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ABT News

March 5, 2004


(New York, New York)‚ÄîIn debut appearances at New York’s Joyce Theater, American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company and Ailey II will share a week-long engagement, March 30-April 4, presenting a wide-range of choreography from Sir Frederick Ashton and George Balanchine to Judith Jamison and Troy Powell. Each company will give four performances at The Joyce, with ABT Studio Company appearing Tuesday, March 30; Thursday, April 1 and Friday, April 2 at 8pm and Sunday afternoon, April 4 at 2pm. Ailey II will perform Wednesday, March 31 at 8pm; Saturday, April 3 at 2pm and 8pm and Sunday, April 3 at 7:30pm.

Saluting the centenaries of Sir Frederick Ashton and George Balanchine, ABT Studio Company will perform the elegant neo-classic Monotones by Ashton and the virtuosic pas de deux Tarantella by George Balanchine. The program will also be highlighted by the world premieres of Staged Fright by Brian Reeder and Milk Pool by Laura Gorenstein Miller.

Brian Reeder, a former dancer with American Ballet Theatre, has set Staged Fright to an arrangement of music by Bernard Herrmann, who composed many of the scores for the films of Alfred Hitchcock. A work for ten dancers, Staged Fright, Mr. Reeder’s third work for ABT Studio Company, features costumes by Dennis Ballard.

Milk Pool by Laura Gorenstein Miller, Artistic Director of the LA-based Helios Dance Theater, marks the choreographer’s first work for ABT Studio Company. The world premiere work is set to Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Caetano Veloso’s Cucurrucucu Paloma and an original composition by Rob Cairns. Milk Pool is a modern piece for six women and one man and features costumes by Salvatore Salamone.

Performances by Ailey II will feature New York premieres by Igal Perry, Troy Powell and Nathan Trice plus repertory favorites by Judith Jamison, Talley Beatty and Robert Battle. Inspired by Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, Igal Perry’s Intimate Voices blends simplicity and intricacy into an emotionally diverse set of short dances calling on the dancers’ technical brilliance while reaching for the depths of their individual expressions. Intimate Voices, originally choreographed for Peridance Ensemble in 1995, has been recreated for seven dancers especially for Ailey II.

Troy Powell, Resident Choreographer for Ailey II and former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater company member, created Point of Departure with music by Michael Wimberley, costumes by Sosa and lighting design by Al Crawford. Point of Departure tells the story of a husband and wife as they experience tension in their relationship. Nathan Trice’s Prayer in Discord explores the spiritual transformation and psychological drama of human dilemma, such as the need for identity and reason for existence. Prayer in Discord is set to music by Ryuichi Sakamoto with costumes designed by Elena Comendador and Nathan Trice. Talley Beatty’s emotional solo, Mourner’s Bench, portrays spiritual struggle through muscular interplay between a male dancer and a bench. The soloist asserts himself within and against themes of oppression and transcendence. Mourner’s Bench is set to the traditional spiritual There is a Balm in Gilead.

Three Ailey II company members will perform a solo excerpt from Judith Jamison’s 1984 work Divining at different performances. Jamison’s ritualized ballet is set to a score that incorporates North African, Central African and Latin Rhythms by Kimati Dinizulu and Monti Ellison. Robert Battle’s 2001 ballet The Hunt, for six men, examines the relationship between modern sports and the rituals of the gladiators, revealing the aggressive side of human nature and the primitive thrill of the hunt. The Hunt is set to a wildly percussive score by Les Tambours du Bronx with costumes by Mia McSwain.

“We are delighted that ABT Studio Company and Ailey II are a part of our Spring season,” said Linda Shelton, Executive Director of The Joyce Theater. “Our Joyce members and donors have jumped at the chance to see these fine young dancers on our familiar stage and in an intimate environment.”

ABT Studio Company

American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company is a small classical company of 12 young dancers of outstanding potential. In its eighth season, ABT Studio Company prepares young dancers to enter American Ballet Theatre and provides opportunities for the emergence of new and established choreographers and composers. Through in-school performances and academic residencies, ABT Studio Company brings the excitement of close contact with a professional company into communities around the country.

ABT Studio Company is funded, in part, by The Chisholm Foundation and Sandler O’Neill & Partners. This performance is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.

Ailey II

Ailey II is an exceptional company which merges the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. Ailey II began in 1974 as the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, when Mr. Ailey initiated a workshop composed of the most promising scholarship students from The Ailey School to help young dancers make the leap from the classroom to the stage.

Under the direction of Sylvia Waters, Ailey II emphasizes a balance of repertoire, technique and performance. Ailey II members, who have each completed advanced programs at The Ailey School, refine their technique while gaining invaluable performing and teaching experience during their tenure with the Company (usually two years). Throughout its history, more than 50 Ailey II members have been selected to join Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Many others have gone on to pursue successful careers as dancers, teachers and choreographers with other professional dance companies, on Broadway and in schools.

In recent years, Ailey II’s distinctive repertory has included works by dance masters Alvin Ailey, Lar Lubovitch, Ulysses Dove as well as such innovative choreographers as Donald Byrd, Shapiro & Smith, Shen Wei, Avila/Weeks and Kevin Wynn.

Ailey II’s 2003-2004 National Tour is sponsored by MetLife Foundation. This performance is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.


Tickets for ABT Studio Company are $34; $31 with the purchase of an Ailey II ticket; $24 for Joyce Members. Tickets for Ailey II are $40; $36 with the purchase of an ABT Studio Company ticket; $28 for Joyce Members. Tickets can be purchased by calling JoyceCharge at (212) 242-0800 or visiting the Joyce Theater box office, 175 8th Avenue.

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