MICHELE WILES AND CHARLES ASKEGARD LAUNCH BALLET NEXT WITH INAUGURAL PERFORMANCE AT THE JOYCE THEATER, NOVEMBER 21, 2011
NEW YORK, October 24, 2011 – Michele Wiles, former Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre, and Charles Askegard, former Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet, announce the premiere performance of Ballet Next at The Joyce Theater on November 21, 2011. The Company will present new works by four leading choreographers and classical works from Petipa and Balanchine, all performed by internationally acclaimed dancers. Ballet Next Musical Director and concert cellist, Elad Kabilio, will lead a classical ensemble of musicians performing live.
Ballet Next’s debut performance features the world premiere of Mauro Bigonzetti’s La Follia, a duet for Michele Wiles and Drew Jacoby set to Antonio Vivaldi’s trio sonata of the same name. The program also includes: a solo work for Maria Kochetkova entitled One Overture, choreographed in 2011 by Jorma Elo and set to music by Mozart; Entwined, a pas de deux created for Charles Askegard and Jennie Somogyi in 2011 by Margo Sappington with music by Erik Satie; and One, choreographed in 2011 by Robert Sher-Machherndl. Set to “The Nature of Daylight” by Max Richter, One will be performed by Misty Copeland.
The first half of the program is inspired by Tchaikovsky and includes classical works from George Balanchine and Marius Petipa including White Swan Suite, The Sleeping Beauty Pas de Deux, and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux.
Company ballet dancers
In addition to Wiles and Askegard, dancers slated to perform in Ballet Next’s premiere performance include Misty Copeland and Jared Matthews, Soloists with American Ballet Theatre; Drew Jacoby, Founding Dancer-Partner, Jacoby & Pronk; Joaquin De Luz and Jennie Somogyi, Principal Dancers with New York City Ballet; and Maria Kochetkova, Principal Dancer, San Francisco Ballet.
Wiles and Askegard will bring their extensive network of world-class artists and performance standards of the highest level to New York-based Ballet Next. The Company will benefit from a diverse mixture of leading dancers performing both enduring classical works from Petipa to Balanchine, and new works from top collaborating choreographers.
Ballet Next will place an emphasis on strategic business and artistic partnerships to attract audiences from non-traditional areas, establish co-branding opportunities with complementary non-profit and for-profit organizations, and generate unique programming and content.
“This venture comes from a very deep place within me,” said Michele Wiles, Co-Artistic Director. “Ballet Next is allowing us to operate in a very unrestricted environment where the artists can focus on process and quality of work. We want to develop a wonderful atmosphere for taking risks.”
“This is an exquisite opportunity to drive the creation of new works with first-in-class choreographers and dancers,” said Charles Askegard, Co-Artistic Director. “The independent ballet company has been absent from the New York dance scene for a while. It has always been my dream to have the chance to bring elite performing artists together to take advantage of this format.”
Ballet Next is planning a multi-city, international tour in 2012. For further information, please visit the Ballet Next website.
The debut performance of Ballet Next will be on Monday, November 21 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $50 and $90 and are available by calling Joyce Charge (212-242-0800); by visiting The Joyce Theater Box Office (Monday-Friday, 12:00-6:00pm); or by charging them online. A limited number of $140 tickets include a post-performance reception and are available only via the Ballet Next website. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at West 19th Street.
About Michele Wiles
Ms. Wiles was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and began her dance career at age eight. She trained with the Kirov Academy of Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet and The Royal Ballet before joining American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company (now ABT II) in 1997. In 1996, Wiles was a Gold Medal winner at the 18th International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria; a Bronze Medal winner in Nagoya, Japan; and a finalist at the Paris International Dance Competition. She was a Princess Grace Foundation — U.S.A. Dance Fellowship recipient for 1999–2000 and won the Erik Bruhn Prize in 2002. Wiles joined American Ballet Theatre in 1998. She was promoted to Soloist in 2000, and was a Principal Dancer from 2005 through 2011.
About Charles Askegard
Charles was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and began his dance training at the age of five with the Minnesota Dance Theatre. At age 18, Mr. Askegard joined the corps of American Ballet Theatre and was promoted to soloist in 1992. In 1997, he joined New York City Ballet where he served as Principal Dancer from 1998 until 2011. Mr. Askegard has appeared in several nationally televised events including Live from Lincoln Center broadcast, “New York City Ballet’s Diamond Project: Ten Years of New Choreography” on PBS, and “Lincoln Center Celebrates Balanchine 100.” Mr. Askegard has been a guest performer for the Dutch National Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Bavarian State Opera, and Pacific Northwest Ballet.