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ABT News

October 29, 2007

MAY 19-JULY 12, 2008

Revivals of Harald Lander's Études and
Ronald Hynd's The Merry Widow Also Scheduled

American Ballet Theatre’s 2008 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House, May 19-July 12, was announced today by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. Highlighting the engagement will be the World Premiere of a new work choreographed by Twyla Tharp, set to a commissioned score by Danny Elfman, as well as revivals of Harald Lander’s Études and Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow.

Principal Dancers for the engagement will include Nina Ananiashvili, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Jose Manuel Carreño, Angel Corella, Herman Cornejo, Irina Dvorovenko, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Paloma Herrera, Julie Kent, Gillian Murphy, Xiomara Reyes, Ethan Stiefel, Diana Vishneva and Michele Wiles.

Countrywide Financial is the National Sponsor of American Ballet Theatre. Northern Trust is the sponsor of ABT’s 2008 Metropolitan Opera House Season. Saks Fifth Avenue is the Leading Corporate Sponsor of the Costume Fund. CA, Inc. is the leading corporate sponsor of ABT’s Family Programs. JPMorgan Chase is the Official Sponsor of Make a Ballet. American Airlines is ABT’s Official Airline. The 2008 Metropolitan Opera House Season is also made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

The 2008 Spring Season will open with a Gala performance featuring ABT’s Principal Dancers on Monday, May 19 at 6:30 P.M. For information on ABT’s Spring Gala, please call the Special Events Office at 212-477-3030, ext. 3239. ABT’s Spring Gala is sponsored by Graff Diamonds, Griffon Corporation, RexCorp Realty and Nina Ricci.

World Premiere

A new ballet by Twyla Tharp, a co-commission with the Orange County Performing Artscenter, will have its World Premiere on Tuesday evening, June 3 at
8 P.M. Set to a commissioned score by Danny Elfman, the new ballet will feature costumes by designer Norma Kamali and lighting by Brad Fields.

The world’s leading choreographer of contemporary dance, Twyla Tharp continues to create works for leading companies around the world. The Tharp/Elfman collaboration marks her fifteenth work for American Ballet Theatre. Tharp’s association with the Company began in 1976 when she choreographed Push Comes to Shove. Her previous work for ABT was The Brahms-Haydn Variations, originally entitled Variations on a Theme by Haydn, in 2000.

The Tharp/Elfman collaboration will be Danny Elfman’s first composition for the ballet. A leading film composer, Elfman has created the scores for nearly 50 feature films including twelve with longtime collaborator Tim Burton. Elfman has scored such diverse films as Batman, Beetlejuice, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Chicago, Edward Scissorhands and Midnight Run, as well as the theme music for television’s “The Simpsons” and “Desperate Housewives,” among others.

The Orange County Performing Artscenter, (OCPAC), will present the West Coast Premiere of the new Tharp/Elfman work on Wednesday, August 6, 2008. “We are thrilled to join ABT, one of our longest and most important artistic collaborations, in commissioning this new ballet,” said OCPAC President Terrence W. Dwyer. “One aspect of being a great arts center is to be a part of the creation of new work, and this is a natural evolution of our long standing commitment to dance and our great partnership with ABT.” The new Tharp/Elfman work will be given six performances through August 10 at OCPAC. This production is made possible by the generous support of Patsy and Jeff Tarr.

Revival Premieres

Harald Lander’s Études will have its Revival Premiere on Tuesday evening, June 3. Last performed by ABT in 2000, Études is set to music by Knudaage Riisager, after Carl Czerny, and features costumes by Rolf Gerard and lighting by Nananne Porcher. The ballet was given its World Premiere by the Royal Danish Ballet in 1948 and was danced by ABT for the first time in 1961. The revival of Études will be staged for ABT by Susan Jones. The ballet will share the program with the new Tharp ballet for seven performances through June 7.

Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow, last performed by ABT in 2002, will be given seven performances June 30 through July 5. The ballet features music by Franz LehƒØr, orchestrated by John Lanchbery, with scenery and costumes by Desmond Heeley and lighting by Michael J. Whitfield. Adapted from LehƒØr’s operetta of the same name, The Merry Widow was premiered by The Australian Ballet in 1975 and received its ABT premiere in 1997. The Revival Premiere of The Merry Widow will take place on Monday, June 30, led by Julie Kent as Hanna Glawari and Jose Manuel Carreño as Count Danilo Danilowitch.

