FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sarah Chambless Federer
NEW ORLEANS, LA - The New Orleans Ballet Association welcomes the exquisite Stars of American Ballet back for an Encore! evening at the Mahalia Jackson Theater on March 18 at 8 pm. This rare performance is a special opportunity for audiences to see some of today's most remarkable dancers hand-picked from New York City Ballet (NYCB) and beyond in a glamorous, tailor-made evening of classical ballets by world renowned choreographers, including icons George Balanchine and Christopher Wheeldon plus NYCB's resident choreographer and rising star Justin Peck. As lagniappe for New Orleans audiences, the evening features a NOBA-commissioned world premiere duet created by American Ballet Theatre superstar Marcelo Gomes and set to House of the Rising Sun.
New York City Ballet's Daniel Ulbricht, hailed by Dance Magazine as "one of the best male ballet dancers," directs and performs with this elite ensemble from NYCB, including principal dancers Teresa Reichlen, Ask la Cour, Sterling Hyltin, Chase Finlay and Rebecca Krohn, soloists Lauren King and Russell Janzen, and internationally award-winning guest artists Joseph Gatti, Andrea Harvey and Danielle Diniz.
Tickets for Stars of American Ballet start at $24 and may be purchased through the New Orleans Ballet Association Box Office at (504) 522-0996 or online at www.NOBAdance.com, and through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com. Discounts are available for students, seniors and groups.
The evening opens with a virtuosic pas de deux that showcases pyrotechnical dancing in Balanchine's Tarantella (1964), set to music by New Orleans¬-born composer and pianist Louis Moreau Gottshalk (1829-1896). In his Complete Stories of the Great Ballets, Balanchine wrote, "It is a dazzling display piece, full of speed and high spirits."
The program also includes the show-stopping Pas d'Esclave from the famous 19th Century full-length ballet Le Corsaire (The Pirate), Christopher Wheeldon's mystical and modern master work Liturgy (2003) with music by Arvo Pärt, Justin Peck's lush quartet Sea Change (2013), set to Franz Shubert performed live by pianist Susan Walters, and Ulbricht's crowd pleasing, high energy duet Sing, Sing, Sing to the music of Louis Prima with arrangement by Benny Goodman.
The evening's grand finale is Balanchine's famous and joyous love letter to New York City, Who Cares? (1970). Set to radiant melodies and memorable songs of George Gershwin, including Fascinatin' Rhythm, Embraceable You, The Man I Love, and I've Got Rhythm, Who Cares? is a jazzy, fast-stepping ensemble work that captures the exuberance of the 1930s and "is pure, unmitigated, uncut joy," raves Ballet Review.
NOBA Commissioned World Premiere
To celebrate the return of the company to New Orleans after their sold-out engagement in 2014, NOBA invited Ulbricht to select a choreographer to make a brand new ballet for this Encore! performance. Choosing the legendary House of the Rising Sun by The Animals, American Ballet Theatre principal dancer and Brazilian native Marcelo Gomes has created a bravura duet for Ulbricht and Gatti. "Dedicated to continuing the initiative created in 2007 to commission new works by internationally renowned choreographers, NOBA is honored to celebrate New Orleans and the return of this elite group of dancers by featuring three of the industry's most outstanding artists," said Jenny Hamilton, executive director of NOBA.
Past commissions include two works by Complexions Contemporary Ballet Artistic Director Dwight Rhoden to the music of Nicholas Payton (2012) and Terence Blanchard (2014), David Parsons to the music of Allen Toussaint (2014), and two works by Trey McIntyre Project to the music of Preservation Hall Jazz Band (2008, 2010).
A pre-performance talk with director and dancer Daniel Ulbricht will take place at 7:00 pm on Mezzanine M2 of the Mahalia Jackson Theater.
Daniel Ulbricht in the Community
From March 13 - 17, Daniel Ulbricht will conduct master classes and repertory workshops for the NORDC/NOBA Center for Dance and master classes for NOBA's community partners as part of the Chevron Master Artist Series.
