NYCB in 6 weeks of repertory performances
New York City Ballet’s 2013 winter repertory performances will begin today, Tuesday, January 15, by kicking off an All-Tschaikovsky/All-Balanchine program consisting of Serenade, Mozartiana and Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2.
The season will continue for six weeks, through Sunday, February 24, with performances of 24 different ballets from NYCB’s unparalleled repertory, including 14 ballets by George Balanchine, three by Jerome Robbins, three by Peter Martins, two by Justin Peck (including a world premiere ballet), as well as works by William Forsythe and Alexei Ratmansky. All performances will take place at the company’s home, the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
The winter repertory performances will open with a two-week celebration of the music of Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky, featuring nine ballets by George Balanchine on three separate programs, as well as a new work by Peter Martins, Bal de Couture, which premiered at the company’s 2012 Fall Gala performance set to selections from Tschaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and featuring costumes designed by Valentino.
This will mark the first-time ever that during two weeks of programming NYCB has presented all of the ballets currently in the company’s active repertory that were created by Balanchine to Tschaikovsky’s music. In 1981, NYCB presented a Tschaikovsky Festival which featured new works by Balanchine, Robbins, Martins and others, as well as existing repertory.
The first program will include Balanchine’s first work made in America, Serenade, his last major work, Mozartiana, and Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2. This program debuts this week, with performances tonight at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 16 at 7:30p.m., Friday, January 18 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, January 19 at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, January 26 at 2 p.m.
The second All-Tschaikovsky/All-Balanchine program will consist of Swan Lake, Allegro Brillante, and Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3, and will debut this Thursday, January 17 at 7:30 p.m., with additional performances on Saturday, January 19 at 2 p.m.; Sunday, January 20 at 3 p.m.; Tuesday, January 22 at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesday, January 23 at 7:30 p.m.
The third program will feature Balanchine’s Diamonds, from the full-length Jewels, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, and Divertimento from Le Baiser de la Fée, which Balanchine created to excerpts from Stravinsky’s full-length ballet score, that Stravinsky composed as an homage to the music of Tschaikovsky, using several of the composer’s melodies and early piano pieces. This program will also feature Peter Martins’ Fall 2012 work Bal de Couture set to selections from Tschaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. This program will debut on Thursday, January 24 at 7:30 p.m., with additional performances on Friday, January 25 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, January 26 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, January 27 at 3 p.m.
In a continuation of the Tschaikovsky Celebration, the 2013 winter season will close with two weeks of performances of Peter Martins’ acclaimed full-length production of Tschaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty, from Wednesday, February 13 through Sunday, February 24. Created in 1991, The Sleeping Beauty was last performed by NYCB in 2010.
On Saturday, January 19, NYCB will honor the anniversary of George Balanchine’s birth (January 22, 1904) with a celebratory day of special events and two All-Tschaikovsky/All-Balanchine performances. Saturday at the Ballet with George will begin at 12:45 p.m. with an interactive Children’s Workshop exploring the music, movement and themes of Balanchine’s Swan Lake. At 1:40 p.m. the conversation will continue with a First Position Discussion in the theater’s Fourth Ring, where NYCB docents will provide background information and insights on the ballets on the matinee program.
Starting at 1 p.m. before the matinee performance and 7 p.m. before the evening performance, members of the NYCB Orchestra will perform live music on the theater’s Promenade. Both the matinee and evening performances will open with an onstage curtain welcome marking the occasion and will feature All-Tschaikovsky/All-Balanchine programs consisting of Swan Lake, The Garland Dance, Allegro Brillante and Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 during the 2 p.m. performance, and Serenade, Mozartiana and Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 during the 8 p.m. performance.
At 5 p.m. there will be a free Onstage Demonstration with NYCB’s dancers entitled “The Balanchine Ballerina,” which will explore some of the iconic roles Balanchine created for his ballerinas. The presentation will feature NYCB dancers performing excerpts from Allegro Brillante, Mozartiana, Serenade, Symphony in C, Tschaikovsky Suite No.3 and Western Symphony.
For more information and a detailed schedule of events for Saturday at the Ballet with George visit www.nycballet.com/george.
Highlighting the winter performances will be a world premiere ballet by NYCB dancer and choreographer Justin Peck as part of the company’s annual New Combinations Evening on Thursday, January 31.
Peck, who is 25 years old, is one of the youngest choreographers ever commissioned by NYCB and will be premiering his third work for the company in a period of just six months. His two previous works created for NYCB are In Creases (Summer 2012) and Year of the Rabbit (Fall 2012). His new ballet will be set to Sinfonietta LaJolla by the prolific 20th-century Czech composer Bohuslav Martin.
NYCB’s New Combinations Evening pays tribute to Balanchine’s legacy by presenting world premiere ballets on or around the anniversary of Balanchine’s birth every January. In addition to the world premiere by Peck, the 2013 New Combinations Evening will also include Alexei Ratmansky’s Concerto DSCH and Balanchine’s rarely performed Variations Pour une Porte et un Soupir.
The new Peck ballet will also be performed on Saturday, February 2 at 8 p.m.; Wednesday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m., and Friday, February 8 at 8 p.m. In addition, Peck’s Fall 2012 work Year of the Rabbit will be performed on Tuesday, January 29 and Wednesday, January 30 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 2 at 2 p.m.; and Sunday, February 3 at 3 p.m.
Tickets for all performances and events can be obtained at the theater’s box office, at www.nycballet.com and by phone at 212-496-0600.
Photo: New York City Ballet in George Balanchine’s Serenade. Photo by Paul Kolnik.