P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2002
September 1, 2002
New York City Ballet to Perform Fund-Raiser at MASS MoCA
(North Adams, Mass.) Principal dancers from one of the foremost dance companies in the world, the New York City Ballet, will perform highlights of the company's repertoire in The Best of Ballet at MASS MoCA in two performances. A special benefit performance followed by an extraordinary opportunity to meet the dancers at a champagne and dessert celebration and dance party with DJ will take place on Saturday, September 28 at 8:15 P.M. A limited number of tickets for an elegant dinner in the MASS MoCA galleries preceding the Saturday performance are also available. On Sunday, September 29 a 2 P.M. matinee features special reduced pricing for seniors, students, and children. The matinee is designed to offer those who are new to dance the opportunity to experience ballet through some of the art form's greatest moments.
The performances will spotlight a number of brilliant composers and choreographers including Pulitzer Prize-winner Samuel Barber; New York City Ballet director Peter Martins; George Gershwin; Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky; George Balanchine; Sergei Prokeofiev; and Louis Moreau Gottschalk. The selected works will display ballet bravura and the virtuosic technique for which the NYCB is famous. Several dances highlight the ways that New York City Ballet co-founder and choreographer George Balanchine expanded the traditional vocabulary of classical dance. The evening will include a mixed and matched pas de deux for two couples: one classical in pointe shoes and ballet slippers, and the other modern and barefoot. The performance begins with a sensuously melodic juxtaposition of classical forms and modern sensibility, but ends with a rousing comedic chase that brings the show to spirited, spirited conclusion.
The program includes: the Violin Concerto by Pulitzer Prize winner Samuel Barber, choreographed by New York City Ballet director Peter Martins; the romantic balcony pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet with music by leading Soviet composer Prokofiev and choreography by Sean Lavery; and Tarantella performed to music by Gottschalk, one of the first American composers to be recognized in Europe. Gottschalk studied in Paris playing at Salle Pleyel while only 15 where he was praised by Chopin. At his formal debut in 1849 he was hailed as a sensation from the New World. A pas de deux with music by Tchaikovsky and Who Cares? to the music of George Gershwin will also be performed. Tarantella, the Tchaikovsky pas de deux, and Who Cares? were all choreographed by George Balanchine.
The son of a composer who began studying piano at age five, George Balanchine gained a knowledge of music early in life. His trained in the tradition of the great Russian ballet. He entered the Imperial School of Ballet in St. Petersburg at age ten, graduating at seventeen. For the next three years he studied piano and composition at the Petrograd Conservatory of Music. At 20 and with his schooling behind him Balanchine left the newly-created Soviet Union for the West. Serge Diaghilev invited the young choreographer to join his Monte Carlo-based Ballets Russes in 1924. In 1933 he accepted Lincoln Kirstein's invitation to come to the United States to start a school designed to serve as the incubator of an American ballet company which would eventually become the world-renowned New York City Ballet. When Balanchine died in 1983 he was considered the world's foremost choreographer in contemporary ballet.
Danish-born Peter Martins has been working with the New York City Ballet since 1967 when he was invited to dance the title role in Balanchine's Apollo. He continued to perform with the company as a guest artist for the next three years before joining the company in 1970 as a principal dancer. In 1981 he joined George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and John Taras as one of the company's ballet masters. From 1983 to 1989 he and Robbins shared responsibility for overseeing operation of the New York City Ballet. In 1990 Martins became sole director of the company. He has created more than 60 ballets in his career, a number of which have been taped and broadcast by PBS. His choreography for Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Song and Dance opened on Broadway in 1985. He conceived and planned a three-week celebration of American music, art and dance for the New York City Ballet's 40th anniversary. Martins has published an autobiography and was made a Knight of The Order of Danneborg by Queen Margreth II of Denmark.
The New York City Ballet is an organization unique in the artistic history of the United States. Solely responsible for training its own artists and creating its own works, the New York City Ballet was the first ballet institution in the world with two permanent homes, the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York.
The benefit committee is chaired by Bob and Martha Lipp. Committee members include: Robert and Barbara Bashevkin; Joan Benjamin and Larry Cherkis; Duncan and Susan Brown; Bob and Shari Collins; Nancy Fitzpatrick and Lincoln Russell; Allan and Judy Fulkerson; Paul and Carmela Haklisch; Joan and Jim Hunter; Dr. Don Quinn Kelley and Sandra L. Burton; Teddi and Fran Laurin; Holly Taylor and Dick Lamb; and Tom and Barbara Vallone.
The Best of Ballet is sponsored by Classical Tents and Party Goods.
Tickets for The Best of Ballet are $75 for the Saturday benefit performance and party. Tickets for Saturday's dinner in the galleries, performance and after party are $200. Tables for the dinner are available for $1600. For benefit tickets call Paulette at 413 664 4481 x8100 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For the Sunday family matinee tickets are $39 for orchestra seats, $32 for mezzanine, $24 for seniors and students, and $14 for children 16 and under. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Matinee tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. daily. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on a 13- acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA focuses on the work of visual and performing artists charting new territory.
For Immediate Release