The pandemic is disorienting for the New York City Ballet, disrupting the careers of many rising stars and resulting in millions in ticket revenue loss.
Next season, the company hopes to restore a sense of normalcy by presenting an ambitious mix of new and old acts, it announced Friday, including several ballets that help train a younger generation of dancers. Huh.
“It’s the one vitamin shot we know,” City Ballet associate artistic director Wendy Whelan said in an interview.
The 2022–23 season, which will include 48 ballets from September to May, will feature new works from choreographers Christopher Wheeldon, Keerthy Jinkunwifat and Alyssa Pires. The Fall Fashion Gala will feature a premiere by choreographer Kyle Abrahams and recent graduate of the School of American Ballet, Gianna Reisen.
In January, the company will present a full-length exploration of Aaron Copeland’s music, by resident choreographer and artistic consultant, Justin Peck, featuring visual design by illustrator Jeffrey Gibson.
As part of City Ballet’s effort to train young dancers after a series of high-profile retirements, large-scale, foundational classics – what Whelan called “very large and very team-oriented ballets”, were presented There will be a major focus on
Dropping the lineup includes George Balanchine’s “Vienna Waltz” and “Raymonda Variations”; Jerome Robbins’ “West Side Story Suite” and Peter Martins’ “The Sleeping Beauty” staged during the winter season.
“We have a lot of young talent and a lot of flowers are in bloom,” Whelan said. “We have a lot of people that we want to keep feeding at a high level.”
The season will also include several works by choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, the former artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, who is now an artist in residence at the American Ballet Theatre, including his “Concerto DSCH” and “Pictures at an Exhibition”.
The pandemic forced the cancellation of the entire 2020-21 season of City Ballet. Returning to the stage in the fall, Whelan said that some dancers expressed interest in receiving more exposure to the rigorous training provided by the classics.
“Some of them were like: ‘We just want to do ballet. We haven’t done ballet for two years,'” she said. “He said, ‘We want to get razor sharp and at this level.’ ,
The coming season “is going to make everyone a better dancer,” she said.
Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the performing arts. City Ballet estimates it has lost $55 million in projected ticket sales since the start of the pandemic.
While many cultural institutions have carried on with full seasons this year, the Omicron edition is still a challenge. The surge in cases forced City Ballet to cancel 26 shows in December and January, including the performance of “The Nutcracker”, which is usually the hottest show of the year.
Audience behavior is also changing. At City Ballet, attendance is about 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
The prospect of another outbreak is “always in the back of our minds,” Whelan said.
Dancers have recently started wearing masks again in studios, he said, amid a spurt in cases in New York.
“We are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe,” she said.