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Broadway's "Carousel" Stars Some Familiar Ballet Faces

Amar Ramasar as Jigger Craigin in the Broadway revival of Rogers and Hammerstein's "Carousel." Photo by Julieta Cervantes, courtesy the production.

The Broadway revival of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein's Carousel opened last week, and while it stars luminaries from the worlds of musical theater (Joshua Henry, Jessie Mueller) and opera (soprano Renée Fleming), it also stars choreography by one of ballet's own heavy hitters: New York City Ballet soloist and resident choreographer Justin Peck, who shares top billing with the musical's director, Jack O'Brien.


There are more than a few familiar faces onstage, too. NYCB principal Amar Ramasar is cast as ne'er-do-well sailor Jigger Craigin, while NYCB soloist Brittany Pollack plays Louise, who dances Act II's famous "dream ballet." American Ballet Theatre soloist Craig Salstein took a leave of absence from the company to serve as the show's dance captain and to perform in the ensemble, where he's joined by recent Miami City Ballet transplants Adriana Pierce and Andrei Chagas (a Pointe 2015 Star of the Corps). Several other veteran Broadway ballet dancers round out the cast, including An American in Paris alumni Leigh-Ann Esty (Miami City Ballet), David Prottas (NYCB) and Laura Feig (Atlanta Ballet, BalletX), and Come Fly Away's Amy Ruggiero (American Repertory Ballet, Ballet Austin, Twyla Tharp).


Brittany Pollack as Louise. Photo by Julieta Cervantes, courtesy the production.

The revival has just been nominated for a slew of Tony Awards—including Peck for Best Choreography. "CBS Sunday Morning" recently ran a lengthy profile on Peck, who at age 30 has already established himself as one of the world's most in-demand choreographers. In addition to shedding light on his efforts to make ballet more accessible to modern audiences ("I don't want ballet to feel like an elitist art form"), Peck answers the question on everyone's mind in the post Peter Martins era: whether he's interested in becoming NYCB's next director.

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