NYCB’s Spring Season opens April 30

New York City Ballet in 'West Side Story Suite'New York City Ballet’s 2013 Spring Season will open with a three-week American Music Festival featuring 25 ballets and music by 17 American composers. This festival will also mark the 25th anniversary of the 1998 American Music Festival, during which NYCB presented more than 20 new works to the music of American composers.


The season will open on Tuesday, April 30 with an All Balanchine program consisting of Who Cares? (music by George Gershwin, adapted and orchestrated by Hershy Kay), Ivesiana (music by Charles Ives), Tarantella (music by Louis Moreau Gottschalk, reconstructed and orchestrated by Hershy Kay) and Stars and Stripes (music by John Philip Sousa, adapted and orchestrated by Hershy Kay).


Who Cares? will be presented in a new production featuring new costumes created by the Tony Award-winning designer Santo Loquasto, who has created sets and costumes for more than 60 Broadway shows, and numerous other stage, dance and film productions. Loquasto has also been the production designer for more than 20 films by Woody Allen and has been nominated for Academy Awards for his work on Bullets Over Broadway, Radio Days and Zelig.


For the dance world, Loquasto has designed sets and costumes for an extensive variety of choreographers and companies including Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Agnes de Mille, Mark Morris, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. Loquasto has previously worked with New York City Ballet on seven productions, including Robbins’ Interplay, Other Dances and The Four Seasons, and Peter Martins’ Symphonic Dances. However, the new costumes for Who Cares? will mark the first time that Loquasto has designed costumes for a Balanchine work in the NYCB repertory.  


The American Music Festival will also include a special Spring Gala performance on Wednesday, May 8 that will feature two new ballets by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon – a world premiere pas de deux set to the “Interlude” from André Previn’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, and Leonard Bernstein’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano; and a new version of Soirée Musicale, set to Samuel Barber’s Souvenirs, which was originally created for the School of American Ballet Workshop performances in 1998.


The Spring Gala will also feature appearances by guest artists Queen Latifah, who will perform George Gershwin’s The Man I Love with the NYCB Orchestra as part of an excerpt from Who Cares?, and clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, who will perform the clarinet scores for the new pas de deux by Wheeldon.


The costumes for Wheeldon’s new pas de deux will be designed by the fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra, who launched his first line in 2008 and was the recipient of the 2011 CFDA award and the 2012 Swarovski Award for Womenswear Design from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The costumes for Wheeldon’s Soirée Musicale will be designed by Holly Hynes, who served as NYCB’s Director of Costumes for more than 20 years, and has created costumes for numerous ballets in the NYCB repertory.


Other programs making up the American Music Festival include an all-Richard Rodgers program consisting of Martins’ Thou Swell, Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance) and Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, which will debut on Thursday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m.; and an all-Robbins program consisting of Interplay (music by Morton Gould), Fancy Free (music by Leonard Bernstein) and I’m Old Fashioned (music by Morton Gould, based on a theme by Jerome Kern), which will debut on Friday, May 3 at 8 p.m.; and a “Founding Choreographers” program featuring Balanchine’s Western Symphony (traditional American melodies, orchestrated by Hershy Kay), and Robbins’ N. Y. Export: Opus Jazz (music by Robert Prince) and Glass Pieces (music by Philip Glass), which will debut on Friday, May 10 at 8 p.m.


The final week of the American Music Festival will feature an all-Martins program showcasing NYCB’s Ballet Master in Chief’s long-standing commitment to the music of American composers. The program will include Calcium Light Night (music by Charles Ives), River of Light (music by Charles Wuorinen), Barber Violin Concerto (music by Samuel Barber) and Fearful Symmetries (music by John Adams), and will debut on Thursday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. The American Music Festival will conclude with two additional programs featuring ballets by Robbins, Martins, Benjamin Millepied and the new Wheeldon pas de deux.


On Wednesday, May 29, NYCB will also present the New York City premiere of In Creases, a new ballet by Justin Peck that premiered last July during NYCB’s annual summer season at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. In Creases is set to composer Philip Glass’ Four Movements for Two Pianos.


New York City Ballet will end the 2012-2013 season with a extraordinary three-weeks of performances featuring 33 different ballets with no two performances alike. Highlights will include selections from the fall season Stravinsky Festival (Firebird, Stravinsky Violin Concerto), the winter season Tschaikovsky Festival (Allegro Brillante, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux), and the spring season American Music Festival (Western Symphony, Stars and Stripes, N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz), among many other works. Also included are three Broadway Tribute programs on Memorial Day weekend (May 25 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and 26 at 3 p.m.) featuring Balanchine’s Who Cares?, Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free and West Side Story Suite, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance). See the spring season calendar for complete programming information.


All performances will take place at the David H. Koch Theater, located on the Lincoln Center Plaza at Columbus Avenue and West 63rd Street. Tickets for all performances start at just $29 and are available at the box office, online at or by calling 212-496-0600.


Photo: New York City Ballet’s Georgina Pazcoguin and Amar Ramasar in Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite, which will be performed as part of the Broadway Tribute programs scheduled for May. Photo © Paul Kolnik, courtesy of NYCB.