James Whiteside's "New American Romance" Premieres At American Ballet Theatre's New Season On Oct 23
This Fall Brings Lots of Firsts For The Newly Crowned Guinness World Record Holder & One of Ballet’s Most Celebrated Stars
James Whiteside, ballet’s most daring principal artist known for his theatrical and technical versatility, has lots to celebrate this fall. On the heels of a recent Guinness World Record-breaking segment on national television, American Ballet Theatre will bring Whiteside’s Vail Dance Festival Commission, New American Romance, to New York City this Fall season, October 23, 25 and 27 at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center.
Last week, James made headlines alongside his ABT ballerina bestie Isabella Boylston as they wrangled over 300 dancers to break the Guinness World Record for the most of people standing en pointe simultaneously on LIVE with Kelly and Ryan. This week, he is back in the rehearsal studio preparing for his Lincoln Center choreographic debut of New American Romance, originally commissioned by ABT for the Vail Dance Festival, July 2019. Selected to be a part of ABT Incubator’s inaugural season in 2018, James has cultivated his choreographic voice and continues to do so through larger opportunities for his work to be viewed.
Offering a progressive take on classical ballet, New American Romance pays homage to one of Whiteside’s greatest artistic influences, the timeless romantic ballet, while infusing it with the social relevance of modern love. “My greatest knowledge of romance comes from the romantic classics like Les Sylphides and Pas de Quatre,” explains James, “and in my personal life, I am hopelessly unromantic,” he continues. “The ideal of romance in today’s society is shifting as we are living in a time of evolution of love, friendship and acceptance. New American Romanceis an abstract portrait of a modern love; one that couldn’t be expressed 100 years ago.”
Upon the success of its summer premiere last July, American Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie selected the work to join the New Romantics program, that also includes next generation choreographers Jessica Lang and Gemma Bond. “New American Romance is a melding with classical reference in sensibility, to a very present-day generation,” McKenzie explains. “It is exciting and engaging on all fronts”
James Whiteside and Isabella Boylston. Photo by Sam Reiss. Courtesy the photographer.
Set to Debussy’s Bergamasque, New American Romance will be danced by ABT dancers AranBell, Catherine Hurlin, Devon Teuscher, Calvin Royal III, Joo Won Ahn, Isadora Loyola, Stephanie Williams, and Katherine Williams. The work explores pairings of different dancers, regardless of gender, in an inventive revitalization of style and classicism.
While Whiteside will be in the wings cheering on his ensemble cast during New American Romance, audiences can see James alongside his record-breaking bestie Isabella Boylston in Twyla Tharp’s Deuce Coupe, October 18 and 20; Alexei Ratmansky’s The Seasons, October 17 and 19; Jessica Lang’s Let Me Sing Forever More, October 19 and 24; and in Gemma Bond’s world premiere work, October 23, 25, 27.
- October 23 at 7:30 p.m.
- October 25 at 7:30 p.m.
- October 27 at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets: Start at $30 and are available here.
Venue: The David H. Koch Theater is located at 20 Lincoln Center Plaza at Lincoln Center and accessible by the 1 train to 66thStreet/Lincoln Center.