee Seo and Cory Stearns in the leading roles. Set to the score by Sergei Prokofiev, 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 with Moira Shearer as Cinderella, Michael Somes as the Prince, Frederick Ashton and Robert Helpmann as the Stepsisters and Alexander Grant as the Jester. The ballet received its ABT Company Premiere on June 9, 2014 led by Hee Seo (Cinderella) and James Whiteside (The Prince). Cinderella was directed, supervised and staged by Wendy Ellis Somes amd Malin Thoors.
ABTKids, American Ballet Theatre’s annual one-hour introduction to ballet, is scheduled for Saturday morning, June 13 at 11:30 A.M. All tickets for ABTKids are $25.
Subscriptions for American Ballet Theatre’s 2015 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, on sale beginning Monday, October 27, are available by phone at 212-362-6000, or online at ABT’s website www.abt.org.
Othello is generously supported through an endowed gift from Ruth and Harold Newman. This production has been made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.
Les Sylphides has been made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Pillar of Fire is generously sponsored by an endowed gift from Avery and Andrew F. Barth and Carmen Barth in honor of Antony Tudor.
Jardin aux Lilas has been generously underwritten by Marjorie S. Isaac.
Fancy Free was originally underwritten by a grant from David A. Klein and the Equitable Financial Companies. Fancy Free is underwritten by an endowed gift from Avery and Andy Barth in honor of Laima and Rudolf Barth.
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 Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation, Richard S. Ungerleider, M.D., and Rose Ellen and Gerald Greene.
American Ballet Theatre's performances of Giselle are generously supported through an endowed gift from Sharon Patrick.
La Bayadère is generously sponsored by 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.
American Ballet Theatre's performances of Romeo and Juliet are generously underwritten through an endowed gift from Ali and Monica Wambold.
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.
Cinderella is generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund. This production is generously supported through an endowed gift from Monica, Stefano, Cosima, and Tassilo Corsi. This production has been made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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.