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ABT News

March 15, 2005




Alessandra Ferri To Celebrate 20th Anniversary Season

The U.S. Premiere of an all-new production of Sir Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia and an all-Fokine Celebration will highlight American Ballet Theatre’s 2005 Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House, May 23-July 16. Additional casting was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

Principal Dancers for the engagement will include Carlos Acosta, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Julio Bocca, Jose Manuel Carreño, Angel Corella, Herman Cornejo, Alessandra Ferri, Marcelo Gomes, Guillaume Graffin, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, Vladimir Malakhov, Amanda McKerrow, Gillian Murphy, Xiomara Reyes, Ethan Stiefel and Diana Vishneva. TamƒØs Solymosi also joins the Company for the 2005 season as a Principal Guest Artist.

Countrywide Financial is the National Sponsor of American Ballet Theatre and Cole Haan is a Leading Benefactor. Graff Jewelers and Northern Trust are the 2005 Season Sponsors at The Metropolitan Opera House. ABT’s 2005 Spring season is also made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The 2005 Spring season will kick-off with an Opening Night gala performance on Monday, May 23 at 6:30 P.M. For information about the Opening Night Spring Gala, please call the Special Events Office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3239.

American Ballet Theatre’s 2005 Spring season will also include Amanda McKerrow’s final performances with ABT, a celebration of Alessandra Ferri’s 20th Anniversary with the Company and Julio Bocca’s farewell to the role of Basilio in Don Quixote.

United States Premiere of All-New Sylvia

Gillian Murphy (Sylvia) and Maxim Beloserkovsky (Aminta) will lead the cast of the United States Premiere of an all-new production of Sir Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia on Friday, June 3 at 8 P.M. Ashton’s Sylvia, performed by American Ballet Theatre in two acts, will be staged by Christopher Newton, former dancer and ballet master for
The Royal Ballet.

Set to a score by Léo Delibes, Sylvia was Ashton’s second full-length work when it was premiered by The Royal Ballet in 1952 with Margot Fonteyn, Michael Somes and Alexander Grant in the leading roles. Last performed by The Royal Ballet in 1965, Sylvia is set in mythical Greece and tells the story of the chaste nymph Sylvia, who is united by the deity Eros with the lovelorn shepherd Aminta.

This new production, with scenery and costumes by Christopher and Robin Ironside, with additional designs by Peter Farmer, received its revival premiere in three acts by The Royal Ballet on November 4, 2004 at The Royal Opera House in London.

Sylvia will be given seven performances, June 3-6 and June 13-15. Additional lead casts include Julie Kent and Ethan Stiefel, on Saturday matinee, June 4, Paloma Herrera and Angel Corella on Saturday evening, June 4 and Wednesday matinee,
June 15, and Michele Wiles and Marcelo Gomes on Monday evening, June 13 and Wednesday evening, June 15.

Fokine Celebration

Four works by legendary choreographer Michel Fokine will include the New York Revival Premiere of Petrouchka and the New York Company Premiere of Polovtsian Dances. The program, which will be given eight consecutive performances beginning Thursday, June 16, will also include Fokine’s Les Sylphides and Le Spectre de la Rose.

American Ballet Theatre’s New York Revival Premiere of Fokine’s Petrouchka, staged by Gary Chryst, is scheduled for Thursday evening, June 16 with Ethan Stiefel in the title role. Set to music by Igor Stravinsky with scenery and costumes by Alexandre Benois and a story by Stravinsky and Benois, the one-act ballet is set amid a Russian carnival and tells the tragic story of the puppet Petrouchka. Additional casts of Petrouchka include Herman Cornejo, Angel Corella and Julio Bocca in the title role.

Petrouchka was given its World Premiere by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France on June 13, 1911. American Ballet Theatre premiered Petrouchka at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City on August 27, 1942, danced by Irina Baronova (Ballerina), Yurek Lazowsky (Petrouchka), David Nillo (Blackamoor) and Simon Semenoff (Charlatan). A second production of Petrouchka, staged by Dimitri Romanoff and Yurek Lazowsky, was given its first performance by the Company at the New York State Theatre on June 19, 1970. It was last performed by ABT in 1980.

Petrouchka received its Revival Premiere by American Ballet Theatre on February 4, 2005 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. with Ethan Stiefel as Petrouchka, Amanda McKerrow as the Dancer and Marcelo Gomes as the Moor.

American Ballet Theatre’s Fokine Celebration will also feature the New York Company Premiere of Polovtsian Dances from Act II of the opera Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin.

Staged for ABT by Frederic Franklin, with scenery and costumes by Elizabeth Dalton, after Nicholas Roerich, Polovtsian Dances received its World Premiere by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in May, 1909. It was first performed by ABT on February 4, 2005 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. with Gennadi Saveliev, Stella Abrera and Misty Copeland in the leading roles. Polovtsian Dances will have its New York Company Premiere on Thursday evening, June 16 led by the same cast. Carlos Acosta, Veronika Part and Laura Hidalgo will dance the roles on Friday evening, June 17 and Sascha Radetsky and Carmen Corella will perform the leading roles at the matinee performance on Saturday, June 18.

