As of this Monday, The Brooklyn Nutcracker Sweet! Kickstarter is officially LIVE! This production has been a long time in the making, and we are thrilled to finally give it the time, money, and creativity it deserves. But we can’t do it alone! As many of you know, putting any high caliber production on stage is an expensive endeavor, and this performance is no exception. Please take a look at our promo video and Kickstarter profile to see the magic of The Brooklyn Nutcracker Sweet! for yourself.
The Brooklyn Nutcracker Sweet! will provide the boroughs’ youth with opportunities to perform, expand our annual performance season with superb talent, fuse contemporary dance forms with classical ballet, and bring a one-of-a-kind “Brooklyn-ized” Nutcracker to the place we call home. This production is truly the embodiment of what Brooklyn Ballet stands for: artistic excellence, collaboration, and diversity.
So far we have raised $3,329 and we have 13 amazing backers we’d like to take a moment to thank:
Thank you for your continued support and generous pledges!
Visit Kickstarter if you'd like to help keep the momentum going!
Announcing The Brooklyn Nutcracker Sweet!
Artistic Director Lynn Parkerson saw a unique opportunity to fuse a contemporary perspective with ballet technique by combining the magical Nutcracker tale with the celebrated diversity of Brooklyn. While her dream has been a long time in the making–Brooklyn Ballet has been showing Nutcracker excerpts since 2005–we are staging the pieces together in a single event for the very first time. By incorporating street and modern dance, infusing African dance styles, and placing the dancers in a multicultural, intergenerational setting on Flatbush Avenue, the Brooklyn Nutcracker Sweet reflects the very heart and soul of Brooklyn.
Over thirty children from our school program will perform in the event, alongside our seasoned professional dancers and guest artists. The Brooklyn Nutcracker Sweet will also feature several incredible collaborations with local artists. In addition to the motion sensor tutus we created in 2014, we will showcase a brand new touch-sensor tutu designed by collaborator Leila Ligougne. The production will be further brought to life with the help of an updated set design created by acclaimed visual and conceptual artist Avram Finkelstein.
In our endeavor to produce this revitalized, one-of-a-kind production of the Nutcracker, we will be launching a Kickstarter campaign on November 9. Check back on the blog for updates on the Kickstarter, and please consider donating!
The Brooklyn Nutcracker Sweet will run from December 9-13 at The Actors Fund Arts Center at 160 Schermerhorn Street. You may purchase tickets here. Please keep in mind that space is limited and we are expecting tickets to sell out. We hope to see you there!
Brooklyn Ballet Heads into the Fall/Winter Season
Two weekends ago we had a lively and well attended children's audition for our one-of-a-kind Brooklyn Nutcracker Sweet. We will be starting rehearsals at the beginning of October and we can hardly wait to hear Nutcracker notes drifting out of our studio speakers! In October we will be launching our Kickstarter campaign for the Brooklyn Nutcracker, so be sure to stay stuned for a special promo video and updates. Most importantly, save the date for a week of Nutcracker performances December 9th-13th at the Actors Fund Theater-there's no better way to celebrate the holiday season with your family and friends!
In case you can't wait until December to see Brooklyn Ballet perform, we have several community performances coming up–including our rescheduled Take Ballet to the Streets program which will be this Thursday, September 24th at 5 PM in the Target Community Garden. Additionally, the Brooklyn Ballet Company and Youth Ensemble will perform at the annual Atlantic Antic festival this Sunday, September 27th at 2:30 PM. Finally, if you're in the Boston area we will perform at the MIT Hacking Arts conference this Saturday, September 26th. Our artistic director Lynn Parkerson will be part of a panel and the Brooklyn Ballet company will also showcase our infamous motion sensor costumes. If you're in the area we would love your support!
Last but certainly not least, Brooklyn Ballet will perform alongside other guest artists LiteFeet Nation, Chrybaby Cozie, Cheryl McGinnis, and DJ Alberto Denis at the Dance Enthusiast Dance-Art-Fusion Party at Gibney Dance on Tuesday, October 13th from 6:15-9:15 PM. All ticket holders will enjoy food, drink, socializing, performance, and art making!
Please visit the Performance Calendar section of the site for more details about the above performances, and to stay updated about performances later in the season.
Brooklyn Ballet Open House: Saturday, September 12th
As a new season begins at Brooklyn Ballet, we would like to invite you to participate in free sample classes at our Open House on Saturday, September 12th from 9:45 AM-6:15 PM. All ages welcome! See below for the detailed Open House schedule.
