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New York City Ballet readies for upcoming winter programming

18 Dec 2013 10:14 PM
New York City Ballet readies for upcoming winter programming

Although New York City boasts a rich history, classic architecture and some of the most upscale restaurants and social clubs in the world, one of the time-honored traditions most enjoyed by residents of the Big Apple are viewing the seasonal performances by the city's ballet company. The New York City Ballet, founded in in 1948 by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein, has long garnered international praise for its contemporary style and upscale aesthetic - and continues to do so to this day.

The upcoming 2014 winter season of programming will begin with a bang, as two world premieres are slated for the regal David H. Koch Theater. First, on Jan. 31, the Royal Ballet's artist in residence Liam Scarlett will perform in this year's New Combinations program. Then, on Feb. 21, audiences will be treated to an exclusive premiere of new work by Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins, set to a commissioned score by Marc-André Dalbavie.

Year to begin with showings of beloved ballets
However, before the two performances, patrons can enjoy viewing one of the NYCB's expertly executed presentations of "George Balanchine's The Nutcracker," which is a rendition of Tchaikovsky's classic work. As in past years, the spirited showings run for the duration of the holiday season - opening Nov. 29 and concluding Jan. 4. The company has received substantial adulation for its performances, with publications such as The New York Times hailing it as a detail-laden production with intriguing individual performances that helped to create the magical realm in which the plot takes place. The combined efforts of the cast of more than 90 dancers and 62 musicians, as well as the team of 32 stagehands, makes for a splendorous visual display that easily captivates audience members of all ages. 

In addition, patrons will have the opportunity to observe such full-length shows as the Balanchine favorites "Jewels" and "Coppélia," which debut on Jan. 22 and Feb. 14, respectively. A highlight of the upcoming season, "Jewels" is being described as an exquisite beauty, as it seamlessly combines the music of three disparate composers through impressive layering. Making for a decidedly opulent experience, each section will be married to its own corresponding precious stone. Meanwhile, "Coppélia," is being billed as a dazzling display of dance set to a series of delightful melodies by French composer Léo Delibes. Featuring shining examples of masterful comedic timing, this love story gone awry promises to captivate all who attend a showing. 

In total, the six-week winter season will see the presentation of 20 additional ballets on eight programs. Individuals seeking an evening of upscale entertainment and modern cultural artistry need not search farther than the NYCB, which occupies the stage within the Lincoln Center for 21 weeks each year - and enjoys a summer residency in Saratoga, New York.

NYCB has long been centerpiece of  cosmopolitan culture
In the 65 years the New York City Ballet has been in operation, the company's countless performances have seen the likes of well-known celebrities, international politicians, business leaders and socialites as audience members. Prior to their founding of the organization, both Balanchine and Kirstein boasted impressive resumes, which helped them to further cultivate their reputations as masters of the art form and visionaries for its propagation. 

The pair first met in 1934 while in London, and soon began a partnership that would revolutionize the way the world viewed dance as a performance art. Together in 1934, Balanchine and Kirstein established the School of American Ballet in New York City, which trained students in a new style of unmannered classicism. Twelve years later, after a riveting exhibition by the Ballet Society at the City Center of Music and Drama in New York, the company was invited to officially join the performing arts center. On Oct. 11, 1948 - with the flawless presentation of such pieces as Balanchine's "Concerto Barocco," "Orpheus" and "Symphony in C" - the NYCB was born.

From the company's inception, until his death in 1983, Balanchine held the title Ballet Master of New York City Ballet. During those years, he was integral in the creation and choreography of innumerable works that showcased dancers' sharpness of attack, linear purity, musicality and overall speed. That tradition of excellence lives on today, and can be seen during each performance by the NYCB.

Tickets available for single, multiple performances
Those looking to gain admission to the Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater for an exclusive performance can do so by calling the box office at 212-496-0600 or visiting the organization's official website. Special rates and privileges are available to groups of 15 or more, and patrons can even choose to curate their own subscription series.

Tickets for evening performances begin at $67 each, and range to $254 for prime seating near the orchestra pit. Given than the theater is composed of multiple tiers, all who choose to attend a show at this venue can rest assured they have the best seat in the house.