Renowned Spanish architect designs sets for NYC Ballet’s Spring Season
Best known for his elegant bridges, Santiago Calatrava was trained as both an architect and an engineer and throughout his career has drawn on both disciplines to create unique structures. However, his body of work has recently taken a different direction as, for the first time since 1981, the New York City ballet have commissioned an architect to design the sets for its new productions.
As part of the company’s new season, appropriately titled ‘Architecture of Dance – New Choreography and Music’, Calatrava was invited to design several multi-functional environments illustrating the theme of movement and flight. This is the first time that Calatrava has designed stage sets and the first time since Philip Johnson (1981) that the honour has been bestowed on an architect. The season will feature seven world premiere ballets and four commissioned scores, all dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts.
Calatrava’s scenic designs will appear in world premiere ballets choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, Melissa Barak, Mauro Bigonzetti and Peter Martins, each being set to one of the four commissioned scores. In addition, Calatrava will also provide the setting for choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s new production, whose score has yet to be announced. To ensure that his concept aligned with their productions, Calatrava met with each of the choreographers to discuss their visions and artistic styles.
Running from May 4 – June 27, 2010, the New York Ballet’s Spring Season will feature performances of over 40 ballets in total; including those five featuring Calatrava’s set designs. Calatrava’s stage designs will be unveiled on 29th April during the Ballet’s Opening Gala and will be premiered on the following dates:
Benjamin Millepied – Commissioned Score by Thierry Escaich
World Premiere: Saturday, May 22
Christopher Wheeldon – Score To Be Announced
World Premiere: Saturday, May 29
Melissa Barak – Commissioned Score by Jay Greenberg
World Premiere: Saturday, June 5
Mauro Bigonzetti – Commissioned Score by Bruno Moretti
World Premiere: Thursday, June 10
Peter Martins – Commissioned Score By Esa-Pekka Salonen
World Premiere: Tuesday, June 22