City Ballet The Podcast

New York City Ballet

Welcome to City Ballet The Podcast, an exploration of New York City Ballet where we'll journey through our history, delve into our new and existing repertory, and reveal insider tidbits.

Each season of City Ballet The Podcast features episodes that span three topics: New Combinations hosted by Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan, Hear the Dance hosted by dance educator and former NYCB dancer Silas Farley, and See the Music hosted by Music Director Andrew Litton.

Episode 7: Season Two of City Ballet The Podcast Introduction
Trailer 1 min 15 sec

All Episodes

In the latest installment of The Rosin Box, hosts and Soloists Claire Kretzschmar and Aarón Sanz are joined by Judy Elliott-Pugh, NYCB’s Senior Director of Human Resources, Diversity, and Inclusion, for a conversation about her newly-created position. From day-to-day operations to ongoing and broadly-reaching projects and goals, they discuss the ways in which NYCB is an organization of people from a wide variety of backgrounds, in just as wide an array of roles, all working together to make the Company thrive. (48:02) Edited by: Emilie Silvestri Music:  "Je ne t’aime plus" by Pink Martini Courtesy of Pink Martini & Heinz Records

Nov 29

48 min 1 sec

This week on the Rosin Box, hosts Claire Kretzschmar and Aarón Sanz explore the unique experiences of Company dancers originally trained in other countries. They’re joined by retiring Principal Dancer Gonzalo Garcia and still new-to-NYCB Soloist Chun Wai Chan for a wide-ranging conversation that covers everything from moving to the states, first introductions to Balanchine, adjusting to the Company culture, learning to drive, and the ways in which ballet is a universal language. (1:01:16) Edited by Emilie Silvestri Music: "Je ne t’aime plus" by Pink Martini Courtesy of Pink Martini & Heinz Records

Nov 22

1 hr 1 min

Step behind the curtain and into the rehearsal studio with hosts and Soloists Claire Kretzschmar and Aaron Sanz on another episode of The Rosin Box. School of American Ballet faculty members Suki Schorer and Anthony Huxley join to talk about the School’s curriculum, the challenges of teaching and performing at the same time, and the joys of watching students join the Company and perform the roles they’d taught them. Suki and Anthony share their similar journeys to the Company—the first as a Principal Dancer and protege under Mr. B, and the other her student and a current Principal Dancer with the Company. (58:08) Edited by Emilie Silvestri Music: "Je ne t’aime plus" by Pink Martini Courtesy of Pink Martini & Heinz Records

Nov 15

58 min 7 sec

The Rosin Box is back for a fresh season of vital conversation and first-person perspective on the backstage lives and day-to-day work of NYCB’s dancers. Hosts Claire Kretzschmar and Aarón Sanz mark their triumphant return—and the Company’s return to the Theater—by sharing their experiences throughout the long months away, from Claire’s “garage Nutcracker” to Aarón’s meditation practice, and all the hurdles they had to overcome as they made their way back to the stage. (36:05) Edited by Emilie Silvestri Music: ""Je ne t’aime plus" by Pink Martini Courtesy of Pink Martini & Heinz Records

Nov 8

36 min 4 sec

In this new See the Music episode, host and NYCB Orchestra Music Director Andrew Litton leads us through the history and multi-faceted movements of the music for George Balanchine's La Valse. Choreographed in 1951, the score combines two of Maurice Ravel's compositions: Valses Nobles et Sentimentales and La Valse—a "genius" merging of two interrelated works by Balanchine. Litton is joined by Solo Pianist Alan Moverman, whose piano renditions of excerpts from the score capture its by turns beguiling, bittersweet, and bombastic approaches to the waltz. (26:40) Edited by Emilie Silvestri Music: Valses Nobles et Sentimentales (1911, orchestrated 1912) and La Valse (1920) by Maurice Ravel Symphony in Three Movements (1945) by Igor Stravinsky

Oct 11

26 min 40 sec

Host Silas Farley is back with another Hear the Dance episode of City Ballet The Podcast exploring Balanchine’s Chaconne. Farley is joined by legendary former Principal Dancer Suzanne Farrell, who originated the lead role in the 1976 premiere, and current Principal Dancer Maria Kowroski, who inherited many of Farrell’s signature roles during her more than 25 years with the Company—ending this fall, when she retires from performing with NYCB. Farrell describes the fast-paced creation of Chaconne and working with Balanchine, and the two dancers share memories from their iconic careers and treasured moments in both Chaconne and the repertory. (1:13:54) Written by Silas Farley Edited by Emilie Silvestri Reading List: Balanchine: A Biography by Bernard Taper Balanchine and Kirstein's American Enterprise by James Steichen Balanchine Ballerinas: Conversations with the Muses by Robert Tracy Following Balanchine by Robert Garis Balanchine's Mozartiana: The Making of a Masterpiece by Robert Mairoano and Valerie Brooks Holding On to the Air: An Autobiography by Suzanne Farrell with Toni Bentley Gluck and the Birth of Modern Opera by Patricia Howard Christoph Willibald Gluck: A Guide to Research by Patricia Howard "Motherhood Reshaped Ballet Dancer Maria Kowroski's Career in a Touching Way," Elle Decor Article by Parker Bowie Larson and Vanessa Lawrence "Like a Prayer" The New York Times #SpeakinginDance Piece by Gia Kourlas Music: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major (1931) by Igor Stravinsky Ballet music from the opera Orfeo ed Euridice (Vienna, 1762 and Paris, 1774) by Christoph Willibald von Gluck All music performed by the New York City Ballet Orchestra.

