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AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE’S 2004 SPRING SEASON AT THE METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE, MAY 10-JULY 3, 2004

 
ALL-NEW PRODUCTION OF RAYMONDA AND SPECIAL OPENING NIGHT APPEARANCE BY VIOLINIST SARAH CHANG

Svetlana Zakharova to Debut as Guest Artist

 
3/5/2004 - American Ballet Theatre’s Spring 2004 season at the Metropolitan Opera House, May 10-July 3, will feature six full-length ballets including the United States Premiere of an all-new production of Raymonda by Anna-Marie Holmes and Kevin McKenzie.

American Ballet Theatre’s 2004 season will open with a special Spring gala performance, on Monday evening, May 10, featuring an appearance by internationally renowned violinist Sarah Chang. Ms. Chang will perform a pièce d’occasion and the evening will include a preview of the season’s ballet performed by ABT’s Principal Dancers.

Principal Dancers for the engagement will include Nina Ananiashvili, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Julio Bocca, Jose Manuel Carreño, Angel Corella, Herman Cornejo, Irina Dvorovenko, Alessandra Ferri, Marcelo Gomes, Guillaume Graffin, Paloma Herrera, Amanda McKerrow, Gillian Murphy, Xiomara Reyes, Ethan Stiefel and Ashley Tuttle.

Countrywide Financial is the National Sponsor of American Ballet Theatre’s 2004 Metropolitan Opera House season and national tour. Cole Haan is the Leading Benefactor of ABT’s Spring season and national tour. ABT’s Spring Season is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

American Ballet Theatre’s Opening Night Gala performance is sponsored by Signature Bank and Gianfranco Ferré. For information about the Opening Night Spring Gala, please call the Special Events Office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3239.

United States Premiere of All-New Raymonda

American Ballet Theatre will present the United States Premiere of an all-new production of the full-length Raymonda on Friday evening, May 21 at 8 P.M. Choreographed by Anna-Marie Holmes and conceived and directed by Holmes and Kevin McKenzie, Raymonda is set to the music of Alexander Glazunov, arranged by Ormsby Wilkins, and features sets and costumes by Zack Brown (Swan Lake and Dorian) and lighting by Steen Bjarke. A co-production with the Finnish National Ballet, the all-new Raymonda was given its World Premiere in Helsinki by the Finnish National Ballet in May of this year. A preview of Raymonda (Grand Pas Classique), with choreography by Anna-Marie Holmes, was presented in October of this year during ABT’s City Center engagement.

The World Premiere of Raymonda, choreographed by Marius Petipa, was given in 1898 by the Imperial Ballet at the Maryinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1964, Rudolf Nureyev restaged Raymonda with additional choreography for the Royal Ballet Touring Company. The production received its American Ballet Theatre premiere in 1975 in Houston, Texas with Cynthia Gregory as Raymonda, Rudolf Nureyev as Jean de Brienne and Erik Bruhn as Abderakhman.

American Ballet Theatre gratefully acknowledges Julia and David Koch and Patricia K. Hagan for their generous support of this production. Major funding for Raymonda has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Guest Artists

Svetlana Zakharova, a principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, will make her debut with American Ballet Theatre this season as a Principal Guest Artist. Ms. Zakharova will perform the role of Nikiya in La Bayadére opposite ABT Principal Dancer Jose Manuel Carreño on Monday evening, May 17 and Wednesday evening, May 19. Born in Louzk, Ukraine, Zakharova studied at the Kiev Ballet School and at the Vaganova Ballet Academy. She joined the Kirov Ballet in 1996 and became a principal in 1997. In September 2003, Ms. Zakharova joined the Bolshoi Ballet. She remains a guest artist with the Kirov.

Roberta Marquez, a guest artist with The Royal Ballet of London, will appear with ABT as a Principal Guest Artist, performing the role of Nikiya in La Bayadére, on Friday, evening, May 14 and at the matinee on Wednesday, May 19. At both performances, she will dance opposite Ethan Stiefel as Solor. Ms. Marquez was born in Brazil and trained at the Maria Olenawa State School of Dance. In 1994, she joined the Municipal Theatre Ballet in Rio de Janiero and was promoted to principal dancer in 2002. In 2003, she was invited to perform as a guest artist with The Royal Ballet. Earlier this year, Ms. Marquez made her ABT debut at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts performing the role of Nikiya.

An All-Tchaikovsky Salute to George Balanchine

In tribute to the centenary of choreographer George Balanchine, American Ballet Theatre will present a program of his works, all set to the music of Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. The all-Balanchine/Tchaikovsky programs will be performed May 24 and May 26-31. Highlighting the program will be the Company Premiere of Mozartiana on Monday evening, May 24. Created in 1981, Mozartiana, one of Balanchine’s last works, is set to Suite No. 4 Mozartiana by Tchaikovsky and features costumes by Rouben Ter-Arutunian. The ballet will be staged for ABT by Maria Calegari.

George Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial will have its revival premiere on Monday evening, May 24 with Gillian Murphy, Carlos Molina and Michele Wiles performing the leading roles. Set to Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 2 in G for Piano and Orchestra, Ballet Imperial features costumes by Rouben Ter-Arutunian and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. Last performed by ABT in 1996, Ballet Imperial received its World Premiere by American Ballet Caravan in 1941 and first entered ABT’s repertory in 1988. Colleen Neary will stage the revival of Ballet Imperial for ABT.

American Ballet Theatre’s all-Balanchine/Tchaikovsky program will also include Theme and Variations and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. Paloma Herrera and Marcelo Gomes will lead the season’s first performance of Theme and Variations on Monday evening, May 24. ABT’s production of Theme and Variations, staged by Kirk Peterson, recreates the original version choreographed by Balanchine for Ballet Theatre in 1947.

Full-length Ballets

In addition to the all-new Raymonda, American Ballet Theatre will present five full-length ballets during its Spring season.

La Bayadère, choreographed by Natalia Makarova after Marius Petipa, will be given nine performances beginning Thursday evening, May 13 with Nina Ananiashvili as Nikiya, Julio Bocca as Solor and Gillian Murphy as Gamzatti. 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 production of La Bayadère received its World Premiere by ABT in May 1980 at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Don Quixote, staged by Kevin McKenzie and Susan Jones, after the choreography of Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky, will be given eight performances, June 7-12. Nina Ananiashvili and Jose Manuel Carreño will lead the season’s first performance of Don Quixote, which is set to the music of Ludwig Minkus and arranged by Jack Everly. The ballet 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 in June 1995.

Kevin McKenzie’s production of the Tchaikovsky classic, Swan Lake will have its first performance of the season on Monday evening, June 14 with Gillian Murphy as Odette/Odile and Jose Manuel Carreño as Prince Siegfried. Swan Lake, staged by Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, has scenery and costumes by Zack Brown and lighting by Duane Schuler. McKenzie’s staging received its World Premiere in March 2000 at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Generously underwritten by the Rosh Foundation, the ballet will continue for eight performances through June 19.

Celebration in Honor of Frederic Franklin

Eight performances of Coppélia, staged by Frederic Franklin, will be highlighted by a special celebration of Franklin’s 90th birthday on Monday evening, June 21. A distinguished ballet master and choreographer, Franklin was one of the original members of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and has appeared with American Ballet Theatre in recent years. Coppélia is set to the music of Léo Delibes and features scenery by Tony Straiges, costumes by Patricia Zipprodt and lighting by Brad Fields. Franklin’s staging of Coppélia, which will be performed June 21-26, received its Company Premiere in February 1997. Leading the opening night cast of Coppélia will be Ashley Tuttle as Swanilda and Angel Corella as Franz.

Additional repertory for American Ballet Theatre’s 2004 Metropolitan Opera House season includes Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort and Sechs Tänze, Antony Tudor’s Pillar of Fire, staged by Donald Mahler and Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison, choreographed by David Parsons, Ann Reinking, Natalie Weir and Stanton Welch. Repertory programs featuring these works are scheduled for May 11 evening, May 12 (matinee and evening), May 25 evening and May 26 matinee. Pillar of Fire has been generously underwritten by Mrs. Bernard L. Schwartz.

ABTKids

ABTKids, a special one-hour family friendly performance, is scheduled for Saturday, June 5 at 11:30 A.M. This season, ABTKids will feature a special appearance by PBS’ award-winning storybook character, Angelina Ballerina. All tickets for ABTKids are priced at $18. American Ballet Theatre’s annual Family Day Benefit, featuring Angelina Ballerina as Honorary Chair, will coincide with ABTKids on June 5 at 11:30 A.M. followed by a luncheon in the Tent at Lincoln Center. For information on Family Day, please call ABT’s Special Events office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3239. Reckson Associates is the Principal Corporate Sponsor of ABTKids. Additional support has been provided by The Wallace Foundation.

Family Series
,br> The matinees on Saturday, May 22 (Raymonda), and Saturday, June 26 (Coppélia) will offer tickets for children ages 4-14 at 50% off regular price with the purchase of one adult-priced ticket. Pre-performance workshops are also available on Saturday, May 22 (11:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M.), Saturday, June 5 (9:30-10:30 A.M.) and Saturday, June 26, (11:00 A.M-12:00 P.M). Tickets to the workshops are $20 per person and are available to ticket holders for the performance following the workshop.

ABTalks

ABTalks, 30-minute pre-curtain discussions, are held in List Hall one hour prior to performances and are free to ABT ticket holders. Please see schedule attached for dates.

Tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s 2004 Metropolitan Opera House season go on sale March 28 at the Met box office or are available by phone at 212-362-6000.