BRAVO Gala 2017: When the Stars Align
Ballet Resource And Volunteer Organization (BRAVO) presents When the Stars Align, a special fundraising event where the stunning Stars of American Ballet meet Stars of Philanthropy for dinner, dancing, and more on Friday, March 17 at the Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans. Travel back in time to the glamour of Old Hollywood at the Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans with celebrity greeters Courtney Anderson, hot off of her acclaimed portrayal of Marilyn Monroe at the WWII Museum, WDSU News' Travers Mackel, and Master of Ceremonies Bryan Batt. The night will also include a patron party with champagne, Sazerac cocktails, and appetizers, a delectable three-course menu, entertainment by Deacon John & the Ivories, a raffle, a silent auction, and more!
On Wednesday, March 8, all Benefactors are invited to an elegant evening at the Windsor Court Hotel, featuring a spectacular seated dinner and a treasured gift provided by Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry. The three-night festivities will conclude on March 18 with Stars of American Ballet's main stage encore performance at the Mahalia Jackson Theater with an exclusive wine reception at intermission for benefactors.
BRAVO's fundraising activities provide critical support for the New Orleans Ballet Association's award-winning programs, including more than 5,500 tuition-free dance classes and after-school activities for ages 6 months to 80+ years at 11 community sites and the presentation of world-renowned dance companies on New Orleans stages. Ticket packages to When the Stars Align can be purchased by calling (504) 522-0996 x208, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or online at NOBAdance.com.
Stars of American Ballet is sponsored by Pan-American Life Insurance Group. Accommodations are sponsored by Hyatt Regency New Orleans.
DANIEL ULBRICHT was born in St. Petersburg, Florida and began his dance training at the age of 11. At age 16, Ulbricht was invited by the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, to continue his training. In December 2000, he became an apprentice with New York City Ballet, and, in November 2001, he joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet. In January 2005, he was promoted to the rank of soloist and principal dancer in May 2007. Ulbricht has danced featured roles in a number of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins and Christopher Wheeldon ballets, including Balanchine's Prodigal Son, Tarantella, Stars and Stripes, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mozartiana, Nutcracker, Symphony in 3, The Steadfast Tin Soldier: Robbins's Fancy Free, Interplay, Four Seasons; and Martins' Jeu de Cartes, Hallelujah Junction, Eight More, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo + Juliet, among many others. He has also performed at numerous national and international festivals and galas. Presently, Ulbricht is the artistic advisor of Manhattan Youth Ballet and the associate artistic director of New York State Summer School for the Arts in Saratoga Springs, New York. He is also the founder, producer, and director of "Dance Against Cancer," a benefit for the American Cancer Society, and the founder and director of "Stars of American Ballet," a dance ensemble devoted to presenting high caliber dance performances, as well as education and outreach programs.
STARS OF AMERICAN BALLET is founded and directed by New York City Principal Dancer Daniel Ulbricht as a chamber-sized ballet project, featuring an elite group of principal and soloist dancers from some of America's most prestigious ballet companies performing unforgettable programs of classical ballets by emerging and iconic dance makers. The company includes artists from New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet, and performs works by internationally renowned choreographers, including George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Christopher Wheeldon, Benjamin Millepied, Larry Keigwin and Justin Peck. The company has presented the full-length version of Jerome Robbins' 1944 masterpiece Fancy Free, including the original set, costumes and complete score by Leonard Bernstein. Stars of American Ballet tours nationally and internationally, and has performed in Boca Raton, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; Jackson, Mississippi; Aspen, Colorado; Dallas, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; and Ulan Bator, Mongolia, among many others. With a strong vision and mission, Ulbricht's goal for the company is to bring the highest quality classical ballet to all communities served with the hopes of entertaining and inspiring audiences through performances and education programs that include master classes, lectures and community outreach programs.
About the New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA):
NOBA is the Central Gulf region's premiere presenting and service organization dedicated solely to the art of dance. NOBA's dynamic Main Stage season annually features a diverse array of world-class companies and artists. Each year NOBA provides concerts, classes, workshops and lectures to more than 30,000 area dance enthusiasts of all ages. In addition, NOBA's nationally recognized award-winning education programs provide participants ages 6 mos to 80+ of our community access to quality arts programs with over 5,500 tuition-free dance classes and workshops annually at eleven sites throughout the Greater New Orleans area.
NOBA is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and the NEA, a Federal agency; a Community Arts Grant made possible by the City of New Orleans, and is administered by the Arts Council of New Orleans (ACNO); and a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and is administered through ACNO.