Oct 4

1 hr 13 min

New Combinations is back with host Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan in a wide-ranging conversation with choreographer Andrea Miller, whose first onstage work for NYCB premieres this Thursday at the annual Fall Gala. They discuss Miller’s journey from modern dance training in Utah, to studying at Juilliard, to learning the “gaga” movement language of the Batsheva Dance Company, and how these all inform her current approach to choreography. Miller shares the decision-making that informed the creation of her work with the Company, which she describes as a story about “a seed that fell in love with a cloud”—inspired by composer Lido Pimienta’s conception of the score. (45:18) Edited by Emilie Silvestri Music: "Sisyphus" by Andrew Wegman Bird Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. as agent for Muffet Music Co

Sep 27

45 min 18 sec

Host Silas Farley delves deep into the creation of Jerome Robbins’ Glass Pieces in part two of this new Hear the Dance episode. Former NYCB Principal Dancers and husband and wife duo Maria Calegari and Bart Cook share intimate details about the second movement pas de deux, the development of which marked the beginning of their relationship; Corps de Ballet Member Gretchen Smith remarks on the shared legacy of performing these roles and knowing that “Everything we’re taught now is learned through those that were in the room”; and former Principal Dancer Helene Alexopoulos reflects on the importance of Glass Pieces as a celebration of the Company through its focus on the corps de ballet—and an important statement from Robbins, as the work premiered just two weeks after George Balanchine’s death. (30:07) Written by Silas Farley Edited by Emilie Silvestri Reading List: Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins by Amanda Vaill Words Without Music by Philip Glass Jerome Robbins: By Himself by Amanda Vaill Music: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major (1931) by Igor Stravinsky Rubric and Façades from Glassworks, excerpts from the opera Akhnaten by Philip Glass All music performed by the New York City Ballet Orchestra.

Sep 20

30 min 7 sec

Just like the Company itself, City Ballet The Podcast is back, with a brand new Hear the Dance episode on Jerome Robbins’ Glass Pieces. Returning host Silas Farley is joined by former Principal Dancers and original cast members Helene Alexopoulos, Maria Calegari, and Bart Cook, and current Corps de Ballet Member Gretchen Smith, for a conversation about this galvanizing masterwork. The originating dancers provide rare behind-the-scenes insights into Robbins’ process, from his use of “guinea pigs” to the multiple iterations that reflected the choreographer’s shifting mood and sense of the work in progress, and commiserate with Smith about the challenges the various corps roles in Glass Pieces present. (44:37) Written by Silas Farley Edited by Emilie Silvestri Reading List: Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins by Amanda Vaill Words Without Music by Philip Glass Jerome Robbins: By Himself by Amanda Vaill Music: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major (1931) by Igor Stravinsky Rubric and Façades from Glassworks, excerpts from the opera Akhnaten by Philip Glass All music performed by the New York City Ballet Orchestra.

Sep 20

44 min 37 sec

For this season’s final episode, Artistic Director Jonathon Stafford and Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan sat down to reflect on the concluding Digital Season, and to look forward to our return to the stage this fall. From the technical challenges of curating footage to the emotional heights of revisiting these performances, this unprecedented time in the Company’s history has inspired the Artistic team’s ambitious approach to the coming season’s programming, with special repertory revivals, our most diverse cast of choreographers, and the 50th anniversary Stravinsky Festival in the spring to look forward to—and, bridging the two seasons, a final stream of Balanchine’s Vienna Waltzes, a work with special memories for both. (39:40) Music: Serenade for Strings in C, Op. 48 (1880) by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky

May 31

39 min 45 sec

With just days to go before the world premiere of his newest work for the Company, Resident Choreographer Justin Peck joins host and Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan for the latest episode of New Combinations. Beginning with his early years as a tap dancer and his invitation to enroll at the School of American Ballet by lasting mentor Peter Boal, Peck discusses his unique—and uniquely American—approach to choreography. Between reflecting on his work as the choreographer for the Stephen Spielberg-helmed West Side Story and collaborating with director Sofia Coppola on NYCB’s Spring Gala film, Peck shares what he values most about the Company and the cross-pollination inherent to the art of ballet. (40:37) Music: "Sisyphus" by Andrew Wegman Bird Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. as agent for Muffet Music Co

May 3

40 min 42 sec

This season of City Ballet The Podcast continues with a fresh edition of New Combinations. Host and Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan is joined by choreographer Kyle Abraham in the lead up to the premiere of his latest work for NYCB, When We Fell, a dance film choreographed on eight NYCB dancers during a COVID-compliant residency. Abraham describes the benefits of this unique situation, from the increased focus and productivity afforded by quarantining with the dancers, to the invaluable support from Repertory Director Rebecca Krohn, to the ways limitations can ultimately be helpful. Reflecting on the challenges of the past year, Abraham shares how last June’s Ces noms que nous portons, created on Principal Dancer Taylor Stanley, was the impetus to his return to the studio. (29:23) Music: "Sisyphus" by Andrew Wegman Bird Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. as agent for Muffet Music Co