Returning Classics and a Tribute to Alessandra Ferri

American Ballet Theatre’s 2005 Spring Season will feature six full-length ballets. The season will lead off with four performances of Don Quixote, staged by Kevin McKenzie and Susan Jones, on Tuesday evening, May 24 with Paloma Herrera and Angel Corella in the leading roles. Set to music by Ludwig Minkus, Don Quixote features scenery and costumes by Santo Loquasto and Natasha Katz. The McKenzie/Jones staging received its Company Premiere in June, 1995. On Wednesday evening, May 25, Julio Bocca will perform the role of Basilio in Don Quixote for the final time, opposite Xiomara Reyes in the role of Kitri. A Principal Dancer since 1986, Bocca first performed the role of Basilio with ABT in 1987. He will continue to perform with ABT following his final bow in Don Quixote. This season Bocca will debut as Petrouchka and perform leading roles in Raymonda, Le Corsaire, Swan Lake and Giselle, as well as the pas de deux in John Cranko’s Onegin opposite Alessandra Ferri.

Last season’s premiere of Raymonda, choreographed by Anna-Marie Holmes and conceived and directed by Holmes and Kevin McKenzie, will be given seven performances beginning Tuesday evening, June 7 with Paloma Herrera, Maxim Beloserkovsky and Julio Bocca in the leading roles. Set to a score by Alexander Glazounov, Raymonda features scenery and costumes by Zack Brown. The all-new Raymonda, a co-production with the Finnish National Ballet, was given its World Premiere in Helsinki by the Finnish National Ballet in May 2003 and received its American Ballet Theatre premiere on May 21, 2004. The season’s performances of Raymonda will feature new fight sequences and some restructured choreography.

Julie Kent, Julio Bocca and Angel Corella will lead the cast in the season’s first performance of Le Corsaire on Thursday evening, June 23. With choreography by Konstantin Sergeyev, after Marius Petipa and staging by Anna-Marie Holmes, after Petipa and Sergeyev, Le Corsaire features music by Adolphe Adam, Cesare Pugni, Léo Delibes, Riccardo Drigo and Prince Oldenbourg. Based on the Lord Byron poem The Corsaire (1814), the ballet has sets and costumes by Irina Tibilova with additional costume designs by Robert Perdziola.

Gillian Murphy, Jose Manuel Carreño and Marcelo Gomes will lead the season’s first performances of Swan Lake on Friday evening, July 1. Choreographed by Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, Swan Lake is set to the score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky and features scenery and costumes by Zack Brown. This production of Swan Lake premiered on March 24, 2000 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D. C., performed by Julie Kent (Odette-Odile) and Angel Corella (Prince Siegfried). Swan Lake will continue for eleven performances through July 9.

American Ballet Theatre will close its 2005 Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House with eight performances of Giselle beginning Monday, July 11 with Alessandra Ferri in the title role opposite Julio Bocca as Albrecht and Gillian Murphy as Myrta. A special tribute to Ms. Ferri on her 20th Anniversary season with the Company is scheduled for Friday evening, July 15. In addition, Amanda McKerrow will give her final performance with ABT on Thursday evening, July 14 in the title role.

Set to music Adolphe Adam, orchestrated by John Lanchbery, Giselle was staged by Kevin McKenzie with choreography after Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa. The two-act ballet features scenery by Gianni Quaranta and costumes by Anna Anni. This production, featuring scenery by Quaranta and costumes by Anni with staging by Mikhail Baryshnikov, was created for the film Dancers, produced in 1987 by Cannon Films.

All-Star Tchaikovsky Spectacular

American Ballet Theatre will present eight programs featuring all-Tchaikovsky music, May 27 through June 2. The programs will include George Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and Theme and Variations, as well as pas de deux from The Nutcracker and Acts II and III of Swan Lake with choreography after Marius Petipa. In addition, the pas de deux from Onegin, choreographed by John Cranko, will be performed by Alessandra Ferri and Julio Bocca on Friday evening, May 27 and Wednesday evening, June 1.


ABTKids, a one-hour introduction to ballet geared toward children ages 4-12, is scheduled for Saturday, June 18 at 11:30am. The program will include a special appearance by Angelina Ballerina‚Ñ¢. All tickets for ABTKids are $18. Reckson Associates is the Official Corporate Sponsor of ABTKids.

Pre-Performance Workshops

Pre-performance workshops, a one-hour activity based program led by ABT teaching artists, are available to matinee ticket holders on Friday, June 17 (4:30-5:30pm at 890 Broadway), Saturday, June 18 (9:30-10:30am), Saturday, June 25 (11:00am-12:00 noon) and Saturday, July 9 (11:00am-12:00 noon). Unless otherwise noted, workshops are held in the rehearsal studios of the Metropolitan Opera House. Tickets to the workshops are $20 per person and are only available to ticket holders for the matinee performance following the workshop. Tickets for ABT’s pre-performance workshops can be purchased by calling (212) 419-4321.

Single tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s 2005 Metropolitan Opera House season go on sale on April 10 at the Met box office or are available by phone at
212-362-6000. The Metropolitan Opera House is located on Broadway between 64th and 65th streets in New York City.

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