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ABT News

November 18, 2002


Performances of Jiri Kylian's Return to a Strange Land and New Works by Sean Curran and Avichai Scher

American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company will present two evenings of works at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, 68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues, on Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5 at 8 P.M. The program for both nights will include Return to a Strange Land by Jiri Kylian and the World Premiere of Jouons by Avichai Scher and the New York City Premiere of The Saxophone Dances by Sean Curran.

Created in 1975, Return to a Strange Land is often considered one of Jiri Kylian’s masterpieces. The piece, set to music by Leos JanƒØcek, consists of two duets and two trios and was last performed by the ABT Studio Company in 1999. The ballet explores the journey between mortality and death. According to Kylian: "The title Return to a Strange Land, conveys the step from one form of existence into another. The substance, which bodies are made of, has always existed on the other side: the unconscious. To live is to become conscious. To die is to return to the other land: the strange land of one’s origin."

The World Premiere of Jouons, choreographed by School of American Ballet student Avichai Scher, is scheduled for Wednesday, December 4. The ballet, whose title translates to "let us play," is a simple story of a young woman who gradually becomes integrated into a group at play. Set to Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major, the work features ABT Studio Company dancer Sarah Lane, the recent winner of the junior silver medal at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi and one of this year’s recipients of The Chisholm Foundation Scholarship.

Sean Curran, founder and artistic director of the Sean Curran Company, choreographs his first work for the ABT Studio Company with The Saxophone Dances. Set to the music of Jean
Phillipe Rameau, Ferenc Farkas and Lenny Pickett, The Saxophone Dances is Mr. Curran’s first work set on pointe and will feature artists from the Studio Company and the Purchase Dance Corps of the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase. The Saxaphone Dances received its World Premiere on November 15, 2002 at the Performing Arts Center in Purchase, New York.

Tickets for ABT’s Studio Company at The Kaye, priced at $24 for general admission, $18 for members and senior citizens and $10 for students, are available by calling 212-772-4448.

The ABT Studio Company is a small classical company of 12 young dancers of outstanding potential. In its seventh season, the 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, lecture-demonstrations and academic residencies, the ABT Studio Company brings the excitement of close contact with a professional company into communities around the country.

The dancers, ages 16-21, are handpicked from around the world by the artistic staff of American Ballet Theatre. Studio Company dancers will train in the program for one or two years before joining American Ballet Theatre’s main company or other leading national and international professional companies.

Participation in outreach programs for children and other selected groups is an important part of the Studio Company’s mission. Studio Company dancers perform in schools around the New York City area and throughout the United States. The outreach program also extends to colleges and universities where dance students experience the rare opportunity of collaborating with the Company during a three-week residency.

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

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