2019–2020 Ballet Connoisseurship
SAB’s Ballet Connoisseurship is an educational offering for adults providing seasoned ballet goers, patrons, students, scholars, and newcomers alike with knowledge and perspectives that will enhance their appreciation of ballet. Ballet Connoisseurship was launched in January 2019 as part of our new “SAB Open” division and featured seminars exploring ballet history, technique, and choreographic masters.
The 2019-20 season expands upon topics introduced last year and explores new areas. The 2020 Winter Session of Ballet Connoisseurship includes three units running January through May. Each unit consists of three 90-minute courses and will feature one course which illuminates SAB’s unique methods and the Balanchine aesthetic through live in-studio student demonstrations.
Below is an overview of the upcoming units and meeting times. Click the navigation menu on this page to view detailed descriptions of the units in the 2020 Winter Session.
Topic Overview & Tuition
Note: All courses take place from 7:00–8:30pm.
Unit IV: Dance & Music History
Unit V: Master Choreorgraphers
Unit VI: Balanchine Black and White (Online Via Zoom)
Unit I: Ballet & the Visual Arts
Unit II: Ballet in the 21st Century
Unit III: Ballet & Americana
Ballet Connoisseurship Tuition
Each unit (which includes 3 courses each) costs $600. Three units are available for a discounted price of $1600. Or you may now purchase any single course for $225. SAB Members receive a 10% discount with an emailed code.
2020 Winter Session
The following Units will run from January through May 2020. View meeting times, topic and speaker information below. All patrons will be notified of additional information as it becomes available. For questions about this program, please contact Alexis Branagan: 212-769-6612 or email@example.com.
Unit IV: Ballet & Music History
Wednesday, January 8, 7PM–8:30PM
The History of Swan Lake
Dance historian and writer Lynn Garafola and New York City Ballet principal dancer Maria Kowroski will speak about the history of this classic story ballet, from its Russian roots, to Alexandra Danilova’s interpretation of Odette/Odile, to the versions and dancers we see on stage today. Kowroski will offer insights from her experiences dancing the ballet, particularly dancing the principal role of Odette/Odile with New York City Ballet and as a guest artist with the Mariinksy Ballet. New York City Ballet will perform Swan Lake February 14-23.
Wednesday, January 15, 7PM–8:30PM
Bournonville and His Influence on Balanchine
Silas Farley, dancer with New York City Ballet and dance history scholar, will explore the work of August Bournonville and the Bournonville method, the ballet technique and training system devised by the Danish ballet master. Male students from SAB will demonstrate some of the principles of the technique and how they complement and inform the Balanchine aesthetic.
Wednesday, January 22, 7PM–8:30PM
Balanchine and Stravinsky
Simon Morrison, a music historian specializing in 20th-century music with a special interest in dance, will speak about the unique, long artistic partnership between George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky. New York City Ballet will perform its Stravinsky & Balanchine program on January 21, 23, and 26, and on February 1 and 2.
Unit V: Master Choreographers and Works
Wednesday, Februrary 12, 7PM–8:30PM
Jerome Robbins: Dances at a Gathering and More
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering, we will take a close look at this iconic ballet and other pieces from Robbins’ varied body of work. Amanda Vaill, Jerome Robbins biographer, will lead a discussion with Kay Mazzo, Chairman of Faculty at SAB and former principal dancer with New York City Ballet. Before joining NYCB, Ms. Mazzo trained at the School of American Ballet and performed with Jerome Robbins’ Ballets U.S.A.
Wednesday, February 19, 7PM–8:30PM
Justin Peck, Resident Choreographer and Artistic Advisor of New York City Ballet, will speak about his work for New York City Ballet and beyond. Peck identifies collaboration as an important part of his process; he will illuminate how working with other artists has shaped his work. Mr. Peck is the Tony Award winning choreographer of the 2018 revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel on Broadway and choreographer of Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming big screen remake of West Side Story.
Wednesday, February 26, 7PM–8:30PM
Jeff Edwards, former principal dancer with New York City Ballet, former associate artistic director of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, and current professor at The Juilliard School, will speak about Christopher Wheeldon’s career and choreography.
Unit VI: Balanchine Black and White - Online via Zoom
Wednesday, April 22, 7PM–8:30PM
George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments
Former principal dancer Merrill Ashley and NYCB dancer and dance history scholar Silas Farley will speak about George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, including the work’s history, her experience dancing a principal role in the ballet, and the ideas and coaching Balanchine shared with his dancers in the studio.
Wednesday, April 29, 7PM–8:30PM
Balanchine’s Black and White in the Studio
Suki Schorer, Brown Foundation Senior Faculty Chair at SAB and former principal dancer with New York City Ballet, will illuminate the technical aspects behind some of Balanchine’s iconic black and white ballets in conversation with Silas Farley, NYCB dancer and dance history scholar. The discussion will include Ms. Schorer’s personal experiences performing the role of Calliope in Apollo.
Wednesday, May 6, 7PM–8:30PM
George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco
We will take an in-depth look at Concerto Barocco, one of George Balanchine’s early ballets, with former New York City Ballet dancer and dance writer Faye Arthurs. Ms. Arthurs was a senior dancer in the New York City Ballet corps de ballet, and Concerto Barocco is exceptional in the way that it challenges and utilizes its 8-woman corps as much as its principal roles.
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Click the link to register for a Ballet Connoisseurship unit or individual course. Each unit is $600 and includes three 90-minute courses. Single courses are available for $225 each. SAB Members at the Inner Circle level and higher receive a 10% discount with an emailed code. Click here to learn more about becoming an SAB member.REGISTER HERE