Dance Preview: LINCOLN CENTER AT HOME (Ballet Hispánico, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The School of American Ballet, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater)

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by Tony Frankel on May 15, 2020

in Dance,Theater-New York


We all know that dancing is good for you. But did you know that watching dance is also good for you? Science has suggested that the high you get after watching great dancing is your brain is attempting to turn that high into something real, as if you just danced yourself. As you turn to streaming to alleviate the stay-at-home guidelines, have you thought of binge-watching dance? Beginning Saturday May 30, 2020, Lincoln Center at Home will be offering a week devoted to dance. The streams, which run through June 4, 2020, were filmed during more than 40 years of performances on the Lincoln Center Campus. Some of the broadcasts have not been seen in decades and are being unlocked as Lincoln Center offers gems from its media archives. All times listed here are EST, but know that the New York City Ballet titles are available for 45 days after premiere dates.

Following the week of dance, Lincoln Center will also make available some of its most loved Broadway productions for free with Broadway Fridays, beginning on Friday, June 5, 2020 with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel with the New York Philharmonic.

Until then, you would be amazed at the treasure trove of offerings available at Lincoln Center at Home offered daily for free.

Sat 5/30 at 2pm: CARMEN.maquia Ballet Hispánico
Ballet Hispánico will “whisk us away to contemporary dance’s hottest spot” (Washington Post) in this imaginative and theatrical showcase of Latin-inspired contemporary dance at its best. In Club Havana, the intoxicating rhythms of the conga, rumba, mambo, and cha cha are brought to life by choreographer Pedro Ruiz, himself a native of Cuba. Hailed as a “masterpiece” by the Chicago Sun-Times, Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s CARMEN.maquia is a Picasso-inspired, contemporary take on Bizet’s classic opera about a passionate gypsy. Riveting from start to finish, the physically charged and sensual choreography fuses contemporary dance with nods to the Spanish paso doble and flamenco.

Sat 5/30 at 8pm: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, New York City Ballet
A beloved classic, George Balanchine’s enchanting full-evening adaptation of Shakespeare’s magical comedy is choreographed to music by the great German composer Felix Mendelssohn. The ballet premiered on April 24, 1964, opening New York City Ballet’s first repertory season at the New York State Theater (today the David H. Koch Theater). The 1986 cast includes Maria Calegari (Titania), Ib Andersen (Oberon), and Jean-Pierre Frohlich (Puck). Robert Irving conducts the NYCB Orchestra.

Sun 5/31 at 8pm: American Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House
An evening of repertory from 1978 includes the Act III Grand Pas de Deux of Don Quixote with Natalia Makarova and Fernando Bujones, Michel Fokine’s Les Sylphides, set to music by Chopin, with (in the above photo) Ivan Nagy, Eleanor D’Antuono, Ellen Everett and Karena Brock, and George Balanchine’s plotless ballet Theme and Variations performed by Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov to the glorious Tchaikovsky score. Rounding out the broadcast is Fokine’s Firebird, a magical tale of the legendary creature who helps two noble lovers overcome an evil sorcerer, set to an iridescent score by Stravinsky.

Mon 6/1 at 7pm: The School of American Ballet Virtual Workshop Performance Celebration
The School of American Ballet premieres recent outstanding highlights of the School’s annual Workshop Performances at Lincoln Center’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater, with commentary and insight from the School’s artistic leaders, Jonathan Stafford and Kay Mazzo, distinguished alumni Justin Peck and Maria Kowroski, and SAB’s senior faculty member Suki Schorer. This special event also includes the announcement of the 2020 Mae L. Wien Awards for Outstanding Promise, a distinction awarded to three senior students who show significant potential for high professional achievement.  Past performances to be screened in their entirety include Justin Peck’s In Creases and Jerome Robbins’s Circus Polka (both 2018), the pas de deux from George Balanchine’s Agon (2019), and George Balanchine’s Scotch Symphony (2017).

Tue 6/2 at 8pm: Coppélia, New York City Ballet
Coppélia, considered one of the greatest comic ballets of the 19th Century, is the tale of a mad inventor and the life-like doll he creates. Like The Nutcracker, the story is based on the writing of E.T.A. Hoffmann. George Balanchine choreographed his version with ballerina Alexandra Danilova (after Marius Petipa) in 1974, set to the 1870 score by French composer Léo Delibes. This Live From Lincoln Center rebroadcast features the ballet’s original leading dancers from 1978, Patricia McBride, Helgi Tomasson, and Shaun O’Brien. Photo by Susanne Faulkner Stevens.

Wed 6/3 at 8pm: Tribute to Balanchine, New York City Ballet
After George Balanchine’s death on April 30, 1983, the New York City Ballet honored its founding genius in this tribute performance to the legendary choreographer, who co-founded NYCB in 1948 and created more than 120 works for his company. In this Live From Lincoln Center rebroadcast, the company presents three of these ballets: Vienna Waltzes to music by Johann Strauss II, Franz Lehar, and Richard Strauss, features Kyra Nichols and Sean Lavery, Heather Watts and Helgi Tomasson, Elyse Borne and Bart Cook, Karin von Aroldingen and Peter Martins, and Suzanne Farrell and Adam Lüders; Mozartiana to music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky, is led by Suzanne Farrell, Victor Castelli, and Ib Andersen; and Who Cares?, to music by George Gershwin as adapted and orchestrated by Hershy Kay, features Lourdes Lopez, Patricia McBride, Heather Watts, and Sean Lavery. Robert Irving conducts the NYCB Orchestra.

Thu 6/4 at 8pm: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Witness an iconic masterpiece of American dance, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations, described by The New York Times as “one of the great works of the human spirit.” This soulful tour de force draws on African-American spirituals, gospel songs, and holy blues. The program also includes Wayne McGregor’s sumptuous Chroma, with orchestrations of songs by The White Stripes; Ronald K. Brown’s Grace, a powerful meeting of modern and West African dance to music by Duke Ellington, Roy Davis, and Fela Kuti; and Robert Battle’s humorous, high-flying Takademe. Photo by Gert Krautbauer and Pierre Wachholder.

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