Two Spring Gala World Premiere Ballets by Alysa Pires and Christopher Wheeldon
Encore Performances of Works New to NYCB During the 2022-23 Season by Kyle Abraham, Justin Peck, and Gianna Reisen
The Six-Week Spring Season Will Also Feature ballets by NYCB Co-Founding Choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, and Alexei Ratmansky who will become NYCB's Artist in Residence in August 2023
New York City Ballet's 2023 Spring Season
New York City Ballet's 2023 Spring Season will open on Tuesday 18 April with an All-Balanchine programme consisting of George Balanchine's Concerto Barocco, Kammermusik No. 2, and Raymonda Variations. The 2023 Spring Season will also feature six additional works by Balanchine including the choreographer's one-act distillation of Swan Lake, which will be performed on a programme with Alexei Ratmansky's Pictures at an Exhibition. NYCB will also perform Namouna, A Grand Divertissement by Ratmansky, recently named NYCB Artist in Residence, a position he will assume in August 2023.
Spring Gala: INVENTION – Thursday 4 May
NYCB's annual Spring Gala performance on Thursday 4 May will celebrate NYCB's commitment to innovation and invention, with World Premiere ballets by Canadian choreographer Alysa Pires, who will be making her first work for NYCB, and Christopher Wheeldon who was NYCB's first-ever Resident Choreographer (2001-2008) – it will be his 23rd work for the Company. The Spring Gala programme will also feature Justin Peck's The Times Are Racing, set to music by Dan Deacon, which premiered in 2017.
The development of the Pires premiere began during a Working Session of the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet, in the spring of 2019. During that session Pires collaborated with composer Jack Frerer from the Juilliard School of Music, who wrote an original score for the creation. Since then Pires and Frerer have continued to work together, and for the Spring Gala they have created a new piece that expands on some of the ideas from the Institute session. Pires' Spring Gala World Premiere is set to a new score by Frerer, commissioned by NYCB, for full orchestra and saxophone. The costume design is by Dana Osborne, with lighting by Mark Stanley. Pires was born in Victoria, Canada, has created numerous works for Canadian dance companies, and was a Choreographic Associate at The National Ballet of Canada from 2019 to 2022.
Wheeldon, the New York City-based director and choreographer, danced with NYCB from 1993 until 2000 and then became NYCB's first-ever Resident Choreographer, a position he held until 2008. In addition to his work with NYCB, Wheeldon has created ballets for The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet, among others. In addition, Wheeldon's work on Broadway includes directing and choreographing the Tony Award-winning productions of An American in Paris (2016) and MJ the Musical, which is currently running. The new work will be set to Arnold Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht with visual designs by American artist Kylie Manning. It will feature both costumes and large-scale backdrops that the artist describes as sister paintings to those in her current solo exhibition at Pace Gallery in Geneva, Switzerland. The lighting for the ballet will be designed by Mary Louise Geiger.
The gala evening will begin with a 5.30pm cocktail reception followed by a 7pm performance, and dinner and dancing on the Koch Theater Promenade. Benefit-priced tickets for the full gala evening are available through the NYCB Special Events office at email@example.com. Performance-only tickets are also available at New York City Ballet.
Additional highlights of the Spring Season
Additional highlights of the Spring Season include the return of three ballets that premiered earlier in NYCB's 2022-23 Season. Peck's Copland Dance Episodes, set to four iconic Aaron Copland scores and featuring set design by visual artist Jeffrey Gibson, costumes by Ellen Warren and lighting by Brandon Stirling Baker, will return from the 2023 Winter Season. Kyle Abraham's Love Letter (on shuffle), set to music by James Blake and featuring costumes by Giles Deacon and lighting by Dan Scully, and Gianna Reisen's Play Time, set to a commissioned score by Solange Knowles and featuring costumes by Alejandro Gómez Palomo for Palomo Spain and lighting by Stanley, will return from the 2022 Fall Season, on a programme with Peck's 2022 work Partita, set to music by Caroline Shaw and featuring scenery designed by artist Eva LeWitt, costumes by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung, and lighting by Baker.
The Spring Season also includes three works by Jerome Robbins: Afternoon of a Faun, Fancy Free, and Brandenburg, which premiered in 1997 and was the last original ballet Robbins created for NYCB. Brandenburg, set to music by Bach, will be performed during the 2023 Spring Season for the first time since 2008.
Principal Dancer Harrison Ball Farewell Performance – Sunday 30 April
Principal Dancer Harrison Ball will give his final performance with New York City Ballet on Sunday 30 April, performing in George Balanchine's Haieff Divertimento and Jerome Robbins' Afternoon of a Faun. Ball has been a member of the Company since 2012, and plans to pursue a variety of new artistic projects following his final performance with New York City Ballet.
Since joining New York City Ballet, Ball has performed featured roles in a range of works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Mauro Bigonzetti, August Bournonville, William Forsythe, Peter Martins, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Jamar Roberts, Troy Schumacher, and Christopher Wheeldon. In addition, he has originated roles in works by Kyle Abraham, Sidra Bell, Kim Brandstrup, Pontus Lidberg, Martins, Peck, Ratmansky, Gianna Reisen, and Wheeldon, among others. In 2022, Ball was commissioned by New Jersey Ballet and made his choreographic debut with Purcell Suite, a ballet for 12 dancers set to Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Ball was the recipient of the 2013-14 Janice Levin Award, which is bestowed annually on a promising member of NYCB's corps de ballet. In 2011, Ball received the School of American Ballet's Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise.
For more information, visit New York City Ballet
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.