Apr 5

29 min 27 sec

Host Silas Farley and guest Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s discussion of the 1972 Stravinsky Festival continues in this second part of a special Hear the Dance episode dedicated to Balanchine’s Stravinsky Violin Concerto. Bonnefoux recalls the excitement of performing in the premiere of this seminal neoclassical work in the same week as a revival of Balanchine’s Orpheus, and the sense of historical tradition and musical pulse at the heart of every Balanchine/Stravinsky ballet. They then talk about Bonnefoux’s extensive work as a coach and mentor, and the legacy of kindness and generosity he’s taken on from Pushkin, Balanchine, and all of his own teachers; as he says, “It’s more about what you need—what are you worried about?” (45:49) Music: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major (1931) by Igor Stravinsky Theme with Four Variations [According to the Four Temperaments], for string orchestra and piano (1940) by Igor Stravinsky Sonatine (1906) by Maurice Ravel Final movement of Suite No. 3 for Orchestra in G major (1884) by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky Written by Silas Farley Edited by Laura Snow

Mar 8

45 min 44 sec

Hear the Dance host and former NYCB dancer Silas Farley is back for the newest two-part episode of City Ballet The Podcast. Farley is joined by former Principal Dancer Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux for a lively discussion of Balanchine’s neoclassical masterpiece, Stravinsky Violin Concerto. In this first half of their conversation, Bonnefoux describes joining the Paris Opera Ballet at the age of 14, achieving the rank of principal dancer at 21, and relinquishing his position there just a year short of earning his pension to move to the US and work with Balanchine. The episode includes a short excerpt from legendary Russian teacher Alexander Pushkin’s class as well as Bonnefoux’s retelling of his last-minute lifesaving intercession on behalf of fellow Pushkin student, Rudolf Nureyev. (47:13) Music Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major (1931) by Igor Stravinsky Concerto in D minor for Two Violins, B.W.V. 1043 by Johan Sebastian Bach Orpheus (1947) by Igor Stravinsky Reading List: Dance is a Contact Sport by Joseph H. Mazo Striking a Balance: Dancers Talk About Dancing by Barbara Newman The Stravinsky Festival of The New York City Ballet by Nancy Goldner Igor Stravinsky: An Autobiography by Igor Stravinsky The Dance Element in Stravinsky's Music by George Balanchine Balanchine's Fourth Dimension by Lincoln Kirstein Alexander Pushkin: Master Teacher of Dance by Gennady Albert Vera Volkova: A Biography by Alexander Meinertz Classes in Classical Ballet: A Book for Teachers and Dancers by Asaf Messerer Rudolph Nureyev: The Life by Julie Kavanaugh Alonzo King Lines Ballet by Alonzo King and RJ Muna Balanchine & the Lost Muse: Revolution & the Making of a Choreographer by Elizabeth Kendall Written by Silas Farley Edited by Laura Snow

Mar 8

46 min 54 sec

NYCB Music Director Andrew Litton hosts a new See the Music edition of City Ballet The Podcast, exploring the score to Balanchine’s ode to classical dance, Theme and Variations. Set to the final, eponymous movement of Tschaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite No. 3, the ballet, as Litton describes, corresponds to the many shifts in tone, pace, and featured instrumentation in the piece’s twelve variations. Highlighted by piano demonstrations and anecdotes from Tschaikovsky’s letters to his benefactress, Litton provides a tour through this musical—and dance—tour de force. (15:34) Music: Orchestral Suite No. 3 in G, Op. 55 (1884) by Pyotr Ilyich Tschaikovsky

Mar 1

15 min 36 sec

The second part of our Hear the Dance exploration of Balanchine’s Prodigal Son continues, with host Silas Farley and former NYCB Principal Dancer Edward Villella looking back on Villella’s legendary career. They discuss Balanchine’s recreation of Apollo on the young dancer; the Company’s momentous tour of the Soviet Union; and the importance of School of American Ballet teacher Stanley Williams’ mentorship to Villella’s development as a dancer and as a leader in the field. Villella would go on to found Miami City Ballet with the idea, as he explains, to “provide people with the closest to the best of themselves that they could achieve,” with his NYCB history providing the motivation and education that inspired this vision. (35:15) This is a continuation of Part One of this episode. Music: Apollon Musagète (1928) by Igor Stravinsky Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra (1929) by Igor Stravinsky Agon (1953-56) by Igor Stravinsky

Feb 22

35 min 19 sec

The latest season of City Ballet The Podcast begins with this special two-part Hear the Dance celebration of George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son. Host Silas Farley is joined by former NYCB Principal Dancer and founding Artistic Director of Miami City Ballet Edward Villella, on whom Balanchine revived the role of the Prodigal Son in 1960. Villella describes his early ballet training as a child in Queens, NY before entering the School of American Ballet, often the only male dancer in his class; after receiving his degree from the New York State Maritime College, Villella defied his father’s wishes and joined the Company, quickly rising to the rank of soloist. In retelling the story of the Son, Villella revisits how his own rebellious youth and desire to become a dancer were an inspiration. (52:10) Continue listening to Part Two of this episode. Reading list: Prodigal Son: Dancing for Balanchine in a World of Pain and Magic by Edward Villella with Larry Kaplan Balanchine's Ballerinas: Conversations with the Muses by Robert Tracy with Sharon DeLano Sergei Prokofiev: A Biography by Harlow Robinson Stravinsky: An Autobiography by Igor Stravinsky Ma Vie: From Kiev to Kiev; An Autobiography by Serge Lifar Music: Prélude à l'Après-midi d'un Faune (1892-1894) by Claude Debussy Le Fils Prodigue Op. 46 (1928-29) by Sergei Prokofiev

