504-324-4242 I 504.723.0726
NEW ORLEANS, LA - The New Orleans Ballet Association welcomes the exquisite Stars of American Ballet o the Mahalia Jackson Theater for one performance only on Friday, November 7 at 8 pm. This glamorous classical ballet evening is a rare opportunity for audiences to see some of today's most remarkable dancers hand-picked from New York City Ballet (NYCB) and Houston Ballet. They will perform a stylish, tailor-made program of works by some of the most important dance makers of our time, including icons George
Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon and Jerome Robbins.
New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Daniel Ulbricht directs and performs with this elite ensemble of top stars from NYCB, including principal dancers Teresa Reichlen, Amar Ramasar, Sterling Hyltin and Jared Angle, soloists Georgina Pazcoguin and Craig Hall, and Houston Ballet principal Connor Walsh and soloist Lauren Strongin. Local audiences will enjoy another performance by New York City Ballet super star Wendy Whelan, who bid farewell to a 30 year career with NYCB on October 18 in front of a packed house that sold out within minutes. Whelan last appeared in New Orleans for the NOBA commissioned duet with Desmond ichardson choreographed by Complexions Contemporary Ballet Artistic Director Dwight Rhoden to the music of Nicholas Payton.
The program will feature Whelan and dance partner Hall in two Wheeldon masterpieces created especially for her, This Bitter Earth (2012) with music by Max Richter and Dinah Washington, and After the Rain (2005), music by Arvo Pärt. Both works will be performed with live violin and piano. The first half of the evening's program features more intimate and virtuoso duets, including two Balanchine classics, Duo Concertant (1972) with music by Igor Stravinsky and The Man I Love from Who Cares? (1970), to music by George and Ira
Gershwin. Ulbricht will rock the house with his bravura solo, Tango, set to music by Astor Piazzolla, and Houston Ballet's Walsh and Strongin charm in Stanton Welch's Sons de L'âme (Sounds of the Soul), set to Chopin.
The grand finale is Robbins' beloved master work about the escapades of three footloose sailors on shore leave in Manhattan, Fancy Free (1944). As Robbins' first ballet and his first collaboration with the then up-and-coming composer Leonard Bernstein, Fancy Free is the brilliant precursor to the full-length stage and screen productions of On the Town and "a classic that both captures the time of its creation and stands as timeless." (The New York Times)
A pre-performance talk with director and dancer Daniel Ulbricht will be at 7:00 pm on Mezzanine M2 of the Mahalia Jackson Theater.
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.
Stars of American Ballet is sponsored by the Sheraton New Orleans and Le Meridien Hotels, with additional support by Pan American Life Insurance.
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 the youth of our community access to quality arts programs with over 5,500 tuition-free dance classes and workshops annually at ten 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.
STARS OF AMERICAN BALLET is founded and directed by New York City Principal Dancer Daniel Ulbricht as a chambersized 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. This summer, the company premiered a new work by rising star Emery LeCrone during its sold-out performance season at the prestigious Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. The company 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.
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.
DANIEL ULBRICHT - Founder and Artistic Director
Daniel Ulbricht was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, and began his dance training at the age of 11. At age 16, Ulbricht was invited and joined the School of American Ballet (SAB) to continue his training. While a student at SAB, he performed with New York City Ballet (NYCB) as a Jester in Peter Martins' The Sleeping Beauty. In December 2000, he became an apprentice with the company and in November 2001, joined NYCB as a member of the corps de ballet. In January 2005, Ulbricht was promoted to the rank of soloist and principal dancer in May 2007. Ulbricht has been featured in numerous works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, and Christopher Wheeldon including Balanchine's Prodigal Son, Tarantella, Stars and Stripes, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mozartiana, Symphony in 3, The Steadfast Tin Soldier: Robbins Fancy Free, Interplay, Four Seasons; and Martins' Jeu de Cartes, Hallelujah Junction, Eight More, Swan Lake, Romeo + Juliet among many others. In 2004, he danced Tarantella at the Kennedy Center Honors to celebrate the Balanchine Centenary. He has performed frequently at numerous national and international festivals and galas. Ulbricht is a guest teacher at the School of American Ballet, Ballet Academy East. Presently, he 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, NY. Ulbricht is the founder and artistic director of Stars of American Ballet, a dance ensemble devoted to presenting high caliber dance performances, as well as education and outreach programs.
Additional dancer bios are available upon request.