ABT announces performances in Taipei

TASTE OF CULTURE::Although it has been 12 years since the American Ballet Theater performed in Taiwan, several of the dancers still managed to develop a local fan base

By Diane Baker  /  Staff Reporter

Tue, Feb 28, 2012 - Page 2

The American Ballet Theater (ABT) and Art Wave Inc yesterday announced the troupe would be coming to Taipei for five performances at the National Theater in July.

ABT general manager David Lansky said the full company and support staff would be coming — 130 people in all — for the troupe’s second appearance in Taiwan since its premiere at the National Theater in 2000, when it performed Don Quixote.

In the intervening years, the company was named the US’ national ballet company by the US Congress in 2006.

The company will be bringing its full-length production of La Bayadere, a 19th-century Russian classic that was basically unknown in the West until 1961, Lansky told a press conference in Taipei yesterday.

ABT’s production was staged by one of the company’s prima ballerinas, Natalia Markova, in 1980, based on the version she danced when she was with the Kirov Ballet in what was then Leningrad.

The company will perform La Bayadere four times. However, its visit to the National Theater will open on July 12 with a mixed gala bill that features George Balanchine’s 1943 ballet Apollo and three more modern pas de deux and closes with Christopher Wheeldon’s Thirteen Diversions, which the company premiered in New York in May last year.

The Evergreen Symphony Orchestra will accompany ABT for all five shows.

“Wherever we go we use local orchestras, even in the US,” Lansky said, adding that the company’s own conductors would arrive earlier than the rest of the troupe in July to rehearse with the Evergreen musicians.

Lansky and a small technical team arrived on Sunday to familiarize themselves with the theater facilities and work out details of the tour.

Although it has been 12 years since the company has visited Taiwan, several of the principal dancers and soloists already have a solid fan base, having appeared in recent years with the annual International Ballet Star Gala, organized by -ballet teacher turned impresario Wang Tzer-shing (王澤馨), who now runs Art Wave with her husband, Hsieh Tzong-yi (謝宗益). Marcelo Gomes, Julie Kent, Paloma Herrera, Xiomara Reyes, Sarah Lane, Cory Sterns and Daniil Simkin will all be appearing with the company in July.

Lanksy assured fans that David Hallberg, who now splits his time between ABT and the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, will appear both in the gala show and one of the Bayadere performances.

Tickets for the ABT tour will go on sale on Thursday at the National Theater Concert Hall box offices and online at www.artsticket.com.tw.