Programming will include “Inside Nijinksy’s Diaries” with Emmy-Award winning actor Paul Giamatti, the Suzanne Farrell Ballet’s “Gounod Symphony” preview, and Ta-Nehisi Coates and Benjamin Millepied discussing diversity and dance.
Paul Giamatti brings the diaries of the great Vaslav Nijinsky to life with Joan Acocella, Jennifer Homans, Darryl Pinckney, and Larry Wolff (October 24); The Suzanne Farrell Ballet performs an excerpt from George Balanchine’s Gounod Symphony (September 11); Ta-Nehisi Coates and Benjamin Millepied join Jennifer Homans to discuss diversity in dance (November 6); Avital Ronell gives a talk on philosophy and dance (September 13); and Ian Bostridge delivers the second annual Lincoln Kirstein Lecture on song and dance (December 6). These are the public events presented by the Center for Ballet and the Arts (CBA) at New York University this fall. Entering its third year, CBA at NYU is dedicated to the artistic pursuit and scholarly study of ballet and its related arts and disciplines.
Seating for public events is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call 212.998.8816 or visit the CBA website.
Sunday, September 11, 2016, 3 p.m.
Balanchine’s Gounod Symphony: A Staging-in-Process by Suzanne Farrell
Featuring Suzanne Farrell and Jennifer Homans
NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, NYC
In collaboration with NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet presents a staging-in-process of the second movement of the rarely seen ballet Gounod Symphony, choreographed by George Balanchine. This piece premieres in its entirety at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. this October. The brief performance is followed by a conversation with Jennifer Homans, founder and director of the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University, and Suzanne Farrell, artistic director of The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, where they discuss Farrell’s staging of Gounod Symphony and her work with the company. To purchase tickets visit the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts website.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 6 p.m.
*Dis-tanz:* Distance and Dance in Nietzsche and Heidegger
Featuring Avital Ronell
The Center for Ballet and the Arts, 16 Cooper Square, NYCNoted philosopher Avital Ronell delivers a talk on ballet centering on philosophy’s largely disavowed dependency on dance. Beginning with Kant’s “pink ballet slippers,” and encompassing the work of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and others, Ronell examines the significance of dance moves on various conceptual grids. This event is free but seating is limited. RSVP here.
Monday, October 24, 2016, 7 p.m.
Inside Nijinsky’s Diaries
Featuring Joan Acocella, Paul Giamatti, Jennifer Homans, Darryl Pinckney and Larry Wolff
Co-presented with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
The Center for Ballet and the Arts, 16 Cooper Square, NYC
Emmy-Award winning actor Paul Giamatti performs a reading of excerpts from Vaslav Nijinsky’s diaries, chronicling his profound alienation and descent into madness, as performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov in Letter to a Man, directed by Robert Wilson as part of BAM’s Next Wave Festival. Afterwards, leading thinkers in the field engage in a discussion on dance, madness, and sexuality. Panelists include The New Yorker contributor Joan Acocella, novelist/playwright/essayist Darryl Pinckney, and historian Larry Wolff with CBA Director Jennifer Homans as moderator. This event is free but seating is limited. RSVP Sunday, November 6, 2016, 5:30 p.m.
Diversity and Dance: A Discussion on Race, Equity, and Other-ness in Ballet and Society
Featuring Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jennifer Homans and Benjamin Millepied
Made possible by support from Michele and Timothy Barakett and Cheryl and Blair Effron
Co-presented with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy as part of Festival Albertine 2016
Albertine, 972 Fifth Avenue, NYC
Recently, ballet companies have been denounced for uncritically perpetuating traditions at odds with contemporary society and notions of racial diversity, equality, and social justice. In France, Benjamin Millepied is actively trying to push back against racial stereotyping in the ballet; meanwhile, in the United States, the recent rise of Misty Copeland as the first black female principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre has thrust this decades-old debate into the spotlight. However, in both societies, ballet traditions run deep and those who may have the most to gain from reevaluating ballet’s traditions and labels – minorities and dancers of color – are some of its staunchest supporters.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Benjamin Millepied, and historian Jennifer Homans discuss race, equity, and other-ness in ballet against a larger backdrop of identity politics in American and French society today. This event is free but seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016, 6 p.m.
Lincoln Kirstein Lecture
Featuring Ian Bostridge
Sponsored by the American Express Foundation
Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center, 129 West 67th Street, NYC
This year marks the second annual Lincoln Kirstein Lecture, featuring internationally renowned tenor Ian Bostridge. In honor of Lincoln Kirstein, one of the most significant influences on 20th Century American culture, the series pays tribute to Kirstein’s significant leadership and wide-ranging contributions to New York City’s cultural life. In this spirit Mr. Bostridge, an Oxford scholar of political science and history, as well as an opera and lieder singer, will deliver a new and significant lecture on song and dance. This event is free. RSVP here.
The Center for Ballet and the Arts is made possible by major support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and New York University.
Established in fall 2014 by former dancer and historian Jennifer Homans, the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU is an international institute for scholars and artists of ballet and its related arts and sciences. It exists to inspire new ideas and new ballets, expanding the way we think about ballet and bringing vitality to its history, practice, and performance in the 21st century.