New York City Ballet takes a grand leap into Sadler’s Wells debut

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A wave of excitement is set to ripple through the heart of London as the celebrated New York City Ballet (NYCB) prepares to make its much-anticipated Sadler’s Wells debut in March 2024. This grand event will feature the UK premieres of works by an array of esteemed choreographers, including Kyle Abraham, Justin Peck, Pam Tanowitz, and a classic piece by the legendary George Balanchine.

The NYCB, a titan of the dance world, is renowned for its contemporary style, speed, and musicality. Currently basking in the glow of its 75th anniversary, the company was founded in 1948 by the visionary choreographer George Balanchine and arts patron Lincoln Kirstein. This marks a triumphant return to London, a city they haven’t graced with their presence since 2008.

Justin Peck’s masterpiece, Rotunda, is set to dazzle audiences with its unique blend of movement and music. A commissioned score from American composer Nico Muhly provides a rich backdrop to the performance of an ensemble of 12 dancers. As NYCB’s Resident Choreographer and Artistic Advisor, Peck has created more than 20 works for NYCB, with recent projects outside of NYCB including Illinois, a new stage adaptation of Sufjan Stevens’ album, and the choreography for Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of West Side Story in 2022.

Balanchine’s Duo Concertant, a riveting performance for two dancers and two onstage musicians, is set to the music of Igor Stravinsky. This piece was initially created for NYCB’s legendary Stravinsky Festival in 1972. Balanchine, widely regarded as one of the most influential choreographers of the 20th century, co-founded NYCB and the School of American Ballet, NYCB’s official training academy.

Pam Tanowitz’ Gustave Le Gray No.1, set to Caroline Shaw’s piano composition ‘Gustave le Gray,’ features four dancers adorned in flowing red costumes who interact with an onstage pianist performing the score. Tanowitz first presented her work in the UK in 2019 with Four Quartets at the Barbican. Her return to the UK in 2023 with Song of Songs was met with high praise.

Love Letter (on shuffle) by MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham is a visual spectacle set to the music of James Blake, featuring costumes by British fashion designer Giles Deacon. Abraham, founder of the acclaimed modern dance company A.I.M., has been commissioned by many dance companies, including two recent commissions for The Royal Ballet. His works have been previously showcased at Sadler’s Wells, including Pavement in 2017, Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth in 2022, and most recently in September 2023 with Are You in Your Feelings? for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

As NYCB Artistic Director Jonathan Stafford expressed, “New York City Ballet is thrilled to return to London during our 75th anniversary season with an exciting new generation of dancers performing three of the newest works created for our repertory, along with a favorite from our co-founder George Balanchine.” This monumental event marks a thrilling chapter in the ongoing story of NYCB’s illustrious history, and an opportunity for audiences to experience the magic of ballet like never before.

Come March 2024, let’s rendezvous at Sadler’s Wells and immerse ourselves in the mesmerizing world of ballet. Be prepared to be captivated by the NYCB’s breathtaking performances that promise to be nothing short of a visual spectacle.

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