Feb 22

52 min 16 sec

City Ballet the Podcast is back for a special edition of See the Music. Music Director Andrew Litton hosts a tour through the musical delights of the Tschaikovsky score to George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, from the ballet’s ignominious beginnings to the composer’s felicitous discovery of the celesta—the renowned accompaniment to the Sugarplum Fairy’s introduction in Act II. Litton is joined by Concertmaster Kurt Nikkanen, who performs the lilting violin solo Balanchine borrowed from the rarely-played Entr’acte of Tschaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty for inclusion in his version of this classic holiday tale. (23:44) Music: The Nutcracker (1892) by Pyotr Ilyich Tschaikovsky

Dec 2020

23 min 47 sec

City Ballet The Podcast’s season finale has arrived with a fresh New Combinations episode, just in time for NYCB’s first ever digital New Works Festival. In the lead up to the Festival’s premiere, host Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan is joined by Sidra Bell, choreographer of the opening night work, and her father Dennis, who composed the commissioned score to her piece. Native New Yorkers and lifelong collaborators, the Bells describe the processes behind the creation of both the dance and the music, the ways in which their long-standing connections with Lincoln Center and New York City Ballet informed the work, and how this collaboration represents a “homecoming.” (27:15) Music: "Sisyphus" by Andrew Wegman Bird Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. as agent for Muffet Music Co

Oct 2020

27 min 14 sec

Host Silas Farley is back with another Hear the Dance episode, devoted to the creation of George Balanchine’s tale of toy romance, The Steadfast Tin Soldier. Farley is joined by former Principal Dancers Patricia McBride and Peter Schaufuss, on whom the ballet was created. The Steadfast Tin Soldier was the first ballet Balanchine made on Schaufuss, who danced with the Company for just three short but very formative years; this marked the second ballet for which Mr. B cast McBride as a doll, following 1974’s Coppélia, and she highlights here the differences in performing the two roles. Reunited for the first time after more than 40 years, the pair's recollections of the ballet's 1975 premiere in Saratoga Springs are as fresh as if it were yesterday. (1:06:28) Reading List for The Steadfast Tin Soldier: My Theatre Life by August Bournonville and Patricia McAndrew Letters on Dance and Choreography by August Bournonville and Knud Arne Jurgensen My Dearly Beloved Wife!—Letters from France and Italy, 1841 by August Bournonville, Knud Arne Jurgensen, et al The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography by Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales (Penguin Classics Edition) by Hans Christian Andersen Hans Christian Andersen: The Life of a Storyteller by Jackie Wullschlager Dance in Saratoga Springs by Denise Warner Limoli Balanchine’s Ballerinas: Conversations with the Muses by Robert Tracy Dancing Across the Atlantic: USA-Denmark, 1900-2014 by Erik Aschengreen Music: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major (1931) by Igor Stravinsky Jeux d'Enfants, Opp. 22-26, nos. 6, 3, 11, 12 (1871) by Georges Bizet Overture and Incidental Music to A Midsummer Night's Dream, opp. 61 (1842) by Felix Mendelssohn

Oct 2020

1 hr 6 min

This week’s edition of City Ballet The Podcast is the premiere broadcast of a live See the Music presentation on the score to Balanchine's Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, recorded on the NYCB stage in 2019. Host and Resident Conductor Clotilde Otrantro walks us through the innovations and themes of Brahms’ original chamber music score, and indicates some of the choices Schoenberg made in the instrumentation for full orchestra in order to maintain the music’s various sombre moods, military vibes, and folk influences. Otranto is joined by the NYCB Orchestra for a number of evocative excerpts, transporting us to the romanticism of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. (13:33) Music: Symphony in Three Movements (1945) by Igor Stravinsky Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25 (1861) by Johannes Brahms, arr. by Arnold Schoenberg

Oct 2020

13 min 34 sec

In this second half of a special 2-part Hear the Dance episode celebrating the life and work of late choreographer Ulysses Dove, host Silas Farley interviews Ulysses’ brother Alfred, Director and Administrator of Ulysses’ estate. Beginning with his childhood in South Carolina and Georgia, Dove traces his brother’s transition from a talented pre-med student at Howard University to a dancer with the Merce Cunningham Company, to his first works as a choreographer commissioned by Alvin Ailey. Dove shares his recollections not only of Ulysses as a sibling, but as a creator, and discusses how continuing to engage with his brother’s works as they are performed by Companies today is like returning to an old friend—one that “gives the dancers the opportunity to live completely out loud… if they take the risk.” (46:49) This is a continuation of Part One of this episode. Music: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major (1931) by Igor Stravinsky Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten (1977) by Arvo Pärt Episodes (1987) by Robert Ruggieri

Oct 2020

46 min 55 sec

Former NYCB dancer Silas Farley is back to host a special 2-part episode of Hear the Dance devoted to the life and work of late choreographer Ulysses Dove. Beginning with a brief overview of Dove’s career, this part focuses on Red Angels, the first of two works he choreographed on NYCB. Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan, Pacific Northwest Ballet Artistic Director Peter Boal, and violinist Mary Rowell, all of whom performed in the ballet’s 1994 premiere, reunite to discuss Dove’s working style in the studio, the challenges presented by Red Angels’ unprecedented choreographic vocabulary, and the audience’s electric reaction on opening night. “It was all about owning your space and owning your voice,” says Whelan, “and that was Ulyssess at that time.” (45:21) Continue listening to Part Two of this episode. Music: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major (1931) by Igor Stravinsky Maxwell's Demon (1988-1990) by Richard Einhorn July (1961) by Michael Torke

Oct 2020

45 min 26 sec

City Ballet the Podcast is back with a new season of deep dives into the history and artistry of New York City Ballet. We begin by revisiting our very first See the Music episode to celebrate the premiere of the Digital Fall Season—and the All Balanchine program. NYCB’s Music Director Andrew Litton delves into the background of Bizet’s Symphony in C, a hidden treasure that, 80 years after its creation, found a new popularity with the help of George Balanchine. Litton also sits down with NYCB Orchestra’s principal oboist, Julia DeRosa, to discuss Symphony in C’s iconic oboe solo and the intricacies of playing an instrument that is integral to so many ballet scores. (26:12) Music: Symphony in Three Movements (1945) by Igor Stravinsky Symphony No. 1 in C major (1855) by Georges Bizet All music performed by the New York City Ballet Orchestra.

