New York City Ballet principal dancer Daniel Ulbricht is back in town with Stars of American Ballet, a chamber-sized group of dancers that tours nationally and internationally during ballet companies’ off-seasons.
Presented by Performance Santa Fe on August 3 and 4 at the Lensic Performing Arts Center, this summer’s Stars of American Ballet performances feature works choreographed by a few of the company’s dancers.
Creating work for the show are Ask La Cour, a former member of the Royal Danish Ballet and current member of the New York City Ballet; Danielle Diniz, a graduate of Cornell University who was part of the national tour of the show “Dirty Dancing;” and Denys Drozdyuk, a native of Ukraine who studied at the Juilliard School in New York and is a three-time World Ballroom Dance Champion.
“We’re presenting two world premieres and one national premiere during our Santa Fe performances,” explains Ulbricht, the director of Stars of American Ballet who dances in the show and also has choreographed a few numbers.
Ulbricht has carefully programmed a variety of works, from classics like “Divertissement Pas de Deux” from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by George Balanchine to “Capti et Liberari,” a new work by Diniz that Ulbricht says “expands the dance repertoire both musically and choreographically.”
Ulbricht is particularly excited about his solo “A Suite of Dances,” which features music by J.S. Bach and choreography by Jerome Robbins.
“It’s been quite a journey to put this piece together,” Ulbricht says about this classic work that recently became available to him. “It’s a piece I couldn’t take on years ago because I wasn’t ready to do it. Robbins originally choreographed the dance for (Mikhail) Baryshnikov in 1994. It’s a masterpiece that requires a great deal of study in order to perform it well.”
Although Stars of American Ballet present Robbins’s piece “In the Night” in both programs, the rest of the two programs feature different works.
The dances in the first half of both programs are accompanied by live music played by pianist Susan Walters and cellist Ann Kim.