Headlining the performances danced by the company are four world premieres; Jessica Lang’s Children’s Songs Dance, Yannick Lebrun’s Lora, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Scurry Night, and Emily Kikta and Peter Walker’s Advice to the Young.
The ABT Studio Company Spring Festival was filmed at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in Tivoli, New York following the Studio Company’s spring bubbles in March and April 2021 at Kaatsbaan and the Silver Bay YMCA Conference & Family Retreat Center in Silver Bay, New York. All works were created, rehearsed, and filmed following strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
The ABT Studio Company dancers featured in the Spring Festival are Elisabeth Beyer, Tristan Brosnan, Finnian Carmeci, Kyra Coco, Cy Doherty, Teresa D’Ortone, Tillie Glatz, Elwince Magbitang, SunMi Park, Andrew Robare, Jake Roxander, Yoon Jung Seo, Olivia Tweedy, Aleisha Walker, and Kotomi Yamada.
ABT Studio Spring Festival Schedule
June 2, 2021 at 7:00 P.M.
Flames of Paris Pas de Deux Choreography after Vasily Vainonen Music by Boris Asafyev
Seven Sonatas (Excerpt) Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky Music by Domenico Scarlatti
Advice to the Young (World Premiere) Choreography and Editing by Emily Kikta and Peter Walker Music by Twiceyoung Voiceover: “Patti Smith Interview: Advice to the Young”
Lora (World Premiere) Choreography by Yannick Lebrun Music by Mpho Sebina
Kermesse in Bruges Pas de Deux Choreography after August Bournonville Music by Holger Simon Paulli
Scurry Night (World Premiere) Choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa Music by Ara Malikian and Patricia Kopatchinskaja
Airs (Excerpt) Choreography by Paul Taylor Music by George Frederic Handel
Swan Lake Act II (Odette Variation) Choreography by Kevin McKenzie, after Lev Ivanov Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
Swan Lake Act I (Pas de Trois) Choreography by Kevin McKenzie, after Marius Petipa Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
Children’s Songs Dance (World Premiere) Choreography by Jessica Lang Music by Chick Corea
ACT I of ABT Studio Company Spring Festival
The three world premieres for Act I are the choreographers’ first works for ABT Studio Company.
New York City Ballet dancers Emily Kikta and Peter Walker have choreographed Advice to the Young, a work for 15 dancers. It is set to Night Drive (Deconstructed) – Instrumental by Twiceyoung, with voiceover by Patti Smith and was created over Zoom with dancers filming themselves performing the choreography outdoors in their hometowns and at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park.
“This ballet is set to a speech by Patti Smith. Although the speech dates to 2012, it feels just as relevant to the struggles of young artists today. Among other topics, Patti discusses the necessity of incorporating technology into art to adapt to our rapidly changing world. We worked with the Studio Company dancers in their homes around the world to create movement that complimented our customized filming directions. Advice to the Young is our attempt at utilizing technology to keep dancing and creating during this unpredictable time.” – Emily Kikta and Peter Walker
Yannick Lebrun’s Lora is set to music of the same name by Mpho Sebina. A solo, Lora was created over Zoom during the winter and spring of 2021 and features costume design by Jermaine Terry.
“For this solo, I was inspired to write a letter to my younger self about future dreams and hopes.” – Yannick Lebrun.
Annabelle Lopez Ochoa has choreographed Scurry Night, set to Dzovarev by Ara Malikian and Ciocårlia performed by Patricia Kopatchinskaja. The ballet for eight dancers features costumes by Mark Eric.
“Scurry Night was inspired by Banksy’s work, and particularly by his alter ego, the rat. The rat is a nocturnal rodent, who like the graffiti artist engages in activities without being caught. The rat, also an anagram for the word ‘art,’ is a resilient entity that adapts to any given situation. During the pandemic, dancers have proven that nothing will prevent them from expressing and sharing the beauty of ballet.” – Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
Also on the program are the first duet from Alexei Ratmansky’s Seven Sonatas, staged by Stella Abrera, the pas de deux from Kermesse in Bruges by Bournonville, staged by Petrusjka Broholm, and the pas de deux from Flames of Paris staged by ABT Studio Company Artistic Director Sascha Radetsky, after choreography by Vainonen.
ACT II of ABT Studio Company Spring Festival
A world premiere by Jessica Lang is featured on the second evening of performance. Children’s Songs Dance for seven dancers is set to selections from Children’s Songs by the late American jazz composer Chick Corea. The ballet features film direction by Lang and Kanji Segawa, and costumes styled by Isabella Boylston. Children’s Songs Dance was created in January 2020 during a residency at The Pocantico Center in Tarrytown, New York.
“My creative process with Chick was magical. He was extraordinarily generous, passionate about sharing his music, and excited about creating a ballet to his music, Children’s Songs. It was a true collaboration. Children’s Songs Dance draws its inspiration from the transition in life between being a child and becoming an adult, with the goal of never losing the spirit of play.” – Jessica Lang
Twyla Tharp’s Known By Heart is set to selections from “Junk Music” by Donald Knaack with costumes by Santo Loquasto and original lighting by Jennifer Tipton and staged by Stacy Caddell.
Excerpts from Paul Taylor’s masterwork Airs, staged by Laura Halzack and Kevin McKenzie’s Swan Lake staged by Yan Chen and Sascha Radetsky close the program.
“During a four-week ballet bubble this spring, we prepared and created a range of ballets, including four original commissions from emerging and leading choreographers. The resulting program, filmed at
Kaatsbaan Cultural Park by kw creative, features these world premieres plus select classical, neoclassical, and modern works, and showcases our young dancers’ talent, versatility, and ardent devotion to their art form.”