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World Premiere by Twyla Tharp With Score by Danny Elfman Among ABT's Spring Season Highlights

By Kevin Shihoten
30 Oct 2007

Twyla Tharp
photo by Richard Avedon

American Ballet Theatre’s 2008 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House has been announced. Highlights include a world premiere by Twlya Tharp and revivals by Harold Lander and Ronald Hynd.

Tharp, whose association with ABT started in 1976 with Push Comes to Shove, marks her fifteenth work for the company with a new ballet set to music by Danny Elfman, known for scoring Tim Burton's Batman (1989) and Edward Scissorhands (1990). A co-commission with the Orange County Performing Arts Center, its premiere is scheduled for June 3. The Tharp/Elfman collaboration is the film composer’s first composition for ballet, and features costumes by designer Norma Kamali and lighting by Brad Fields. OCPAC presents its West Coast premiere on August 6.

Last performed by ABT in 2000, Harald Lander’s Études is set to music by Knudaage Riisager, after Carl Czerny, and features costumes by Rolf Gerard and lighting by Nananne Porcher. The work was premiered by the Royal Danish Ballet in 1948 and danced by ABT for the first time in 1961. Its revival will share the program with Tharp’s new ballet for seven performances through June 7.

ABT will also give seven performances of Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow, set to music by Franz Lehár, orchestrated by John Lanchbery, and with scenery and costumes by Desmond Heeley and lighting by Michael J. Whitfield. The company last programmed the adaptation from Lehár’s operetta in 2002, and will run its revival from June 30 through July 15. The Australian Ballet first performed the work in 1975; ABT gave its company premiere in 1997.

Six full-length ballets, each receiving eight performances, occupy the rest of ABT’s spring season: Le Corsaire, Swan Lake (starting opening night, May 27), Don Quixote (staged by Kevin McKenzie and Susan Jones; the current production was last performed by ABT in 1995), Sleeping Beauty (which ABT premiered last year), Natalia Makarova's La Bayadčre (also given its world premiere by ABT, in 1980). The company concludes with Giselle beginning July 7 and led by Nina Ananiashvili and Angel Corella.





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