Sep 2020

26 min 15 sec

Hosts Claire Kretzschmar and Aarón Sanz wrap up this season of City Ballet The Podcast with their last episode of The Rosin Box, responding to a selection of questions submitted by NYCB Instagram followers. Along with Claire and Aarón, NYCB dancers Jared Angle, Teresa Reichlen, Lauren King, Meaghan Dutton-O’Hara, and Mary Elizabeth Sell answer: what do you like about the Balanchine style, and what are your funniest dance memories? Why did you choose NYCB? Tune in for their responses to these questions and more. From all of us at NYCB, thank you for listening to Season Five, and we’ll be back with new episodes in September. (40:00) Music: "Je ne t’aime plus" by Pink Martini Courtesy of Pink Martini & Heinz Records

Jun 2020

39 min 25 sec

In this week’s Rosin Box episode, hosts Claire Kretzschmar and Aarón Sanz discuss injuries, wellness, and fitness—three important, intertwined aspects of a dancer’s development and ongoing practice. They are joined by NYCB’s Health and Wellness Coordinator, Marika Molnar, PT, LAC, who helped create the first physical therapy program for an American dance company in 1980, with George Balanchine’s support; and Physical Therapist Dirk Hartog, DPT, whose essential cross-training classes continue to help NYCB’s dancers stay in shape remotely. Claire and Aarón also answer a question submitted by one of NYCB’s Instagram followers: How do you relax after a performance? (47:00) Music: "Je ne t’aime plus" by Pink Martini Courtesy of Pink Martini & Heinz Records

Jun 2020

47 min 35 sec

Hosts Claire Kretzschmar and Aarón Sanz are back for another season of The Rosin Box, recorded remotely but with all the exclusive behind-the-scenes access intact. This week, NYCB dancers and longtime roommates Marika Anderson and Daniel Applebaum join the discussion, on touring: adjusting to new stages, packing performance necessities (and souvenirs), and the pleasures—and perils—of exploring new cuisines. Plus, Claire and Aarón answer a question submitted over NYCB's Instagram: What’s your schedule like during quarantine? (35:30) Music: ""Je ne t’aime plus" by Pink Martini Courtesy of Pink Martini & Heinz Records

Jun 2020

35 min 32 sec

This week’s New Combinations episode of City Ballet The Podcast features two recordings of Inside NYCB presentations made at Lincoln Center. The first is a conversation between choreographer Pam Tanowitz and NYCB Ballet Master Craig Hall, just two days after the 2019 premiere of her Bartók Ballet; Tanowitz describes her collaborative approach to the rehearsal studio, sharing that she’ll warn dancers, “If you don’t want to do something, don’t show me, because I’ll love it.” Resident Choreographer Justin Peck is interviewed by former Miami City Ballet dancer Michael Breeden in the second half of the episode, reflecting on his personal history as a choreographer, from tap dancing at age nine to tweaking works commissioned and performed by the Company. (19:11) Music:  String Quartet No. 5 (1934) by Béla Bartόk USA III: Rail (2012) by Dan Deacon Sisyphus (2019) by Andrew Bird

May 2020

19 min 14 sec

In the second half of our two-part Hear the Dance on Balanchine’s Diamonds, host Silas Farley is joined by Principal Dancer Sara Mearns, who has performed the lead role for over 12 years with seven different partners—for seven very different experiences. Mearns takes us through a detailed play-by-play of dancing this regal, demanding movement from Jewels, from the slow opening, which allows her to warm up, to the physically challenging dancing to come, and through to the triumphant, emotional conclusion. (36:15) This is a continuation of Part One of this episode. Music: Pelléas et Mélisande (1898) by Gabriel Fauré Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra (1929) by Igor Stravinsky Symphony No. 3 in D major, Op. 29 (1875) by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky Recommended Reading:  1) Holding On to the Air: An Autobiography by Suzanne Farrell and Toni Bentley        2) Dancing for Balanchine by Merrill Ashley      3) George Balanchine: Ballet Master: A Biography by Richard Buckle in Collaboration with John Taras

May 2020

36 min 15 sec

The newest episode of Hear the Dance is a special two-part discussion of Diamonds, the glittering final movement of Balanchine's Jewels, from the perspective of the lead ballerina. In this first installment, host Silas Farley interviews iconic former Principal Dancer Merrill Ashley, who recalls learning the corps role in her first season as a member of the Company, and the many factors that aligned in her eventually making her debut in the lead role. Now, as a répéteur with the Balanchine Trust, Ashley has taught Jewels to companies in America and abroad; as she describes it, this particular movement in the ballet is “cool, but hot—like a diamond.” (36:33) Continue listening to Part Two of this episode. Music: Pelléas et Mélisande (1898) by Gabriel Fauré Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra (1929) by Igor Stravinsky Symphony No. 3 in D major, Op. 29 (1875) by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky Recommended Reading: 1) Holding On to the Air: An Autobiography by Suzanne Farrell and Toni Bentley        2) Dancing for Balanchine by Merrill Ashley      3) George Balanchine: Ballet Master: A Biography by Richard Buckle in Collaboration with John Taras

