Announcing 2023 Workshop Performances
The School of American Ballet’s 2023 Workshop Performances will take place at Lincoln Center’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater on Saturday, June 3 (2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.) and Monday, June 5 (7:00 p.m. benefit performance) with a program featuring George Balanchine’s La Source, an excerpt from Balanchine’s Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, the Pas de Six and Tarantella from Act III of August Bournonville’s Napoli, and excerpts from Act III of Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova’s Coppélia. The selections from Napoli and Coppélia will be presented in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the 1997 deaths of legendary SAB faculty members Stanley Williams and Madame Danilova.
Both performances on June 3 will feature a pre-curtain celebration of the “Capstone Class” of senior students, and the June 5 benefit performance will begin with the annual presentation of the Mae L. Wien Awards for Outstanding Promise. The Workshop orchestra, which is comprised of professional musicians, will be conducted by Daniel Capps, a former NYCB resident conductor who is currently Music Director of the University of London Symphony Orchestra, London Mahler Orchestra and the Sirius Ensemble.
Highlights of the 2023 program include:
Excerpts from Coppélia. SAB’s students will perform dances (Waltz of the Hours, Dawn, Prayer, Spinner) excerpted from Act III of the full-length Coppélia that was created in 1974 for New York City Ballet by George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova. Famed for her interpretation of Swanilda during her international performing career, Alexandra Danilova programmed dances from Coppélia for SAB’s first Workshop in 1965 and returned to the ballet several times during her 25 years overseeing Workshop. It remains the ballet with which she was most closely identified. For this year’s production, four faculty members (Aesha Ash, Katrina Killian, Kay Mazzo, Sheryl Ware) will each stage one of the variations, and Dena Abergel and Arch Higgins will oversee the children’s corps of 24 dancers. Ms. Mazzo, Ms. Killian, Ms. Ware and Ms. Abergel each trained with Danilova while students at SAB. Madame Danilova joined SAB’s permanent faculty in 1964, retired from teaching in 1989, and died on July 13, 1997.
Excerpts from Napoli. The ebullient Pas de Six and Tarantella from Act III of August Bournonville’s 1842 Napoli was the final Workshop ballet staged by Stanley Williams (in 1995) and had been previously performed by students under his tutelage in 1969 and 1984. Featuring a cast of 20 students, the dances were last performed on the Workshop Program in 2001 under the supervision of former Royal Danish Ballet and New York City Ballet principal dancer Nikolaj Hübbe. This year, the excerpts from Napoli will be staged by Petrusjka Broholm, a former soloist with the Royal Danish Ballet. Stanley Williams was a member of SAB’s faculty from 1964 until his death at age 72 on October 21, 1997. The famed Danish teacher was one of the most influential ballet academicians of his era and a respected authority on Bournonville, staging works by the choreographer for SAB’s advanced students 24 times between 1968 and 1995.
George Balanchine’s delicate, French-inflected La Source highlights a principal couple, a bravura female soloist and an ensemble of eight women, with music by Leo Delibes. Suki Schorer, who celebrated her fiftieth anniversary as a member of SAB’s faculty in 2022, performed the ballet’s soloist role for Balanchine while a member of New York City Ballet and will stage La Source for the 2023 Workshop. Ms. Schorer has staged works by Balanchine for the annual Workshop Performances every year since 1973 (except for 2003, when no Balanchine was included on the program). She previously staged La Source in 1981, 1995 and 2018.
The romantic Andante of George Balanchine’s Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet was previously performed as part of the School’s 1982 and 2002 Workshop Performances. This year the ballet will be set by faculty member Susan Pilarre, who has previously staged 35 ballets or excerpts (primarily by Balanchine) for the Workshop Performances. Danced to the third movement of Johannes Brahms’s First Piano Quartet in G minor orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg, the cast features a lead couple and 15 dancer ensemble.
Tickets for the 2023 Workshop Performances may be purchased online at www.sab.org/workshop. All tickets for June 3 (2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m) are priced at $70. Tickets for the June 5 benefit performance are $125 (performance only) and $1,500, $2,500 and $5,000 (performance and dinner). The Peter Jay Sharp Theater is located at 155 W. 65th Street (between Amsterdam and Broadway) in Manhattan.