Ballet NY is the New York City-based ballet company, founded in 1997 by former New York City Ballet Principal Ballerina Judith Fugate and International Guest Artist Medhi Bahiri. It is a company of accomplished principal and soloist dancers. Foremost in Ballet NY’s mission is to offer emerging choreographers the opportunity to create new works on accomplished dancers. The Company is committed to keeping ticket prices affordable in an effort to attract, cultivate and educate new audiences for dance.
The Company made an extremely successful New York City debut at The Joyce Theater in March 1999. Since then, Ballet NY has performed annually at a variety of theaters in Manhattan.
In 2001, the Company made a triumphant return to The Joyce with two World Premieres (by Peter Martins and Stanton Welch) and in 2002, Ballet NY’s performances at Symphony Space proved to be yet another critical success. In keeping with its desire to nurture promising young choreographers and offer its audiences a wide range of styles, the Company presented two more commissioned works (by Thaddeus Davis and Sarah Slipper) during that season. Ballet NY returned to Symphony Space in 2004 with three Company Premieres (George Balanchine, Antony Tudor and Ann Marie DeAngelo), a World Premiere (Thaddeus Davis) and a revival (Peter Martins), and toured to South Dakota, Kansas and California.
2005 began with performances at Syracuse University, Fairfield, CT and Stockton, CA, followed by a groundbreaking third season at The Joyce with four World Premieres by emerging American choreographers (Jodie Gates, Davis Robertson, Alan Hineline and Helen Heineman), two of which were performed to commissioned scores (Jerome Begin and David Homan, composers) and played live at each performance.
Tour locations in 2006 included Florida, California, Hawaii and Albany, NY, just to name a few. In June of 2006, Ballet NY’s Joyce Theater season included Company Premieres by John Butler and Francis Patrelle and encores by Stanton Welch, Thaddeus Davis and Toni Pimble. The Company returned to perform at Syracuse University in November where discussions are ongoing for an annual residency there in addition to creating a dance program, enhancing their already impressive arts programs.
In early 2007, Ballet NY performed at the Byham Theater in Pittsburgh, PA and in April, the Company was honored to be invited to participate in a performance retrospective of choreographer John Butler’s work at The Joyce Theater. Ballet NY’s 2007 New York City season was held at the Miller Theatre at Columbia University. The Company extended its commitment to creating and performing new works with two World Premieres by choreographers William Soleau and Lisa deRibere. Also on the program were a Company Premiere by Helen Heineman and an encore presentation by Thaddeus Davis. This combination of newer works that highlight the extraordinary talents of today’s emerging choreographers and previous Company successes provide a showcase for the impressive artistry of our dancers and supports our mission to cultivate, educate & develop new audiences.
Ballet NY’s 2008 New York City season was held at The Joyce Theater in September. The program once again combined artistry and elegance with athleticism and cutting-edge choreography.
Due to the economic crisis in 2009, Ballet NY opted not to present a New York season. But, in the fall of 2010, the Company held its New York City season at the Ailey Citigroup Theater in mid-town Manhattan. Highlights of the program included two World Premiere works by Artistic Director Medhi Bahiri created especially for the season and a New York Premiere by renowned choreographer William Soleau.
Ballet NY returned to the Ailey Citigroup Theater for its 2011 season. The highlight of the program was a duet from Agnes DeMille’s “The Other.” Originally choreographed in 1992 (Ms. DeMille’s last work) for American Ballet Theater, the pas de deux was staged by renowned American ballerina Amanda McKerrow (for whom the female lead was created). Mary Cargill of DanceViewTimes said: “Ballet NY deserves a salute for bringing it back.” (See our Reviews page for the entire review). Also on the program, was a World Premiere by Mr. Bahiri and two encores.
In April, 2012, Ballet NY traveled to California for two collaborative performances with Ballet San Joaquin and in August, the Company returned to the Ailey Citigroup Theater for its 12th NYC season. In keeping with its mission, Ballet NY invited emerging choreographer John-Mark Owen to stage two duets from his ballet “Triptych.” In addition, Mr. Bahiri created one World Premiere and a work in progress. And, by popular demand, “Duet from The Other” was presented as an encore.
In 2014, Ballet NY presented its 13th NYC season again at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. On the program were Company Premieres by three female American choreographers and a reworking of a piece by Mr. Bahiri. Antonia Franceschi’s “Kinderszenen” is set to music by Allen Shawn and was played live by pianist Yoshiko Sato. “Dreams”, created by Boston-based Margot Parsons and excerpts from Ginger Thatcher’s “Urban Study” were also presented. Mr. Bahiri’s “In the Garden of Souls” completed the program.
In July of 2015, Ballet NY offered its NYC audiences another versatile and exciting program. Four very different choreographers were showcased on the mixed bill. John Butler’s dramatic telling of “Othello” was followed by a World Premiere contemporary work by Mr. Bahiri entitled “What Ever.” William Forsythe’s “Slingerland Duet” is the second piece by that renowned choreographer that the Company has acquired. And finally, “Orange” by Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch closed out the program.
2016 began with a week-long trip to Palm Springs, CA for a series of educational programs for their Unified School District which included master classes, choreography workshops and an informal performance for the students and faculty. Following the performance, we opened the floor for Q&A’s with the Company dancers and us, where we had extremely enthusiastic and intelligent questions from the students.