May 2020

36 min 32 sec

“This is a hot summer day, in a studio, in New York City.” So former NYCB dancer Dr. Afshin Mofid recalls Jerome Robbins’ description of the setting and mood of his Afternoon of a Faun, an innocently sensual pas de deux that premiered on NYCB’s stage in 1953. In this installment of Hear the Dance, hosted by Silas Farley, Mofid joins former NYCB Principal Dancer Kay Mazzo to share their memories of rehearsing with Robbins and performing Faun, a formative ballet for both of their careers. (50:27) Music: Prélude á l'Après-midi d'un Faune (1892-1894) by Claude Debussy Recommended Reading: 1) Diaghilev: A Life by Sjeng Scheijen 2) Nijinsky Dancing by Lincoln Kirstein 3) Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins by Amanda Vaill 4) Jerome Robbins, by Himself: Selections from His Letters, Journals, Drawings, Photographs, and an Unfinished Memoir by Jerome Robbins, edited by Amanda Vaill

May 2020

50 min 26 sec

In the second part of this special edition of Hear the Dance, Silas Farley and former NYCB Principal Dancer Patricia McBride continue their expansive conversation on her impressive career—from working with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, to the oral tradition between ballet dancers as they hand down roles over the years, to her current career teaching the Balanchine technique and more to the students of Charlotte Ballet in North Carolina, where she is the Associate Artistic Director, and where Silas began his own ballet training. McBride shares intimate recollections of her years on the NYCB stage, including how her own “decorations” continue in present-day performances of many of the ballets she originated. (35:58) This is a continuation of Part 1 of this episode. Music: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major (1931) by Igor Stravinsky Apollon Musagéte (1928) by Igor Stravinsky Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra (1929) by Igor Stravinsky Symphony No. 1 in C major (1855) by Georges Bizet Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56, 'Scotch,' (1842) by Felix Mendelssohn

May 2020

35 min 58 sec

The latest episode of City Ballet The Podcast is a special two-part Hear the Dance, hosted by NYCB Soloist Silas Farley, with special guest Patricia McBride. Her illustrious 30-year career with NYCB—highlighted by her promotion to principal dancer at just 18 years old—included 60 different roles, 30 of which were created for her. In this first part of their wide-ranging discussion, Farley and McBride discuss her early years in the Company and working with Balanchine, through the 1964 premiere of Rubies. (41:23) Continue listening to Part Two of this episode. Music: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major (1931) by Igor Stravinsky Apollon Musagéte (1928) by Igor Stravinsky Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra (1929) by Igor Stravinsky Symphony No. 1 in C major (1855) by Georges Bizet Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56, 'Scotch,' (1842) by Felix Mendelssohn

May 2020

41 min 23 sec

This week’s edition of Hear the Dance with Silas Farley is a special live recording of Inside NYCB on Apollo, captured during 2018’s annual Saturday at the Ballet with George event celebrating Balanchine. Joined by NYCB Music Director Andrew Litton, Silas discusses the legacy of and compositional inspirations for Balanchine’s first active collaboration with composer Igor Stravinsky; the oldest ballet in the Company’s repertory, Apollo was a foundational piece for both NYCB and the choreographer. The presentation includes a demonstration accompanied by Piano Soloist Nancy McDill, and concludes with a brief word from Ballet Master Craig Hall on the unique, inspiring challenges of performing the lead role. (26:35) Music: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major (1931) by Igor Stravinsky Apollon Musagéte (1928) by Igor Stravinsky Reading List: Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet by Jennifer Homans Stravinsky and Balanchine: A Journey of Invention by Charles M. Joseph I Was a Dancer by Jacques d'Amboise Stravinsky in the Theatre (1947 Issue of Lincoln Kirstein's Magazine, Dance Index) by George Balanchine, Aaron Copland, et al

Apr 2020

26 min 39 sec

City Ballet The Podcast is back with a new edition of See the Music originally recorded at a 2018 performance. Resident Conductor Daniel Capps gives a brief history of Tschaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 3, the composer’s final completed orchestral work. Joined by Solo Pianist Elaine Chelton and the NYCB Orchestra, Capps demonstrates the concerto’s unique development from a three-movement symphony to the bravura piano piece as it is currently performed, and to which Balanchine choreographed his 1956 ballet Allegro Brillante. (15:50) Music: Piano Concerto No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 75 (1892) by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky

Apr 2020

15 min 34 sec

In this special bonus episode of See the Music recorded live in the David H. Koch Theater, Resident Conductor Daniel Capps briefly surveys the history and unique musical qualities of Aaron Copland’s Rodeo, which provides the score for Justin Peck’s Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes. Capps and the NYCB Orchestra demonstrate how Copland uses familiar folk songs and rhythmic invention to convey a distinct Americanness, achieving for the piece a place in the “very fabric of American identity.” (13:13) Music: Rodeo (1942) by Aaron Copland All music performed by the New York City Ballet Orchestra.

