Things are changing at The Washington Ballet! Former American Ballet Theatre star Julie Kent was appointed as the new artistic director in March, and she released a statement during the company's press conference today detailing her first season of programming—which coincides with the company's 40th anniversary. It's a fairly standard mix, though the arrangement suggests a dancer's sensitivity to what might be enjoyable and informative to rehearse and perform at the same time. The season also reflects the expertise she gained as an ABT principal, dancing the company's rich repertoire of classical choreography.
The season opens in March, 2017 with Giselle, and then continues into a mixed bill of Jiří Kylián's Petite Mort, Justin Peck's In Creases (a company premiere) and William Forsythe's In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. In late April, the TWB will dance George Balanchine's Allegro Brillante, Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs and Alexei Ratmansky's Seven Sonatas (also a company premiere). In late May, the company will perform Antony Tudor's Jardin aux Lilas, Frederick Ashton's The Dream and a to-be-determined world premiere. We're very curious to find out who Kent chooses to complete such a dazzlingly subtle program, especially since most contemporary ballet choreographers deal in extremes.
New dancers include Boston Ballet's Brittany Stone, Cuban-trained Rolando Sarabia, ABT Studio Company member Adelaide Clauss, who will join as an apprentice, and Stephen Nakagawa, who was promoted from the TWB trainee program to Studio Company member.