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Ballet Across America--curated by Misty Copeland and Justin Peck

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Ballet Across America

Our celebration of innovation and diversity in American ballet returns, this season curated by stars Justin Peck and Misty Copeland, who'll explore ideas central to the John F. Kennedy centennial with several companies across multiple programs. The week begins with a spectacular opening night celebration spotlighting two world premiere commissions among the performances along with several special guests.

Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:30 PM - Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:30 PM

Opera House

Running Times: TBA



with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra

Hosted by Sara Mearns, New York City Ballet principal dancer and other special guests
Ezra Hurwitz Film Commission (world premiere)
--Featuring Stella Abrera, Isabella Boylston, Marcelo Gomes, Calvin Royal III, and James Whiteside
The Leaves are Fading (Dvorak/Tudor)
--Performed by Stella Abrera and Marcelo Gomes, American Ballet Theatre principal dancers
IMPRINT/MAYA (Rozenblatt/Rhoden)
--Performed by Complexions Contemporary Ballet's Desmond Richardson
Garden of Dreams Commission (Mendelssohn/McQueen – world premiere)
-- Performed by students of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of American Ballet Theatre
Chutes and Ladders (Britten/Peck) 
--Performed by Jeanette Delgado and Renan Cerdeiro, Miami City Ballet principal dancers
Concerto (Folds/Vasterling)
-- Performed by Nashville Ballet with the composer Ben Folds on piano accompanying onstage

Nashville Ballet: Concerto (Folds/Vasterling)
--Kennedy Center debut (Paul Vasterling, Artistic Director & CEO)
The Black Iris Project: Madiba (Moore/McQueen)
--Kennedy Center debut (Jeremy McQueen, Artistic Director)
Complexions Contemporary Ballet: Star Dust (Bowie/Rhoden)
--Kennedy Center debut (Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, Artistic Directors)
Apr. 19: Free Post-Performance Discussion with artists from the evening's participating companies

L.A. Dance Project: Hearts and Arrows (Glass/Millepied)
--Kennedy Center debut (Benjamin Millepied, Artistic Director)
Lord Duet from Year of the Rabbit (Stevens/Peck)
--Performed by Patricia Delgado and Jovanni Ferlan Miami City Ballet principal dancers
The Joffrey Ballet: Fool's Paradise (Talbot/Wheeldon)
--(Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director)
Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion: The Gettin' (Glasper/Abraham) with live music on stage
--Kennedy Center debut (Kyle Abraham, Artistic Director)
Apr. 22 (eve.): Free Post-Performance Discussion with artists from the evening's participating companies

These programs are part ofJFKC: A Centennial Celebration of John F. Kennedy, inspired by five enduring ideals often ascribed to JFK: Courage, Freedom, Justice, Service, and Gratitude.

The Kennedy Center honors innovation and diversity in American ballet with the return of this popular weeklong celebration. Placing artists at the center of the conversation as never before, this season's engagement explores new directions in the art form through programs curated by two of the biggest superstars in the ballet world: ABT Principal Dancer Misty Copeland and New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer and Soloist Justin Peck.

As Copeland and Peck offer their unique perspective and insight via engaging film segments interspersed throughout the performances, audiences will get an extraordinary chance to see the thrill, challenge, and future of dance through their eyes. Each program will also speak to themes central to the Kennedy Center's centennial celebration of John F. Kennedy, while the first evening for each will be followed by a fascinating discussion with artists from the participating companies.

A spectacularopening night celebrationwill bring together a variety of special guests in a program that also spotlights two world premiere commissions, both of which focus on the dancer's journey to artistic freedom. The entire week promises to attract ballet lovers from all across the country and around the world--so be sure to join our one-of-a-kind exploration that could only be dreamed up and delivered by the nation's center for the performing arts.

From Misty Copeland:
"American ballet is this exquisitely intricate melting pot of different techniques and interpretations. We all bring in our own experiences and interpretations to the stage, especially through choreography. Every dancer has to have so much courage to sustain a career in this beautiful yet demanding art form, but I also think it sets a wonderful example that anything is possible. I hope that American ballet will continue to evolve in a way that really embraces who we are as artists and Americans."

From Justin Peck:
"Everything I've chosen for the festival is something that I hope people across America get to experience and enjoy. American ballet is a community of support and strength, empowering artists with the freedom to cultivate new ideas--it is ultimately an evolutionary art form, requiring many voices to creatively carry forward. To pay respect to the classical technique and form while simultaneously exploring new territory is a challenge that has always inspired me."

Performance Timing: TBA


Misty Copeland and Justin Peck - Ballet Across America Teaser 1 click to watch the video
Misty Copeland and Justin Peck - Ballet Across America Teaser 1
Misty Copeland and Justin Peck - Ballet Across America Teaser 2 click to watch the video
Misty Copeland and Justin Peck - Ballet Across America Teaser 2