Mar 2020

13 min 13 sec

In this week’s episode of See the Music, NYCB Music Director Andrew Litton introduces us to the score of Jerome Robbins’ In G Major: Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto from 1931. With live demonstrations on the piano, Litton explores the American influences and jazzy nuances of this late work from the French impressionist composer, relating which passage he considers “achingly beautiful” and his personal connection to the piece. (24:28) Music:  Symphony in Three Movements (1945) by Igor Stravinsky Piano Concerto in G Major (1928-31) by Maurice Ravel

Feb 2020

24 min 28 sec

In a lively, wide-ranging discussion about the relationship between music and choreography, Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan is joined by composer Nico Muhly, who is currently collaborating on a new work with Justin Peck premiering at NYCB on February 26. Muhly muses on the manner in which ballet has enriched his appreciation of the works of Stravinsky, why he loves watching from the wings, and how his newest work is like a musical scavenger hunt for Peck. (42:36) Music: "Sisyphus" by Andrew Wegman Bird Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. as agent for Muffet Music Co

Feb 2020

42 min 36 sec

This episode of City Ballet The Podcast is the first ever Hear the Dance recorded live from a recent Inside NYCB presentation hosted by Silas Farley on the uniquely fruitful collaboration between George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky. Silas is joined on stage by Company members and musicians from the NYCB Orchestra for demonstrations of excerpts from the Stravinsky/Balanchine partnership, as well as conductor Clotilde Otranto and Kay Mazzo, Chairman of the Faculty School of American Ballet and a former NYCB principal dancer, to discuss the music and choreography of the two titans’ careers. (56:06) Reading List for Hear the Dance Live: Stravinsky & Balanchine Stravinsky and Balanchine: A Journey of Invention by Charles M. Joseph Stravinsky’s Ballets by Charles M. Joseph Stravinsky Inside Out by Charles M. Joseph An Autobiography by Igor Stravinsky Stravinsky: A Creative Spring: Russia and France, 1882-1934 by Stephen Walsh Stravinsky: The Second Exile: France and America, 1934-1971 by Stephen Walsh Stravinsky: Chronicle of a Friendship by Robert Craft Stravinsky: Discoveries and Memories by Robert Craft The Stravinsky Festival of The New York City Ballet by Nancy Goldner Holding on to the Air by Suzanne Farrell with Toni Bentley   Music:  Apollo (1928) by Igor Stravinsky Danses Concertantes (1942) by Igor Stravinsky Agon (1957) by Igor Stravinsky Firebird (1910) by Igor Stravinsky Violin Concerto in D (1931) by Igor Stravinsky Duo Concertant (1932) by Igor Stravinsky

Feb 2020

56 min 6 sec

In this episode of See the Music, NYCB Music Director Andrew Litton dives into the history and particular genius of Tschaikovsky’s treasured Swan Lake score. Joined by NYCB Concertmaster Kurt Nikkanen on the violin, Litton demonstrates the use of specific instruments and musical motifs to portray the characters of Odette and her dark opposite, Odile, and reveals what he considers to be the seven greatest measures Tschaikovsky ever composed. (17:16)

Feb 2020

17 min 16 sec

In this week’s installment of Hear the Dance, Silas Farley is joined by the two dancers who will perform the solo in Balanchine’s Episodes choreographed on Paul Taylor in 1959, NYCB Soloist Jovani Furlan and guest artist and former Paul Taylor company member Michael Trusnovec. Jovani, who performed the solo as a dancer at Miami City Ballet, shares his experience of learning the solo from former NYCB dancer Peter Frame, who’d learned it from Taylor in 1986 – and then teaching it to Michael in turn. Together they reflect on the special intimacy and historical excavation intrinsic to the oral tradition that has kept this special solo alive through the decades. (50:46) Reading List For Episodes Private Domain by Paul Taylor Anton Webern: A Chronicle of His Life and Work by Hans Moldenhauer in Collaboration with Rosaleen Moldenhuaer Deep Song: The Dance Story of Martha Graham by Ernestine Stodelle Once a Dancer: An Autobiography by Allegra Kent Thirty Years: Lincoln Kirstein’s The New York City Ballet by Lincoln Kirstein MusicConcerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major (1931) by Igor Stravinsky Variations, Op. 30 by Anton Webern (1940) by Anton Webern Ricercata in 6 Voices from Musical Offering (1935) by Johann Sebastian Bach

Jan 2020

50 min 46 sec

Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky joins Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan to discuss Voices, his new ballet for NYCB,  which premieres at the company’s annual New Combinations evening on January 30, 2020. Ratmansky describes his early career as a dancer in Kiev and the importance of watching bootleg VHS recordings of dance in his early development as a choreographer. Listeners will also find out how he came to set a ballet to Peter Ablinger’s complex, avant-garde composition, Voices and Piano, a departure for him musically, and why he feels NYCB is the best place to address the unique challenges this music has presented. (33:27)

Jan 2020

33 min 27 sec

In the lead-up to the return of Balanchine’s Firebird later this month, Silas Farley is joined by former NYCB Principal Dancer Merrill Ashley for this episode of Hear the Dance. They discuss her recollections of Firebird from early childhood memories of seeing Maria Tallchief dance the role at Jacob’s Pillow through her 30-plus years as a dancer at NYCB, including her own performances as a monster, a maiden, and in the ballet’s title role. Merrill reminisces with Silas about preparations for the Stravinsky Festival in 1972 and the spectacle created by the combination of Chagall’s exotic designs, Karinska’s beautifully hand-crocheted costumes, and the increasingly difficult-to-maneuver wings for the Firebird, as well as her recent work teaching Balanchine’s choreography around the world. (42:25) Music Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major (1931) by Igor Stravinsky Firebird Suite for Orchestra (1945), from Firebird (1910) by Igor Stravinsky Performed by the New York City Ballet Orchestra Reading List America’s Prima Ballerina by Maria Tallchief Dancing for Balanchine by Merrill Ashley Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes by Lynn Garafola

