The opening night of a New York City Ballet season is always exciting: Audience members mill about Lincoln Center's plaza, buzzing with energy, anticipating seeing their favorite ballets and dancers back onstage. The company's spring season, scheduled to run April 21-May 29 was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. But today, NYCB announced an exciting replacement: a six-week long digital season designed to give balletomanes a taste of the company's magic, for free, from the confines of their homes.
NYCB's digital season includes new content released Monday through Saturday. Check out the weekly schedule below for a taste of the online programming to come.
Each Monday, fans can continue to tune into City Ballet The Podcast. A new nine-episode season, featuring NYCB dancers Silas Farley, Claire Kretzschmar and Aaron Sanz in conversation with their colleagues and former company dancers (including Patricia McBride on George Balanchine's "Rubies"), launches April 20. The first episode is all about music: NYCB resident conductor Daniel Capps explores Tchaikovsky's score for Allegro Brillante.
Associate artistic director Wendy Whelan teaching class
Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB
Tuesdays and Fridays are the digital season's pièce de résistance. Twice a week through May 29, the company will release a ballet performance at 8 pm EDT. Curated by Jonathan Stafford, Wendy Whelan and Justin Peck, the programs showcase footage taken during recent seasons, and will be available for free online for 72 hours. The Tuesday showings are entirely devoted to NYCB's co-founding choreographers, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.
The first installment, available April 21, is a 2017 recording of Allegro Brillante, starring Tiler Peck and Andrew Veyette, with an introduction by Stafford. Next Tuesday, April 28, viewers can see Taylor Stanley, Tiler Peck, Brittany Pollack and Indiana Woodward in a 2019 performance of Apollo.
Have you ever dreamt of taking a class taught by former NYCB prima Wendy Whelan, but felt intimidated? Then Wednesday With Wendy is for you. NYCB launches its new series of open level ballet-inspired movement classes, taught by the company's associate artistic director, on April 22. Tune in every Wednesday at 5 pm EDT.
Classes will be available on NYCB's Instagram TV channel.
Sara Mearns and Gilbert Bolden III in Justin Peck's Rotunda
Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB
April 23 at 6 pm EDT marks NYCB's first Ballet Essentials movement workshop, created by the company's education department. Taught by company artists, these 45-minute workshops are designed for teenage and adult dancers, providing a chance to learn some of the company's most beloved repertoire. Each workshop will include a ballet warm-up and movement combination inspired by the choreography. First up, soloist Lauren King explores Balanchine's Serenade. Additional workshops may also be available on Mondays.
Workshops are free, but registration is required. Visit balletessentials.nycballet.com for details.
Settle into your weekend with the second virtual performance of the week, available each Friday at 8 pm EDT. While Tuesdays are devoted mostly to Balanchine and Robbins, Fridays are contemporary, exploring some of the company's most cutting-edge repertoire. The April 24 showing features Justin Peck's 2020 Rotunda, to a commissioned score by Nico Muhly. On May 1, audiences can see a 2016 performance of George Balanchine's Ballo Della Regina, danced by Megan Fairchild and Anthony Huxley, and Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain Pas de Deux, filmed in 2012 and starring Wendy Whelan and Craig Hall.
NYCB dancer Silas Farley leads a workshop for children.
Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy NYCB
Each Saturday morning at 11 am EDT, the company will present Ballet Breaks, a six-week series of movement activities for kiddos ages 3 to 8. Each session, taught by an NYCB dancer, will be 20 minutes long, and include a warm-up and choreography inspired by company rep. On April 25, baby bunheads can dance along with principal Daniel Ulbricht as he explores Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free.
Workshops are free, but registration is required. Visit nycballet.com/balletbreaks for details.