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ABT News

October 29, 2004



Carlos Acosta and Diana Vishneva Join ABT as Principal Dancers

American Ballet Theatre’s 2005 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, May 23-July 16, was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. Highlighting the engagement will be the United States Revival Premiere of a new two-act production of Sir Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia, as well as a Fokine celebration featuring a full evening of the works of choreographer Michel Fokine.

Principal Dancers for the engagement will include Carlos Acosta, Nina Ananiashvili, 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.

Countrywide Financial is the National Sponsor of American Ballet Theatre and Cole Haan is a Leading Benefactor. Graff Jewelers is the 2005 season sponsor of ABT 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.

United States Premiere

American Ballet Theatre will present the United States Revival 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 ABT 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, will receive its revival premiere in three acts by The Royal Ballet on November 4, 2004 at Covent Garden, London.

Following the U.S. premiere, ABT will give seven performances of Sylvia, June 4 and 6 and June 13-15.

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.
The 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.

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.

ABT’s Revival Premiere of Petrouchka is scheduled for Friday, February 4, 2005 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

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 will receive its Company Premiere on Friday, February 4, 2005 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Polovtsian Dances received its World Premiere by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in May 18, 1909.

Carlos Acosta and Diana Vishneva

Carlos Acosta, a principal guest artist with The Royal Ballet in London, will rejoin American Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer for the Company’s 2005 Spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House,

Mr. Acosta last appeared with ABT in the Fall of 2003. His repertoire with the Company includes Conrad in Le Corsaire, Oberon in The Dream, Colas in La Fille mal gardée, Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, Act III and leading roles in George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and Raymonda (Grand Pas Classique), staged by Anna-Marie Holmes after Marius Petipa.

Mr. Acosta’s performances this Spring will include Ali, the Slave in Le Corsaire on Saturday evening, June 25 and Thursday, June 30 and Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake on Friday, July 8.

Diana Vishneva, a Principal Dancer with the Kirov Ballet, will also join ABT as a Principal Dancer for the Spring season performing George Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial on Monday May 30 and Wednesday evening, June 1, Kitri in Don Quixote on Thursday, May 26, Odette-Odile in Swan Lake on Tuesday July 5 and Saturday matinee, July 9, and the title role in Giselle on Tuesday, July 12.

Ms. Vishneva made her debut with American Ballet Theatre in May 2003 appearing as a guest artist in a special exchange with the Kirov Ballet.

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, beginning Tuesday, May 24 with Paloma Herrera and Angel Corella in the leading roles.

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, June 7. Set to a score by Alexander Glazounov, Raymonda features scenery and costumes by Zack Brown. The all-new Raymonda, as 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.

Nina Ananiashvili, Julio Bocca and Angel Corella will lead the cast in the season’s first performance of Le Corsair 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.

Julie Kent and Jose Manuel Carreño will lead the season’s first performances of Swan Lake on Friday, July 1. Choreographed by Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, Swan Lake is set 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 the classic 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 the Friday, July 15 performance.

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 program 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 by Kevin McKenzie. 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. 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 Saturday, June 18 (9:30-10:30am), Saturday, June 25 (11:00am-12:00 noon) and Saturday, July 9 (11:00am-12:00 noon). 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.

Subscriptions for American Ballet Theatre’s 2005 Metropolitan Opera House season are on sale now by phone at 212-362-6000 and by mail.

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