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We've Fallen Head Over Heels for Fall for Dance Festival's Ballet Premieres

Honji Wang and Sara Mearns. Photo by Brooke Trisolini, Courtesy of Jacob's Pillow Dance.

We all know that seeing world class dance is expensive. But for two weeks a year New York City Center offers $15 tickets to their Fall for Dance Festival. This magical unicorn of an experience features five unique programs and will run from October 2-14.

The program includes five world premieres commissioned specifically for the Festival, three of which feature some of our favorite ballet superstars.

Program One (Oct. 2-3) will showcase a new work by choreographer and New York City Ballet soloist Troy Schumacher on 14 dancers from Miami City Ballet. While rehearsals are still in progress, we do know that the piece will be a meditation on childhood set to Francis Poulenc's Concerto for Two Pianos in D Minor.


Troy Schumacher in rehearsalPhoto by Kyle Froman for Pointe


Program Four (Oct. 11-12) includes No. 1, a duet for Honji Wang and New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns, choreographed by Wang and her partner Sébastian Ramirez. Work by the duo, known as Company Wang Ramirez, often focuses on identity (Wang was raised in Germany by Korean parents; Ramirez is French), and infuses hip hop with elements of martial arts, ballet and theater. Early footage from rehearsals at Jacob's Pillow Dance (a co-comissioner) from earlier this summer certainly whets our appetites for more.

Another exciting collaboration is a solo created by renowned modern dance choreographer Mark Morris for American Ballet Theatre principal David Hallberg. The piece, entitled Twelve of 'em, is set to live piano and will showcase costumes by high fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi as part of Program Five (Oct. 13-14). Morris is known for highly musical, complex and sometimes humorous choreography—we can' t wait to see what his work will look like on Hallberg.

In addition to these world premieres, the Festival will feature the New York premiere of Christopher Wheeldon's Rush for Pennsylvania Ballet, Alexei Ratmansky's Souvenir d'un lieu cher for four ABT dancers, Helgi Tomasson's Concerto Grosso for San Francisco Ballet and Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo's Paquita.

In case that's not enough, Wendy Whelan will be giving a master class to advanced dancers on October 14 as part of the Festival. So pull out your calendars—tickets go on sale at 11:00 am on Sunday, September 10, and they're sure to go quickly.

Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Academy

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Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz as the Sugar Plum Fairy during a stage rehearsal for George Balanchine's Nutcracker. All photography by Arian Molina Soca.

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