A massive silver lining of last year's spring lockdown was New York City Ballet's decision to offer a stunning selection from its extensive repertoire online for free, though donations will, of course, be much appreciated.
NYCB rarely travels to these shores, so the opportunity to view their extraordinary work brought light and joy to our long lockdown days.
Now, and with theatres remaining stubbornly dark, NYCB has created a tailor-made digital season of works which, while paying homage to its founder choreographer, George Balanchine, also features new pieces created by young choreographers. The dancers are deliriously happy to be able to perform, if not yet to live audiences, so this season should be as thrilling as the previous one, or even more.
Performance streams of complete ballets start on 25 February with Prodigal Son, a narrative work from 1929. Available for one week after first stream.
Then on 4 March we'll have the virtuosic 1947 showpiece Theme and Variations. Available for one week after first stream
And on 11 March NYCB stream Balanchine’s 1972 neoclassical masterpiece Stravinsky Violin Concerto. Available for one week after first stream.
April 8 – 22 Choreographer Kyle Abraham returns to premiere his third creation for NYCB, beginning with a three-week COVID-compliant residency bubble at the Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in Tivoli, NY. Subsequently, this new work will be filmed onstage at the David H. Koch Theater and digitally released. It will be available to view for two weeks.
6 – 27 May NYCB's first ever virtual Gala, performed live on 5 May, will become available to stream. It'll feature a world premiere from NYCB Resident Choreographer Justin Peck, who is creating a solo for Principal Dancer Anthony Huxley to a string quartet arrangement of Samuel Barber’s 'Adagio for Strings'. The event will also include excerpts of ballets by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins newly filmed for the occasion. A highlight will be a film by Sofia Coppola, the director's first collaboration with a ballet company.
As well, NYCB's Digital Season 2021 will include dance and movement classes for all ages and levels of ability; and virtual workshops and onstage presentations exploring the work of the company, in particular Balanchine's rich heritage.
3 - 17 June The final programme of this superb series is a complete performance of Balanchine's Vienna Waltzes. Created in 1977 and set to waltzes by Johann Strauss II, Franz Lehár, and Richard Strauss, this work on a grand scale featuring more than 50 dancers is only performed by New York City Ballet.
This performance was filmed in 2013 and features many of NYCB's stunning principals.
For full details consult the NYCB website
|New York City Ballet 2021 Digital Season
|Online | MAP
25 Feb 21 – 17 Jun 21, Programmes are available from 01 am BST.