9:45-10:15 - Pre-Ballet I/II (ages 3 and 4 by September) with Jillian Greis
10:30-11:00 - Elementary Ballet I/II (ages 5 and 6 by September) with Elisabet Pereira
11:00-11:30 - Boys Ballet (ages 8+ by September) with David Fernandez
11:30-12:00 - Broadway Jazz (ages 8+ by September) with Oshi Wanigasekera
12:00-1:00 - *Ballet I/II (ages 8+ by September) with David Fernandez
1:00-2:00 - *Modern (ages 10+) with Djassi Johnson
2:00-3:00 - *Ballet III/IV with Yana Volkova
5:00-6:15 - Adult Ballet Fundamentals with Yana Volkova
As an added bonus, Capezio dancewear will be having a popup shop in the Brooklyn Ballet studios from 9 AM-3 PM if you are interested in buying any dance apparel.
The Brooklyn Nutcracker Sweet! Youth Audition
It's beginning to feel a lot like fall, and that means Nutcracker is right around the corner!
We are excited to be presenting a new holiday production, The Brooklyn Nutcracker Sweet! - an excerpt of Nutcracker dances this December 9-13 at The Actors Fund Arts Center in Downtown Brooklyn.
We're holding an audition for young dancers ages 9-15 on Sunday, September 13th at Brooklyn Ballet:
Ages 9-12 – 1:30-2:30
Ages 12-15 – 2:30-3:30
You may register for the audition by clicking here. We look forward to seeing you there!
Brooklyn Ballet to perform at Kings Theatre
Join us for a celebratory performance at King's Theatre on Monday April 27 at 8pm to re-introduce this historic landmark to Brooklyn. Brooklyn Ballet will peform excerpts from “The Brooklyn Nutcracker” as well as a short preview of pieces from our latest season “Roots & New Ground”. Other groups set to perform include Brooklyn Youth Chorus, TriBeCaStan, and Casym Steel Orchestra. This performance is FREE but you must RSVP through ticketmaster to claim your seat. Details for this performance are below. We hope to see you there!
Monday, April 27th at 8pm
1027 Flatbush Ave Brooklyn, NY 11226
On Set of ABC's "Forever"
We love a good TV drama so when we got the call and were asked to participate in the taping of ABC's tv series, “Forever”, we were extremely excited for the opportunity! Brooklyn Ballet company dancers taped a ballet scene with esteemed ballerina, Irina Dvorovenko, for the series two weeks ago. Forever is a series about Doctor Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd), New York City's star medical examiner who studies the dead to solve criminal cases to solve the mystery that has eluded him for 200 years—the answer to his own inexplicable immortality. The episode we're featured in was directed by John Kretchmer and is produced by Warner Bros. Television with executive producers, Matt Miller (Chuck, Las Vegas), Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes, Gangster Squad) and Jennifer Gwartz (Veronica Mars, Cupid, Party Down). Forever stars Ioan Gruffurd, Alana De La Garza, Joel David Moore, Donnie Keshawarz, Lorraine Toussaint and Judd Hirsch. This episode will air on Tuesday, April 7th 10pm EST but for now enjoy our behind the scene footage on set.
From top of photos: BB Dancers with Forever's star Ioan Gruffurd, BB Dancers with highly respected ballerina, Irina Dvorovenko.
Spring Forward with "Roots & New Ground"
It's almost the end of our winter blues in Brooklyn as the sun begins to melt the snow and spring slowly thrives forward, giving us a new season. It's also the best part of year for us because it's the most creative time to collaborate with different artists and prepare for our spring production, “Roots & New Ground”. We're very excited to showcase new works by David Fernandez, Michael “Big Mike” Fields, Emily Oleson, Matthew Powell, and a revival by Artistic Director Lynn Parkerson. We are also collaborating with composer and cellist Malcolm Parson on a few pieces he's written for the season.
Rehearsal began in the middle of February, so we're working out each piece and expanding more ideas as the production progresses. We look forward to presenting “Roots & New Ground” to our audience and can't wait to meet you all April 16-19 at The Actor's Fund Arts Center. To purchase tickets, click here.
Check out some rehearsal photos below:
Wild, Wonderful West Virginia!
Brooklyn Ballet travelled to West Virginia from November 1-3, 2014 to perform and teach master classes.
