The connections between New York City Ballet and Broadway go way back—choreography by Jerome Robbins and George Balanchine frequently found its way onto Broadway stages, from West Side Story to the Slaughter on Tenth Avenue number in On Your Toes. Today, principal Robert Fairchild is currently headlining the West End production of An American in Paris, while soloist Georgina Pazcoguin has been on a leave of absence this past year to play Victoria in the Broadway revival of CATS.
When the just-announced revival of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic Carousel opens on Broadway in March 2018, we'll be adding three more names to the list: Justin Peck has been brought on to choreograph the production, while Amar Ramasar and Brittany Pollack have been cast in key roles.
According to The New York Times, Peck's work will be based on Agnes de Mille's choreography for the original 1945 production (her second Rodgers & Hammerstein collaboration, after Oklahoma!). However, he believes this version "will be an even more dance-and-movement focused production."
This isn't the first time that Peck has followed in de Mille's footsteps. His 2015 Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes took Aaron Copland's score for de Mille's famous dramatic ballet and reinterpreted it as a semi-abstract contemporary work.
Ramasar is set to play Jigger, a ruffian who incites the male lead, Billy Bigelow, to assist him with a dangerous robbery. Pollack will portray Louise, Bigelow's daughter. Ramasar might be playing the exact opposite of the joyful guy we're used to seeing onstage at NYCB, but Pollack will have loads of dancing to do if de Mille's original choreography is anything to go by, which featured an extended ballet sequence starring Pollack's character.
As Peck's recent The Times are Racing for NYCB proved, the young choreographer still has quite a few tricks up his sleeve in terms of stylistic range—and really, it was probably only a matter of time before the Great White Way came calling. We can't wait.