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

Marcelo Gomes, Cory Stearns and Herman Cornejo in Fancy Free.
Photo:Marty Sohl.



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CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR FIRST TWO WEEKS OF ABT'S 2015 SPRING SEASON AT METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

 
Joel Grey, Sigourney Weaver, Susan Jaffe and Ruth Ann Koesun to Co-Host Diamond Anniversary Gala Performance on Monday Evening, May 18 At 6:30 P.M.

75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Sponsored by ESCADA

 
4/30/2015 - Casting for the first two weeks of American Ballet Theatre’s 2015 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

The season will begin on Monday, May 11 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 at 7:30 P.M. with Thomas Forster (The Poet), Isabella Boylston (Mazurka) and Melanie Hamrick (Waltz). Misty Copeland will debut in the Waltz on Thursday evening, May 14 at 7:30 P.M. 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 at 7:30 P.M., with Gillian Murphy in the role of Hagar, Alexandre Hammoudi as The Friend and Marcelo Gomes as The Young Man from the House Opposite 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 at 7:30 P.M., led by Hee Seo in her debut as Caroline, Cory Stearns as Her Lover, Veronika Part as An Episode in His Past and Roman Zhurbin as 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 at 7:30 P.M. will be led by Herman Cornejo, Cory Stearns, Marcelo Gomes, Luciana Paris and Isabella Boylston. Sterling Baca will make his debut in Fancy Free on Wednesday evening, May 13 at 7:30 P.M. 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 at 7:30 P.M., led by Sarah Lane and Herman Cornejo.  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 James Whiteside, in his New York City debut, will lead the season’s first performance of Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo on Tuesday, May 12 at 7:30 P.M. as the Cowgirl and the Champion Roper, respectively. Misty Copeland will make her New York City debut in the role of the Cowgirl, opposite Craig Salstein as the Champion Roper, on Wednesday afternoon, May 13 at 2:00 P.M. 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 is staged for ABT by Paul Sutherland.

Breaking with tradition, ABT’s Spring Gala, celebrating the Company’s Diamond Jubilee, will be held during the second week of the Met season, on Monday, May 18 at 6:30 P.M. Co-hosted by Joel Grey, Sigourney Weaver, Susan Jaffe and Ruth Ann Koesun, the evening will feature performances spanning ABT’s seven and a half decades.  Excerpts of film and dance will honor the historic ballets and the dancers who have shaped the Company's identity. See attached casting for performance details. The gala evening will be sponsored by ESCADA.

Commissioned by American Ballet Theatre in 1997, Lar Lubovitch’s Othello, a Dance in Three Acts, will have its Revival Premiere on Tuesday evening, May 19 at 7:30 P.M. with Julie Kent as Desdemona, Marcelo Gomes as Othello, James Whiteside in his debut as Iago, Stella Abrera as Emilia and Joseph Gorak in his debut as Cassio. On Wednesday afternoon, May 20 at 2:00 P.M., Alexandre Hammoudi will debut in the role of Othello opposite Gillian Murphy as Desdemona, with other debuts including Cory Stearns in the role of Iago and Veronika Part in the role of Emilia. 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, a Dance in Three acts, last performed by ABT in 2007, 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.

The second week of performances will conclude with the classic Giselle. The first performance on Friday evening, May 22 at 7:30 P.M. will be led by Hee Seo in the title role, opposite Cory Stearns as Albrecht and Gillian Murphy as Myrta. Returning Guest Artist Vladamir Shklyarov will make his American Ballet Theatre debut in the role of Albrecht, opposite Polina Semionova in the title role and Veronika Part in the role of Myrta, on Saturday evening, May 23 at 8:00 P.M. 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.

Tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s 2015 Metropolitan Opera House season, beginning at $20, are available online, at the Met box office or by phone at 212-362-6000.  The Metropolitan Opera House is located on Broadway between 64th and 65th streets in New York City.  For more information, visit ABT’s website at 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. Additional support is generously provided by Nancy Zeckendorf.

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 and Rose Ellen and Gerald Greene.

American Ballet Theatre's performances of Giselle are generously supported through an endowed gift from Sharon Patrick.

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.


Complete casting follows:


