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Michelle Brandon
Press Releases
Lincoln Center - Peter Jay Sharp Theater
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

The School of American Ballet announces 49th Annual Workshop Presentation

by Michelle Brandon
May 3, 2013
Lincoln Center - Peter Jay Sharp Theater
155 West 65th Street
New York, NY 10023
(212) 769-7406
The School of American Ballet's 2013 Workshop Performances will take place at Lincoln Center's Peter Jay Sharp Theater on Saturday, June 1, (2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.) and Tuesday, June 4, (7:00 p.m. benefit performance) with an all-Balanchine program of "Divertimento No. 15", "Le Tombeau de Couperin", and "Walpurgisnacht Ballet". As in years past, the performances will once again provide audiences with a unique opportunity to witness the pre-professional debuts of the nation's most talented ballet students as they prepare to embark on professional ballet careers with notable companies around the U.S. and abroad.

Balanchine's elegant "Divertimento No. 15", originally choreographed for New York City Ballet in 1956, has appeared on the Workshop program four times (1978, 1987, 1997, 2001) with SAB faculty member Suki Schorer staging each presentation of the ballet. Ms. Schorer, who danced a principal role in "Divertimento No. 15" as a member of New York City Ballet under George Balanchine, will once again teach and rehearse SAB's students in the musically intricate solo variations, pas de deux, and ensemble dances for 13 women and 3 men to Mozart's Divertimento No. 15 in B-flat major.

Maurice Ravel's French-inflected Tombeau de Couperin was the inspiration for Balanchine's ballet, which premiered as a highlight of NYCB's 1975 Ravel Festival. The suite of dances for 8 couples in the baroque and classical style retains an aura of courtly formality despite the fact that the dancers perform in simple practice clothes. "Le Tombeau de Couperin" was previously performed at the 2004 Workshop. This year it will be staged for SAB by Rosemary Dunleavy (currently Ballet Mistress at New York City Ballet) and SAB faculty member Arch Higgins.

In 1980, Balanchine revived and reworked the ballet he had originally created for the Paris Opera's 1975 production of "Faust" for the occasion of New York City Ballet's School of American Ballet gala benefit.

"Walpurgisnacht Ballet", intended as a piece d'occasion for the gala, proved so popular that it entered NYCB's permanent repertoire. The ballet for 24 women and one male dancer was previously performed at the 1990 Workshop under the supervision of faculty member Susan Pilarre, who is once more staging the ballet for this year's performances.

SAB's annual Workshop Performances have served as a public introduction to many of the most-promising classical ballet students in the nation since 1965, when faculty member Alexandra Danilova initiated the annual spring productions under the supervision of SAB co-founder George Balanchine. Since 1983, the performances have been supervised by Balanchine's successor as chairman of faculty, Peter Martins. Many of the advanced students who perform in the fully staged presentations of classic and contemporary ballets go on to sign professional contracts with the New York City Ballet and other major dance companies in the U.S. and abroad. Among the scores of notable SAB alumni who made their pre-professional debuts at SAB's Workshop are Ethan Stiefel, Paloma Herrera, Wendy Whelan, Peter Boal, Jock Soto, Fernando Bujones, Kyra Nichols, Merrill Ashley, Gelsey Kirkland, Lourdes Lopez, Maria Caligari, Darci Kistler, Maria Kowroski, Damian Woetzel, Benjamin Millepied, Ashley Bouder, Sara Mearns, Tiler Peck, Chase Finlay, and Lauren Lovette.

The School of American Ballet, founded by legendary choreographer George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein in 1934, is the premier ballet academy in the United States. Approximately 500 boys and girls ranging in age from six to nineteen attend classes during the Winter Term at SAB, which is both a constituent of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the official school of New York City Ballet. Each year, 20 SAB students on average sign professional contracts with dance companies around the United States and abroad. Not only do SAB alumni comprise 95 percent of New York City Ballet, but dancers trained at the School also currently appear on the rosters of over 60 U.S. and more than a dozen international companies.

Tickets for the 2013 Workshop Performances may be purchased online at www.sab.org/workshop beginning April 15. Mail order forms may be requested by calling (212) 769-6600. Ticket prices are $50 for June 1 (2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m). Tickets for the June 4 benefit performance and dinner dance are available at $100 (performance only), $1,000, $1,500 and $2,500. The Peter Jay Sharp Theater is located at 155 W. 65th Street (between Amsterdam and Broadway).
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