Returning Classics

American Ballet Theatre will present six additional full-length ballets during the 2008 Spring season, beginning with eight performances of Le Corsaire. 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 Corsair” (1814), the ballet has sets and costumes by Irina Tibilova with additional costume designs by Robert Perdziola. Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky will lead the first performance of Le Corsaire on Tuesday evening, May 20. ABT’s performances of Le Corsaire are generously underwritten through an endowed gift from Irene and Fred Shen.

Eight performances of Swan Lake, choreographed by Kevin McKenzie after Marius Petipa, will be given beginning Tuesday, May 27, with Michele Wiles and David Hallberg leading the opening night cast. Swan Lake is set to the score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky and features scenery and costumes by Zack Brown and lighting by Duane Schuler. This production of Swan Lake premiered on March 24, 2000 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Swan Lake is generously underwritten by The Rosh Foundation.

Don Quixote, staged by Kevin McKenzie and Susan Jones, after the choreography of Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky, will be given eight performances, June 9-14. Gillian Murphy and Ethan Stiefel will lead the season’s first performance of Don Quixote, which is set to the music of Ludwig Minkus and arranged by Jack Everly. The ballet features scenery and costumes by Santo Loquasto and lighting by Natasha Katz. The McKenzie/Jones staging of the current production was first performed by ABT in June 1995. This production was generously supported through an endowed gift from Monica, Stefano, Cosima and Tassilo Corsi.

Last season’s World Premiere production of The Sleeping Beauty will return for eight performances, June 16-21. Set to a score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, The Sleeping Beauty is staged by Kevin McKenzie, Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov, after original choreography by Marius Petipa, and features scenery by Tony Walton, costumes by Willa Kim, with additional costume designs by Holly Hynes, and lighting by Richard Pilbrow and Dawn Chiang. Paloma Herrera and Angel Corella will lead the season’s first performance of The Sleeping Beauty on Monday, June 16. Tara and John Milne are the original underwriters of The Sleeping Beauty. Joan Taub Ades and Alan M. Ades, Adrienne Arsht, Arlene and Harvey Blau, Devon and Peter Briger, Susan and Leonard Feinstein, Edward A. Fox, Lori and Stephen Garofalo, Julia and David H. Koch, Konrad R. Kruger, Jill L. Leinbach, Charlotte and MacDonald Mathey and Jean and Lawrence Shaw are Co-Underwriters of this production. Additional funding was provided by the NIB Foundation. Special thanks to Caroline Newhouse. This production has been made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The first of eight performances of Natalia Makarova’s La Bayadère will take place on Monday, June 23. Set to the music of Ludwig Minkus and arranged by John Lanchbery, La Bayadère features scenery by PierLuigi Samaritani, costumes by Theoni V. Aldredge and lighting by Toshiro Ogawa. Conceived and directed by Makarova after Marius Petipa, La Bayadère was given its World Premiere by ABT in 1980. The season’s first performance of La Bayadère will feature Veronika Part as Nikiya and Marcelo Gomes as Solor. La Bayadère is presented in loving memory of Mrs. Caroline Newhouse.

American Ballet Theatre will conclude its 2008 Spring season with eight performances of Giselle beginning Monday, July 7, led by Nina Ananiashvili and Angel Corella. Set to music by Adolphe Adam and 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, with scenery by Quaranta and costumes by Anni, was created for the film Dancers in 1987. Giselle is generously supported through an endowed gift from Anka Palitz in memory of Clarence Y. Palitz, Jr.


ABT’s annual one-hour introduction to ballet, ABTKids, is scheduled for Saturday, May 31 at 11:30am. All tickets for ABTKids are $25. CA, Inc. is the leading corporate sponsor of ABT’s Family Programs. The ABTKids performance is generously supported through an endowed gift from Thomas and Lydia West in loving memory of Vivian B. West.

ABTKids Workshop Series

ABTKids Workshop Series, activity based programs led by ABT Teaching Artists, are available to matinee ticket holders on Saturday, May 24 (11:00 am) and Saturday, June 21 (11:00 am), and to ABTKids ticket holders on Friday, May 30 (4:30 pm) and Saturday, May 31 (9:30 am). Saturday workshops will be held in the rehearsal studios of the Metropolitan Opera House and the Friday workshop will be held at ABT’s studios at 890 Broadway. Tickets to the workshops are $20 per person and are
only available to ticket holders for the matinee performance following the workshop. For tickets and more information on ABTKids Workshop Series, please call 212-419-4321.

American Ballet Theatre’s education programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Subscriptions for American Ballet Theatre’s 2008 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House are on sale now by phone at 212-362-6000, or online.

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