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ABT News

February 19, 2003



American Ballet Theatre’s Spring 2003 Metropolitan Opera House season opens Monday evening, May 5 and runs through Saturday evening, June 28. The eight-week season features six full-length ballets including the World Premiere of HereAfter, choreographed by Stanton Welch and Natalie Weir, accompanied by the 120-member New York Choral Society.

The season will also include a special opening night Spring Gala performance and All Around Is Light, a one-time-only evening in honor of the Cultural Olympiad featuring the World Premiere of Artemis by Lar Lubovitch. Last season’s Company Premieres of Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée and The Dream will return to ABT’s repertory, as well as Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison and Antony Tudor’s Offenbach in the Underworld.

Principal Dancers for the engagement will include Nina Ananiashvili, Maxim Belotserkovsky, Julio Bocca, Jose Manuel Carreño, Angel Corella, Irina Dvorovenko, Alessandra Ferri, Marcelo Gomes, Guillaume Graffin, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, Vladimir Malakhov, Amanda McKerrow, Gillian Murphy, Ethan Stiefel and Ashley Tuttle.

American Ballet Theatre’s 2003 Metropolitan Opera House season is sponsored by UBS, ABT’s National Presenting Sponsor, and Movado Watch Company, a leading benefactor. 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.

Opening Night Gala
American Ballet Theatre will open its season on Monday, May 5 with a Spring Gala. The evening will begin at 6:30 P.M. at the Metropolitan Opera House with a performance featuring all of ABT’s Principal Dancers in a program of classical highlights from the upcoming spring season and the Metropolitan Opera House premiere of Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison. A black-tie gala dinner will take place in the Tent at Lincoln Center immediately following the performance. ABT’s 2003 Spring Gala will mark Kevin McKenzie’s 10th anniversary as Artistic Director of the Company. Co-Chairmen for the Spring Gala are Caroline Kennedy and Blaine Trump. Corporate Co-Chairmen include Steven T. Florio and Gedalio Grinberg. Condé Nast Publications is the Principal Corporate Sponsor of the Spring Gala; generous underwriting is also provided by the Movado Watch Company. Friends Co-Chairmen include Sloan Lindemann Barnett, Tory Burch, Susan Fales-Hill and Emilia Fanjul Pfleifer. For more information about the Opening Night Gala, please call the Special Events Office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3239.

World Premieres
The World Premiere of HereAfter, a unique choral evening, will combine the choreography of Natalie Weir and Stanton Welch, accompanied by over 120 members of the New York Choral Society. Scheduled for its World Premiere on Friday, May 16, HereAfter depicts the spiritual journey of one man’s life in two separate acts. Ms. Weir will choreograph the first act to John Adams’ Harmonium, while Mr. Welch’s choreography for the second act will be set to Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. HereAfter features costumes and scenery by Santo Loquasto and lighting by Brian MacDevitt.

The Cultural Olympiad will be celebrated by American Ballet Theatre on Tuesday, May 20 with a special salute to the culture of Greece titled All Around Is Light. Internationally acclaimed film director Costa-Gavras will direct the evening, which will feature filmed projections and readings by Greek and American personalities. This special program will include performances by two renowned Greek artists, opera singer Agnes Baltsa and popular singer George Dalaras. American Ballet Theatre’s orchestra, conducted by Lucas Karytinos, will accompany the artists. The evening will also feature the World Premiere of Lar Lubovitch’s Artemis, inspired by the Greek myth of Artemis (the goddess of the hunt) and Aktaion. Artemis is set to a commissioned score composed by Chris Theofanidis and features scenery by John Arnone, costumes by Ann Hould-Ward and lighting by Brian MacDevitt. Artemis is Mr. Lubovitch’s sixth work to receive its World Premiere by ABT.

Guest Artists
Alina Cojocaru, a principal dancer with The Royal Ballet in London, will make her debut with American Ballet Theatre appearing as a guest artist for two performances as Nikiya opposite Angel Corella as Solor in La Bayadère on Saturday evening, May 10 and Monday evening, May 12. Born in Bucharest, Romania, Cojocaru trained in Kiev and at The Royal Ballet School. She danced with the Kiev Ballet and joined The Royal Ballet in 1999. She was promoted to first soloist in 2000 and to principal dancer the following year.

As part of an exchange program with Kirov Ballet, Diana Vishneva will debut with ABT as a guest artist performing the role of Juliet opposite Vladimir Malakhov in Romeo and Juliet on Wednesday evening, June 11. Ms. Vishneva was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and trained at the Vaganova Ballet Academy. She joined the Mariinsky Theatre (Kirov) Ballet in 1995 and was promoted to principal dancer the following year.

