American Ballet Theatre Kevin McKenzie, Artistic Director
with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra
"A victory for American dance" --San Francisco Chronicle
"One of the world's great classical troupes" --The New York Times
Making their second appearance in the season, American Ballet Theatre returns to the Opera House with both new works full of vigor and DC favorites rich with heritage.
ABT's mixed repertory program features Taylor's Black Tuesday and Wheeldon's Thirteen Diversions, as well as two different pairs of pas de deux each night.
A ballet for thirteen dancers set to iconic music from the Great Depression such as "Underneath the Arches," "Slummin' on Park Avenue," "The Boulevard of Broken Dreams"and "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?," Black Tuesday was given its world premiere by ABT at the Kennedy Center on April 10, 2001. The Washington Post said, "Exposing societal grit,cruelty, and hypocrisy--in effect, the truth behind the nostalgia--is the hallmark ofTaylor's dances."
Receiving its world premiere by ABT in May 2011 at the Metropolitan Opera House, Thirteen Diversions is danced to Britten's Diversions for Piano (Left-Hand) and Orchestra. The New York Times praises Mr. Wheeldon's choreography throughout as "full of handsome geometries and refreshing contrasts, its energies beautifully focused."
On Jan. 31, the pas de deux are the lush and passionate duet from Act I of Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Manon and the Grand Pas de Deux from Act III of Petipa's Don Quixote. On Feb. 1, they are the romantic balcony scene from MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet and the "Black Swan" pas de deux, one of the most exciting in ballet, from Act III of ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie's Swan Lake after Petipa.
Mixed Repertory Program (Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m.) Black Tuesday (24 min., followed by 20-min. intermission) Casting: Company Choreography by Paul Taylor Music: Songs from the Great Depression Manon (Act I Pas de Deux) (6 min., followed by pause) Casting: Kent, Gomes Choreography by Sir Kenneth MacMillan Music: Jules Massenet Don Quixote (Act III Grand Pas de Deux) (10 min., followed by 20-min. intermission) Casting: Reyes, Cornejo Choreography after Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky Music by Ludwig Minkus Thirteen Diversions (29 min.) Casting: Riccetto / Matthews; Boylston / Gomes; Abrera / Tamm; Messmer / Hammoudi Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon Music by Benjamin Britten
Mixed Repertory Program (Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m.) Black Tuesday (24 min., followed by 20-min. intermission) Casting: Company Choreography by Paul Taylor Music: Songs from the Great Depression Romeo and Juliet (Pas de Deux) (10 min., followed by a pause) Casting: Reyes, Cornejo Choreography by Sir Kenneth MacMillan Music: Sergei Prokofiev Swan Lake (Act III Pas de Deux) (12 min., followed by 20-min. intermission) Casting: Boylston, Simkin Choreography by Kevin McKenzie, after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov) Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Thirteen Diversions (29 min.) Casting: Lane / Salstein; Copeland / Stearns; Underwood / Forster; Shevchenko / Hoven Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon Music by Benjamin Britten
Amid the sweeping vistas and grand temples of mystical India, Makarova's staging of Petipa's great Russian classic La Bayadère is a glorious epic of eternal love and godly revenge. La Bayadère offers tour de force performances by ABT principal dancers as the tale's doomed temple dancer Nikiya, Solor the warrior who betrays her, and her archrival Gamzatti. The ballet also features the famed vision of the "Kingdom of the Shades," showcasing the corps de ballet in gossamer white tutus, filling the stage in perfect unison, as sublime as spirits arriving from the afterlife.
La Bayadère (Feb. 2–4 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 4 & 5 at 1:30 p.m.) Choreography by Natalia Makarova after Marius Petipa Music by Ludwig Minkus, specially arranged by John Lanchbery Timing: Act I - 57 min.; Intermission - 20 min.; Act II - 37 min.; Intermission - 20 min.; Act III - 19 min.