Press Room

New York City Ballet MOVES Makes Bard SummerScape Debut with Choreography by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Justin Peck (June 30–July 2

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY: Bard SummerScape 2017 launches with the festival debut of New York City Ballet MOVES, a rotating selection of NYCB principal dancers, soloists, members of the corps de ballet, and musicians under the leadership of NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins. For its first SummerScape engagement, MOVES presents a triple bill that traces the NYCB’s outstanding choreographic lineage to the accompaniment of live music. Dances at a Gathering (1969), by famed NYCB co-founding choreographer Jerome Robbins, is set to piano works by Chopin, subject of the 2017 Bard Music Festival; Duo Concertant (1972), by legendary NYCB co-founder George Balanchine, is set to Stravinsky’s neoclassical violin and piano duet of that name; and In Creases (2012), the first creation for NYCB by its resident choreographer and soloist Justin Peck, is set to music for two pianos by minimalist master Philip Glass. Staged in four performances between June 30 and July 2, the program takes place in the Sosnoff Theater in the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center on Bard College’s glorious Hudson River campus.

With a roster of spectacular dancers and an unparalleled repertory, New York City Ballet is one of the foremost dance companies in the world. Since 2011, NYCB MOVES has sought to share these assets with as wide an audience as possible, taking a streamlined version of the company – but one still featuring its most distinguished principals and soloists – on the road. The SummerScape engagement features principal dancers Jared Angle, Joaquin De Luz, Megan Fairchild, Chase Finlay, Sterling Hyltin, Rebecca Krohn, Lauren Lovette, Sara Mearns, and Taylor Stanley; soloists Sara Adams, Zachary Catazaro, Joseph Gordon, Brittany Pollack, and Indiana Woodward; and corps de ballet dancers Devin Alberda, Daniel Applebaum, Harrison Coll, Aaron Sanz, Kristen Segin, and Lydia Wellington.

Jerome Robbins’s Dances at a Gathering (1969), set to music by Chopin

As in previous seasons, SummerScape 2017 takes its inspiration from the Bard Music Festival, which this year celebrates “Fryderyk Chopin and His World.” No choreographer is more closely associated with the Polish composer than five-time Tony Award-winner and two-time Academy Award-winner Jerome Robbins, who set four major ballets to his music. The second of these is Dances at a Gathering, a work for five couples accompanied by 18 of Chopin’s beloved mazurkas, waltzes, and études for piano. This became an instant classic, and is still recognized as “a multilayered masterpiece of theater” (New York Times) today. As Robbins himself explained:

“The ballet stays and exists in the time of the music and its work. Nothing is out of it, I believe; all gestures and moods, steps, etc. are part of the fabric of the music’s time and its meaning to me.”

George Balanchine’s Duo Concertant (1972), with music by Stravinsky

Music, and indeed the piano, play an equally integral part in Duo Concertant by George Balanchine. Widely recognized as the father of American ballet, it was he who he co-founded the New York City Ballet and served as its artistic leader for more than 35 years, personally collaborating with Stravinsky many times over the course of their long careers. He first heard the great Russian composer’s neoclassical violin and piano duet shortly after its 1932 premiere, in a performance by its dedicatee, violinist Samuel Dushkin, with Stravinsky himself at the keyboard. Nonetheless, it was only many decades later that Balanchine created, as a posthumous tribute for the NYCB’s 1972 Stravinsky Festival, the duet that went on to become one of the company’s most treasured mainstays.
Only the second person in history to hold the position of NYCB resident choreographer, Justin Peck has been called “the ballet world’s next big thing” (CBS News). His first creation for the company, In Creases, is set to the first and third movements of Four Movements for Two Pianos by minimalist master Philip Glass. When it premiered at the NYCB’s summer home in Saratoga Springs, Peck’s ballet made an immediate impact, prompting the New York Times to declare:Justin Peck’s In Creases (2012), with music by Philip Glass

“This is choreography whose forms immediately seize attention. There’s no moment, as so often occurs with young ballet choreographers, when we spot Mr. Peck’s sources. Doubtless he’s steeped in Balanchine, Robbins and others, but he isn’t wearing them on his sleeve. … [In Creases is] a dreamscape that heightens the progress and colors of its score. And its sureness of construction is striking.”

