New York City Ballet in Coppélia

Suzanne Faulkner Stevens, Courtesy Lincoln Center.

Lincoln Center's Dance Week Offers 7 Online Broadcasts—Including Vintage ABT and NYCB Favorites

How many of us have hovered breathlessly over our iPads, watching grainy YouTube footage of Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov in Theme and Variations? Or Suzanne Farrell in Mozartiana? (Hundreds of thousands of us, to be exact.) Well, get ready: Yesterday, Lincoln Center announced its brand new Dance Week, a series of seven online broadcasts devoted to our favorite art form.

Part of Lincoln Center at Home, the organization's new portal for digital offerings, the six-day fest will feature performances by Ballet Hispánico, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, School of American Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. What's particularly exciting is that some of these—including the aforementioned Theme and Variations and Mozartiana—are legendary performances of yesteryear.

Ready to hear the lineup? Check it out below, then tune in to Lincoln Center's website or Facebook page to watch the performances.


Saturday, May 30 at 2 pm EDT: Ballet Hispánico in "Carmen.maquia" and "Club Havana"

Originally broadcast in 2015 as part of Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance, this Ballet Hispánico double bill showcases the company in two Latin-inspired works. Carmen.maquia, choreographed by Gustav Ramírez Sansano, is a contemporary take on Bizet's classic opera, with sleek black-and-white designs by Devid Delfín. Afterwards, Cuba's infectious dances and dance rhythms take center stage in Pedro Ruiz's Club Havana.

Saturday, May 30 at 8 pm EDT: NYCB in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1986)

George Balanchine's beloved A Midsummer Night's Dream takes center stage in this 1986 "Live from Lincoln Center" televised broadcast. Former NYCB principals Maria Calegari and Ib Anderson star as Titania and Oberon, with Jean-Pierre Frolich as Puck.

Thirteen ballerinas in white Romantic tutus and one danseur in a dark tunic create a tableau onstage.

American Ballet Theatre in Michel Fokine's Les Sylphides

Louis Peres, Courtesy Lincoln Center

Sunday, May 31 at 8pm EDT: ABT at the Metropolitan Opera House (1978)

This 1978 "Live from Lincoln Center" program showcases ABT during one of its most exciting eras. The evening includes Natalia Makarova and Fernando Bujones in the Act III pas de deux from Don Quixote; Michel Fokine's Les Sylphides, starring Rebecca Wright, Marianna Tcherkassky and Ivan Nagy; Fokine's Firebird; and Balanchine's glorious Theme and Variations, led by Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

A male dance student in black tights and a white t-shirt lays down on the stage, holding the right hand of a female dance student as she balances in pench\u00e9 on pointe.

Advanced School of American Ballet students perform the pas de deux from Balanchine's Agon.

Paul Kolnik, Courtesy Lincoln Center

Monday, June 1 at 7 pm EDT: School of American Ballet Virtual Workshop Performance Celebration

In lieu of its annual end-of-year performance, the School of American Ballet is hosting an online version that includes footage of past Workshop performances and commentary from SAB leaders, faculty members and NYCB dancers. The winners of the school's prestigious Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise, awarded each year to three seniors, will also be announced. The program will include Balanchine's Scotch Symphony from 2017, Justin Peck's In Creases and Jerome Robbins' Circus Polka from 2018, and Balanchine's Agon pas de deux from 2019.

In this black and white photo, a man in a white ballet costume lunges and holds the hand of a ballerina in a long tutu as she balances in pench\u00e9 crois\u00e9.

Patricia McBride and Helgi Tomasson in Coppélia

Suzanne Faulkner Stevems, Courtesy Lincoln Center

Tuesday, June 2 at 8 pm ET: NYCB in "Coppélia" (1978)

Here's another "Live from Lincoln Center" gem featuring NYCB. Patricia McBride, Helgi Tomasson and Shaun O'Brien star in this charming production of Coppélia by Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova (after Marius Petipa), with music by Léo Delibes.

Wednesday, June 3 at 8 pm EDT: NYCB in "Tribute to Balanchine" (1983)

This 1983 "Live from Lincoln Center" tribute to NYCB founder George Balanchine was filmed shortly after the choreographer's death. The program features three of his ballets: Vienna Waltzes, starring Kyra Nichols, Sean Lavery, Heather Watts, Helgi Tomasson, Elyse Borne, Bart Cook, Karin von Aroldingen, Peter Martins, Suzanne Farrell and Adam Lüders; Mozartiana, led by Farrell, Victor Castelli and Ib Anderson; and Who Cares?, featuring Lourdes Lopez, Patricia McBride, Heather Watts and Sean Lavery.