Jan 2020

42 min 25 sec

In the final episode of Season Two of City Ballet The Podcast, Claire Kretzschmar and Aarón Sanz welcome Principal Dancer (and law student) Abi Stafford to the Rosin Box to discuss the challenges and rewards of juggling educational pursuits with a professional dancing career. Plus, Abi aces a pop quiz with some pretty obscure questions and Claire and Aaron answer listener questions on foot care, performance hacks, and pointe shoe maintenance. From all of us, thank you for listening to Season Two, and we’ll be back with new episodes at the start of Winter performances in late January. (38:51) Music "Je ne t’aime plus" by Pink Martini. Courtesy of Pink Martini & Heinz Records.

Dec 2019

38 min 51 sec

The art of ballet doesn't exist in a vacuum, and in the second half of this two-part episode of Hear the Dance, Silas Farley and cultural scholar Elizabeth Kendall, author of the 2013 book Balanchine & the Lost Muse Revolution & the Making of a Choreographer, discuss how the aftershocks of the Russian Revolution affected Balanchine's development as a choreographer, and the events that lead up to his dramatic departure from Russia in 1924. (34:20) This is a continuation of Part 1 of this episode. MusicThe Nutcracker by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky Romance in E-Flat Major, Op. 44 No. 1 by Anton Rubinstein Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat Major by Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op 35: Marche funebre - lento Frédéric Chopin Reading List (Pt. 1 & Pt. 2) Balanchine and the Lost Muse: Revolution and the Making of a Choreographer by Elizabeth Kendall Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky: Interviews with George Balanchine by Solomon Volkov Balanchine’s Complete Stories of the Great Ballets by George Balanchine and Francis Mason Choura: The Memoirs of Alexandra Danilova By Alexandra Danilova Split Seconds: A Remembrance by Tamara Geva

Dec 2019

34 min 19 sec

In an extended conversation with Silas Farley, cultural scholar Elizabeth Kendall, author of the 2013 book Balanchine & the Lost Muse Revolution & the Making of a Choreographer, discusses her extensive research into Balanchine's childhood and youth in in pre- and post-Revolutionary Russia. The first half of this two-part Hear the Dance episode on Balanchine's early life focuses on Georgi Balanchivadze's origins — including the lives of his parents, his early childhood years in the Finnish countryside, and the beginnings of his dance training at the Imperial Theater School. (42:52) Continue listening to Part 2 of this episode. MusicWily Tamara by Meliton Balanchivadze The Sleeping Beauty by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky Reading List (Pt. 1 & Pt. 2) Balanchine and the Lost Muse: Revolution and the Making of a Choreographer by Elizabeth Kendall Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky: Interviews with George Balanchine by Solomon Volkov Balanchine’s Complete Stories of the Great Ballets by George Balanchine and Francis Mason Choura: The Memoirs of Alexandra Danilova By Alexandra Danilova Split Seconds: A Remembrance by Tamara Geva

Dec 2019

42 min 52 sec

Don’t just step behind the curtain, come all the way backstage on this week's episode of The Rosin Box. Hosts Claire Kretzschmar and Aarón Sanz chat with three Company members who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that every performance runs as smoothly as possible: Director of Production Marquerite Mehler, Assistant Wardrobe Mistress Marlene Hamm, and Wardrobe Master John Radwick. And this week, Claire candidly answers a listener question about pointe shoe prep. Music"Je ne t’aime plus" by Pink Martini. Courtesy of Pink Martini & Heinz Records.

Dec 2019

38 min 16 sec

Dancing can certainly run in the family, as evidenced by the multiple sibling pairs that have passed through the Company over the years. And while our dancers may find a chosen family among their colleagues, this week on The Rosin Box, hosts Claire Kretzschmar and Aarón Sanz chat with sisters Claire and Emma Von Enck about what it’s like to pursue a professional dance career with members of your biological family. Plus, Claire and Aarón answer a listener question about balancing technique and acting when tacking a character role. (31:03) Music: "Je ne t’aime plus" by Pink Martini. Courtesy of Pink Martini & Heinz Records.

Dec 2019

31 min 3 sec

Hosts Claire Kretzschmar and Aarón Sanz delve into the Company’s dancer ranks in this episode of The Rosin Box. They get the full scoop on a dancer’s life at each level with Apprentices Cainan Weber and Savannah Durham, Senior Corps de Ballet Member Gretchen Smith, and Principal Dancer Russell Janzen. Plus, Claire and Aarón introduce a new segment where they answer questions submitted by listeners via Instagram Stories. (37:06) Music: "Je ne t’aime plus" by Pink Martini. Courtesy of Pink Martini & Heinz Records.

Dec 2019

37 min 6 sec

Join hosts Claire Kretzschmar and Aarón Sanz as they invite celebrated Principal Dancer Maria Kowroski to step into The Rosin Box, for the series’ inaugural episode. Embarking on her 25th year with the Company, Maria talks about tackling a multitude of principal roles at an early age, including her debut at just 19 in George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, her new perspective on ballet after the birth of her first child, and some really interesting entrances while performing in Russia. (35:41)   Music: "Je ne t’aime plus" by Pink Martini. Courtesy of Pink Martini & Heinz Records.

Nov 2019

35 min 25 sec