Repertory Work
The first of two repertory programs on ABT’s Spring schedule will be presented May 6 through 8 and will include Antony Tudor’s Offenbach in the Underworld, Clear by Stanton Welch, Grand Pas Classique or Esmeralda Pas de Deux and Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison choreographed by David Parsons, Ann Reinking, Natalie Weir and Stanton Welch. Within You Without You, set to songs by the late George Harrison, features costumes by Catherine Zuber and lighting by Brad Fields.

The second repertory program, scheduled for June 23 through June 25, will feature Lar Lubovitch’s Artemis, classical pas de deux and last season’s Company Premiere of Frederick Ashton’s The Dream. Alessandra Ferri and Ethan Stiefel will dance the leading roles of Titania and Oberon at the season’s first performance of the ballet on Monday evening, June 23. Staged by Anthony Dowell with Christopher Carr, The Dream is set to music by Felix Mendelssohn, with sets and costumes by David Walker and lighting by John B. Read. The Dream is presented in memory of Clarence Y. Palitz, Jr. by his family.

Full-length ballets
Full-length ballets scheduled for ABT’s Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House include La Bayadère, which will have eight performances, beginning May 9 with Julie Kent, Ethan Stiefel and Irina Dvorovenko in the leading roles. Choreographed by Natalia Makarova after Marius Petipa, 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.

Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée is scheduled for seven performances beginning Friday evening, May 23 with Xiomara Reyes and Angel Corella in the leading roles of Lise and Colas. This production of La Fille mal gardée with choreography by Frederick Ashton and staging by Alexander Grant, Grant Coyle and Christopher Carr, received its ABT Premiere on May 31, 2002. The ballet features music by Ferdinand Hérold, freely adapted and arranged by John Lanchbery, scenery by Osbert Lancaster and lighting by Brad Fields. ABT gratefully acknowledges Julia and David H. Koch for their generous underwriting of this production.

Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet returns to ABT’s repertoire on Thursday, May 29 with Alessandra Ferri and Julio Bocca performing the title roles. Choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan, Romeo and Juliet features scenery and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis and lighting by Thomas Skelton. The ballet, which will have eleven performances, May 29 through 31 and June 6 through 11, received is ABT premiere in January, 1985.

Don Quixote, staged by Kevin McKenzie and Susan Jones, after the choreography of Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky, will be given 10 performances, June 2 through June 5 and June 12 through 16. Paloma Herrera and Jose Manuel Carreño will dance the leading roles in the ballet’s first performance of the season. Set to music by Ludwig Minkus and arranged by Jack Everly, Don Quixote has scenery and costumes by Santo Loquasto and lighting by Natasha Katz. Mr. McKenzie’s and Ms. Jones’ staging of the current production was first performed by ABT in June, 1995.

Closing the season will be Kevin McKenzie’s production of the Tchaikovsky classic, Swan Lake, generously underwritten by the Rosh Foundation. Swan Lake will have its first performance of the season on Tuesday, June 17 with Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Belotserkovsky in the leading roles. The ballet will be given an additional 10 performances June 18 through 21 and June 26 through 28. Swan Lake, staged by Kevin McKenzie with scenery and costumes by Zack Brown and lighting by Duane Schuler, was given its World Premiere in March, 2000 at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

ABTKids and Family Programs
ABTKids, a special one-hour performance for children and their families, is scheduled for Saturday, May 17 at 11:30 A.M. Narrated by a member of ABT’s artistic staff, ABTKids presents age-appropriate excerpts from the season’s repertory. All tickets for ABTKids are priced at $15. An ABTKids pre-performance workshop is available on Friday, May 16 at 4:00 P.M. to families who purchase tickets to ABTKids. Tickets to the workshop are $20 per person. Reckson Associates is the Principal Corporate Sponsor of ABTKids. Additional support is provided by the MetLife Foundation.

American Ballet Theatre’s annual Family Day Benefit and Luncheon will coincide with ABTKids on May 17 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.

For the matinees on Saturday, May 24, (La Fille m al gardée), May 31 (Romeo & Juliet) and June 14 (Don Quixote), tickets for children ages 4-14 are available at 50% off regular price with the purchase of one adult-priced ticket. Pre-performance workshops are also available for the above matinees. Designed for children ages 4-12, the workshops offer children the opportunity to experience the movement they will see in each performance, including the clog dance from La Fille mal gardée, the basics of stage dueling from Romeo & Juliet, and the fan dance from Don Quixote. All workshop tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased by calling ABT’s Education Department at 212-419-4321. The Starr Foundation is the Official Sponsor of American Ballet Theatre’s Family Programs.

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

American Ballet Theatre’s productions of HereAfter, The Dream and La Fille mal gardée have been made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding for these productions has been provided by Philip Morris Companies Inc. Clear was generously funded by The Carl and Marsha Hewitt Foundation.

Tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s 2003 Metropolitan Opera House season are on sale now by mail only. Beginning March 30, tickets can be purchased by phone by calling 212-362-6000 or at the Metropolitan Opera House box office. For more information, click here.

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