The performance featured special guest dancers Emily Oleson (Professor of Dance at Davis & Elkins), Matthew Olwell, and members of the Appalachian Ensemble String Band, alongside excerpts of Brooklyn Ballet signature dance pieces such as “Spiders Cooks and Mood Swings”, and “The Brooklyn Nutcracker”. There were over 450 audience members in attendance.
Brooklyn Ballet company members taught four master classes in ballet and hip-hop to 87 students, and had a wonderful time touring D & E's gorgeous campus. A big thank you to Davis & Elkins for hosting Brooklyn Ballet's residency!
CounterPointe & 2015 Season - Save the dates!
Brooklyn Ballet Presents CounterPointe on April 10-12, in collaboration with Norte Maar. The series, curated by Julia K. Gleich, features work by established and emerging women choreographers making new work on pointe.
The following weekend, April 16-19, is Brooklyn Ballet's 2015 Season. This year's annual season is a program of dances and collaborations including a revival by Founding Artistic Director Lynn Parkerson, new works by David Fernandez, Emily Oleson, and Matthew Powell, plus another sneak peek of The Brooklyn Nutcracker. With live music by Malcolm Parson & the Brooklyn Ballet String Band!
Brooklyn Ballet Performs at Dance at Socrates!
Join Brooklyn Ballet's professional company and youth ensemble for a free outdoor performance in the lovely Socrates Sculpture Park.
Saturday, August 23rd @ 4:00pm
Socrates Sculpture Park is located at 32-01 Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, NY. Click here for performance details.
Brooklyn Ballet Bessie Nomination!
Brooklyn Ballet's design team of Avram Finkelstein, Kathy Morganroth, and Jenny Mui of YMX by Yellowman; Patricia Forelle; and Nicholas and Sayaka Vermeer, Olivia Barr, and William Ward of NYC Resistor were nominated for a 2014 NY Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for Outstanding Visual design for “Vectors, Marys, and Snow”. Click on the video above to see an excerpt of the nominated performance.
Vectors, Marys, and Snow
Photos by Lucas Chilczuk
The 30th Annual Bessie Awards will take place on Monday, October 20, 2014 at 8:00 p. m. at the legendary Apollo Theater in New York City. Tickets go on sale August 4.
Bessie Dance Awards 2014 Press Conference
Photo by Anna Kuzmina/AK47
Brooklyn Ballet thanks the Bessie Committee for their recognition and congratulates the artists on this nomination!
Free Beer Fridays!
Audience members at tonight's performance (and next Friday, April 11) will each get a complimentary drink with their ticket. We have Beck's Sapphire, Bud Light and Stella Artois Cider on hand - take your drink with you into the theater and enjoy!
Brooklyn Ballet thanks Anheuser-Busch for their generosity in sponsoring our Free Beer Fridays this season.
Two World Premieres by Lynn Parkerson
Each season we pride ourselves on beautiful dancers, live music, innovative collaborations, and world premiere dances. This year we're proud to present two world premieres by Artistic Director Lynn Parkerson:Three Marys & Quilt/One Night Stand.
Last year's first look at Quilt, an improvisational, mathematically-inspired collaboration in choreography with Resident Choreographer Julia K. Gleich, was a huge hit. Live music fueled wonderful movement. Experiments in rehearsal generated great energy. And the dancers just wowed audiences.
This year, we have a different musician accompanying the piece live at every show and we can only expect that it will surprise and amaze us all - even the dancers performing!
Lynn's second world premiere of the season is Three Marys, a work that features three women dancers, who represent a Baroque Mary, a black Madonna and a spirit Mary. Inspired by a study of the resurgence of the worship of Mary in religious circles in the Baroque period, the dance uses traditional Baroque movement as well as more lyrical dance.
Three Marys is set to music by Nicola Matteis (b. 1650). Julius Abrahams, keyboard, Wen Yang, viola da gamba, and Jude Ziliak, violin, execute the score. More live music!!
Can't wait to share these premieres with you starting tomorrow night!
Collaborating with Resident Choreographer Julia K. Gleich
This is the first year since 2007 that Brooklyn Ballet has invited a guest artist to hold the position of Resident Choreographer for the Company’s performance season.
Over 20 years of working together, Lynn Parkerson and Julia have developed a strong sense of mutual respect. Recent projects like last year’s Quilt (and this year’s Quilt/One Night Stand) and the creation of the CounterPointe series featuring women choreographers making work on pointe have only strengthened their connection.