Click here to see a short video profile of Justin Peck.

*          *          *          *          *

SummerScape has presented significant dance performances each summer since 2005. Of last season’s world premiere of Fantasque, a new ballet for live dancers and puppets set to the music of Respighi and Rossini by John Heginbotham and Amy Trompetter, the Financial Times observed:

Fantasque … flout[s] protocols of drama for anti-climaxes that let slip subtle truths. The puppet scenes were minimal, largely silent, and spiked with pauses so well placed that they prompted gratifying streams of association. The vivid dances featured their own sly indirections but without missing a beat. Between the two, a magical atmosphere arose.”

To download high-resolution photos of NYCB MOVES, click here.

Dance at Bard SummerScape 2017

New York City Ballet MOVES (festival debut)

Dances at a Gathering (1969)

Music: Fryderyk Chopin (18 mazurkas, waltzes, and études for piano)

Choreography: Jerome Robbins

Duo Concertant (1972)

Music: Stravinsky (Duo Concertant for violin and piano)

Choreography: George Balanchine
In Creases (2012)

Music: Philip Glass (Four Movements for Two Pianos, movements 1 and 3)

Choreography: Justin Peck

Sosnoff Theater

Fri, June 30 at 7:30pm

Sat, July 1 at 2pm

Sat, July 1 at 7:30pm

Sun, July 2 at 2pm*

Tickets start at $25

* Round-trip bus service from Manhattan is provided exclusively to ticket-holders for the matinee performance on Sunday, July 2.  Reservation is required, and may be made by calling the box office at 845-758-7900 or by selecting this option when purchasing tickets. The round-trip fare is $40 and reservations are required. The coach departs from behind Lincoln Center, on Amsterdam Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets. Find additional details at:

SummerScape 2017: other key performance dates by genre


Bard Music Festival, Weekend One: “Chopin, the Piano, and Musical Culture of the 19th Century” (Aug 11–13)

Bard Music Festival, Weekend Two: “Originality and Influence” (Aug 18–20)


Antonín Dvořák: Dimitrij

Sosnoff Theater

July 28* & August 4 at 7:30 pm

July 30, August 2 & August 6* at 2 pm

Tickets start at $25


The Wooster Group: A PINK CHAIR (IN PLACE OF A FAKE ANTIQUE) (world premiere)

LUMA Theater

July 13, 14, 15*, 20, 21 & 22 at 7:30 pm

July 16*, 19, 22 & 23* at 2 pm

Tickets start at $25


“Chopin and the Image of Romanticism”

Ottaway Film Center

Thursdays and Sundays, July 27–Aug 20

Tickets: $10


Live Music, Cabaret, Festival Dining, and After Hours salon

Dates, times, and prices vary

Bard SummerScape ticket information

Tickets for all Bard SummerScape events are now on sale. For tickets and further information on all SummerScape events, call the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7900 or visit


SummerScape opera, theater, and dance performances and most Bard Music Festival programs are held in the Sosnoff Theater or LUMA Theater in Bard’s Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, designed by Frank Gehry and celebrated since its opening as a major architectural landmark in the region. Some chamber programs and other BMF events are in Olin Hall, and the Spiegeltent has its own schedule of events, in addition to serving as a restaurant, café, and bar before and after performances. Film Series screenings are at the Jim Ottaway Jr. Film Center in the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Center.

New York City Round-Trip Coach Transportation:

To make a reservation on the round-trip SummerScape coach provided exclusively to ticket holders for specific performances indicated by * in the listings above, call the box office at 845-758-7900 or select this option when purchasing tickets. The round-trip fare is $40 and reservations are required. The coach departs from behind Lincoln Center, on Amsterdam Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets. Find additional details at:

All programs are subject to change.

The 2017 SummerScape season is made possible in part through the generous support of Jeanne Donovan Fisher, the Martin and Toni Sosnoff Foundation, the Board of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, the Board of the Bard Music Festival, and Fisher Center members, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

#          #          #

© 21C Media Group, June 2017

Return to Press Room