A group of dancers in a bright spotlight lunge down with their heads down and arms spread in second position.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Ailey's Revelations

Gert Krautbauer, Courtesy Lincoln Center

Thursday, June 4 at 8 pm EDT: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: "Chroma, Grace, Takadame, Revelations"

What better way to cap Dance Week than with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater? This 2015 performance, captured for Lincoln Center at the Movies, features the company in Wayne McGregor's Chroma, Ronald K. Brown's Grace and Robert Battle's Takadame. Alvin Ailey's classic masterpiece Revelations, set to African American spirituals, rounds out the program, leaving us with the joy, inspiration and hope we all need right now.

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Courtesy Harlequin

What Does It Take to Make a Safe Outdoor Stage for Dance?

Warmer weather is just around the corner, and with it comes a light at the end of a hibernation tunnel for many dance organizations: a chance to perform again. While social distancing and mask-wearing remain essential to gathering safely, the great outdoors has become an often-preferred performance venue.

But, of course, nature likes to throw its curveballs. What does it take to successfully pull off an alfresco show?

Marisa Grywalski and Alejandro Diaz in Dwight Rhodens "Ave Maria," part of PBT's Open Air Series last fall.

Kelly Perkovich, Courtesy Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Keeping dancers safe outside requires the same intentional flooring as you have in the studio—but it also needs to be hearty enough to withstand the weather. With so many factors to consider, two ballet companies consulted with Harlequin Floors to find the perfect floor for their unique circumstances.

Last fall, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre invested in a mobile stage that allowed the dancers to perform live for socially distanced audiences. "But we didn't have an outdoor resilient floor, so we quickly realized that if we had any rain, we were going to be in big trouble—it would have rotted," says artistic director Susan Jaffe.

The company purchased the lightweight, waterproof Harlequin's AeroDeck® sprung floor panels and the heavy-duty Harlequin Cascade™ vinyl, which is manufactured with BioCote® Antimicrobial Protection to help with the prevention of bacteria and mold. After an indoor test run while filming Nutcracker ("It felt exactly like our regular floor," says Jaffe), the company will debut the new setup this May in Pittsburgh's Schenley Park during a two-week series of performances shared with other local arts organizations.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Open Air Series last fall. The company plans to roll out their new Harlequin AeroDeck® sprung floor panels and Harlequin Cascade™ vinyl floor for more outdoor performances this spring.

Harris Ferris, Courtesy Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

In addition to the possibility of rain, a range of temperatures also has to be taken into account. When the State Ballet of Rhode Island received a grant from the state to upgrade its 15-year-old stage, executive director Ana Fox chose the Harlequin Cascade vinyl floor in the lighter gray color "so that it would be cooler if it's reflecting sunlight during daytime performances," she says.

However, for the civic ballet company's first performance on its new 24-by-48–foot stage on November 22, heat was less of a concern than the Northeastern cold. Fortunately, Fox says the surface never got icy or too stiff. "It felt warm to the feel," she says. "You could see the dancers didn't hesitate to run or step into arabesque." (The Harlequin Cascade floor is known for providing a good grip.)

"To have a safe floor for dancers not to worry about shin splints or something of that nature, that's everything," she says. "The dancers have to feel secure."

State Ballet of Rhode Island first rolled out their new Harlequin Cascade™ flooring for an outdoor performance last November.

Courtesy of Harlequin

Of course, the elements need to be considered even when dancers aren't actively performing. Although Harlequin's AeroDeck is waterproof, both PBT and SBRI have tarps to cover their stages to keep any water out. SBRI also does damp mopping before performances to get pollen off the surface. Additionally, the company is building a shed to safely store the floor long-term when it's not in use. "Of course, it's heavy, but laying down the floor and putting it away was not an issue at all," says Fox, adding that both were easy to accomplish with a crew of four people.

Since the Harlequin Cascade surface is versatile enough to support a wide range of dance styles—and even opera and theater sets—both PBT and SBRI are partnering with other local arts organizations to put their outdoor stages to use as much as possible. Because audiences are hungry for art right now.

"In September, I made our outdoor performance shorter so we wouldn't have to worry about intermission or bathrooms, but when it was over, they just sat there," says Jaffe, with a laugh. "People were so grateful and so happy to see us perform. We just got an overwhelming response of love and gratitude."

Marisa Grywalski and Alejandro Diaz in Susan Jaffes "Carmina Terra," part of PBT's Open Air Series last fall.

Kelly Perkovich, courtesy Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

February 2021