Lynn's quest for instilling contemporary structures and ideals into the formal constraints of ballet led to last year’s collaboration on Quilt, a largely improvised work using a mathematical concept of choreography introduced to the Company by Julia. Bringing improvisation into our ballet dancers’ rehearsals was profoundly challenging and produced extraordinary results.
So it was only natural to welcome Julia and her new methods of working with ballet into our 2014 season, too. We can't wait to share her work onThe Solitude and her collaborative contributions to our world premiere ofQuilt/One Night Stand.
Opening night is this Thursday, April 3!
Learn more about Julia and her choreography at gleichdances.org
A Different Musician for Every Show: Quilt/One Night Stand
Brooklyn Ballet has always made it a point to collaborate with great musicians and provide live music in performance as often as we can.
We are overjoyed that this year we're collaborating with a new artist at every performance of our world premiere of Quilt/One Night Stand!
Audiences and dancers will both be hearing the music for the first time during each show. World-class musicians of many styles and multiple talents span the season's performances - from vocalist Shelley Hirsch to trombonist Jen Baker.
If you're a lover of the empty slate, unpredictability, and the emerging unexpected, Quilt/One Night Stand will satisfy.
Click the photos below to learn more about each of these fantastic musicians. Then be sure to grab your tickets!
And Opening Night, Thursday, April 3, Julius Abrahams plays excerpts from Sonatas and Interludes by John Cage.
Meet the Company: New Brooklyn Ballet Dancer Izabela Szylinska
Name: Izabela Szylinska
Neighborhood you live in: Bushwick
Q: Tell me a bit more about your background in ballet.
A: I started my professional ballet training at the age of 10. I attended the Polish National Ballet School in Warsaw. The education takes 9 years and finishes with a diploma. Besides ballet we also studied contemporary, modern, character dances and many others. The school was very rigorous but I was lucky to finish it with distinction.
Q: How did you learn about Brooklyn Ballet? And what attracted you to audition for the company?
A: Brooklyn Ballet was the place of my first show in New York. I had the pleasure to meet Julia Gleich and perform her work in the CounterPointe project in 2012 and 2013.
Q: Which of the dances for this season's performances are you most excited about? Why?
A: I'm excited to perform The Solitude by Julia Gleich again with a slightly different group of dancers. It's fascinating for me to perform the same piece but with a different cast. It brings new energy and sometimes it may change the character.
Q: Why is ballet/dance important to you?
A: It always was a big part of my life, it was always around me…My mom is a choreographer and since I was a small kid I've spent a lot of time at the theater in Warsaw, Poland. At some point it felt like my second home!
For me it's a way to express your feelings, emotions, strengths, and technically, ballet is something where you can always improve.
Q: What is your favorite activity outside of dance?
A: Whenever I'm not dancing, I still like to do things connected with art. I love to see performances, shows, plays. I used to do that all the time when I was in Europe. New York is an amazing place to be so there is always something interesting to do. So I guess I just like to find new things in this city.
Q: Where's your favorite place to hang out in Brooklyn?
A: There are so many places! I love Carroll Gardens - I could walk around Smith and Court streets all day. I'm also a huge fun of the Bedford area - I often find myself sitting at the pier with a warm cup of coffee from Toby's Estate. It's a great spot to experience peace, watching a nice view of Manhattan.
Top photo by Marcin Szro; bottom photo by David Toquica Olave
Hacking The Nutcracker: Our Motion Sensor Tutus in Action
We're still hard at work on the technology components of our Brooklyn Nutcracker costumes, premiering in the Snow scene at our 2014 season (April 3-13).
Check out our prototype all lit up in a trial run after rehearsal, modeled by Brooklyn Ballet Youth Ensemble dancer Alexia Chan:
We can't wait to unveil these tutus and other costume elements on stage in just a few short weeks!
Please help us make this tech dream a reality by sharing our Kickstarter project with all of your friends on social media and by email. Only 15 days left to raise $7,950 and meet our $10,000 goal!
Thanks for your enthusiasm and support!
video footage by Bill Ward, NYC Resistor
In rehearsal: Vectors, Marys, and Snow 2014
We are busy preparing for our 2014 season, and our dancers look amazing!
Here's a peek behind the scenes of rehearsals for Snow from The Brooklyn Nutcracker, and more.
Don't forget to donate to our Kickstarter to help us get Snow to the stage. There are great rewards, including the opportunity to join us in April and see everything in performance!