FIRST WEEK
Mon. Eve., May 11, 7:30 PM CLASSIC ABT
LES SYLPHIDES – Seo, Forster, Boylston, Hamrick
PILLAR OF FIRE – Murphy, Hammoudi, Gomes
FANCY FREE – Cornejo, Stearns, Gomes, Paris, Boylston
Tues. Eve., May 12, 7:30 P.M. CLASSIC ABT
THEME AND VARIATONS – Lane, Cornejo
JARDIN AUX LILAS – Seo+, Stearns, Part, Zhurbin
RODEO – Reyes, Whiteside+++
Wed. Mat., May 13, 2 P.M. CLASSIC ABT
LES SYLPHIDES – Part, Gorak, Abrera, Lane
JARDIN AUX LILAS – Reyes, Forster, Underwood, Hammoudi
RODEO – Copeland+++, Salstein   
Wed. Eve., May 13, 7:30 P.M. CLASSIC ABT
THEME AND VARIATIONS – Semionova, Stearns
PILLAR OF FIRE – Kent, Zhurbin, Stearns
FANCY FREE – Simkin, Baca+, Whiteside, Abrera, Murphy
Thur. Eve., May 14, 7:30 P.M. CLASSIC ABT
LES SYLPHIDES – Seo, Forster, Boylston, Copeland+
PILLAR OF FIRE – Murphy, Hammoudi, Gomes
RODEO - Reyes, Whiteside
Fri. Eve., May 15, 7:30 P.M. CLASSIC ABT
THEME AND VARIATIONS – Murphy, Whiteside
JARDIN AUX LILAS – Reyes, Forster, Underwood, Hammoudi
FANCY FREE – Cornejo, Stearns, Gomes, Paris, Boylston
Sat. Mat., May 16, 2 P.M. CLASSIC ABT
LES SYLPHIDES – Part, Gorak, Abrera, Lane
PILLAR OF FIRE – Kent, Zhurbin, Stearns
FANCY FREE – Salstein, Baca,Whiteside, Abrera, Murphy
Sat. Eve., May 16, 8 P.M. CLASSIC ABT
THEME AND VARIATIONS – Boylston, Simkin
JARDIN AUX LILAS – Seo, Stearns, Part, Zhurbin
RODEO – Copeland, Salstein
SECOND WEEK

Mon. Eve., May 18, 6:30 P.M.

75TH ANNIVERSARY GALA

AMERICAN:
Billly the Kid (First Episode) – Company
Fancy Free (excerpt) – Cornejo, Stearns, Gomes
Rodeo (excerpt) – Reyes, Salstein
Black Tuesday (“Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”) – Simkin
Push Comes to Shove (4th Movement) – Cornejo

THEATRE:
Fall River Legend (excerpt) – Murphy, Zhurbin
Les Noces (excerpt)– Company
Pillar of Fire (excerpt) – Kent, Stearns
The Bright Stream (excerpt) – Simkin, Barbee
Manon (Act I Pas de Deux) – Vishneva, Gomes
Swan Lake (Act IV excerpt) – Copeland, Whiteside

BALLET:
La Bayadère (Act II opening adagio) - Corps Ladies
Sinfonietta (3rd  Movement) – Teuscher/Forster, Part/Hoven, Boylston/Whiteside
The Leaves Are Fading (Pas de Deux) – Seo, Stearns
Piano Concerto #1 (4th Movement) – Shevchenko/Royal,Brandt/Shayer
Études (excerpt) – Murphy, Gorak
Giselle (Act II excerpt)  - Semionova, Abrera
La Sylphide (Act I James variation) – Whiteside
Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux (ballerina solo) – Herrera
La Bayadère (Solor variation) – Cornejo
La Bayadère (Gamzatti variation) – Seo
Le Corsaire (Slave variation) – Simkin
Don Quixote (Coda from Act III Pas de Deux) – Boylston, Stearns
Theme and Variations (Finale) – Lane, Gorak

Tues. Eve., May 19, 7:30 P.M. OTHELLO - Gomes, Kent, Whiteside+, Abrera, Gorak+
Wed. Mat., May 20, 2 P.M. OTHELLO - Hammoudi+, Murphy, Stearns+, Part+, Hoven
Wed. Eve., May 20, 7:30 P.M. OTHELLO - Gomes, Kent, Whiteside, Abrera, Gorak
Thur. Eve., May 21, 7:30 P.M. OTHELLO - Hammoudi, Murphy, Stearns, Part, Hoven          
Fri. Eve., May 22, 7:30 P.M. GISELLE - Seo, Stearns, Murphy
Sat. Mat., May 23, 2 P.M. GISELLE - Boylston, Hammoudi, Teuscher
Sat. Eve., May 23, 8 P.M. GISELLE - Semionova, Shklyarov*++, Part


*Guest Artist

+Editors please note first time in a role:
Tues. Eve., 5/12 – Seo (Caroline) in Jardin aux Lilas
Wed. Eve., 5/13 – Baca (Sailor) in Fancy Free
Thurs. Eve., 5/14  Copeland (Waltz) in Les Sylphides
Tues. Eve., 5/19 – Whiteside (Iago) and Gorak (Cassio) in Othello
Wed Mat., 5/20 –  Hammoudi (Othello), Stearns (Iago) and Part (Emilia) in Othello

++Editors please note first time in a role with ABT:
Sat Eve., 5/23 – Shklyarov (Albrecht) in Giselle

+++Editors please note first time in a role in New York:
Wed. Eve., 5/23 – Copeland (Cowgirl),Whiteside (Champion Roper) in Rodeo