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Home > Blog > April 2015
Performing Arts Blog
City Center Studio Series

2014 Choreography Fellow Silas Riener performs as part of City Center’s Studio 5 series; photo by Christopher Duggan.

They’re not pole dancers, yet there they are again each day, hanging onto poles and swaying—in the subway, that is. Choreographers who don’t have their own studios are perpetually commuting from space to space, clutching dance bags filled with electronics and sweaty clothes.

“It’s quite a nomadic lifestyle, being an American choreographer,” says Brian Brooks. Yet there is hope. Brooks is one of the artists whose life changed dramatically when he received New York City Center’s Choreography Fellowship.

Studio space is only one component of the Fellowships, which were established in 2011 by City Center President & CEO Arlene Shuler. “There are so many talented choreographers who don’t have an artistic home,” says Shuler. “We wanted to change that.” Along with 200 hours of free studio time, the Fellowship also provides artists with a stipend and access to the know-how of City Center arts administrators. Yet it’s the studios that choreographers lust after. Gigantic by the standards of contemporary dance, and cushioned with Marly flooring, these spaces are clean and quiet—far above the grit and rattle of the subway. Here dancing bodies can relax, the creative mind can focus, and movement starts to flow.

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April 29, 2015 by New York City Center
John Kander

Composer John Kander.

“Life is what you do while you’re waiting to die. Life is how the time goes by.” These are perhaps the starkest lyrics ever to open a Broadway musical. But they perfectly establish the tone and mood of the unyielding yet ultimately uplifting story which will unfold in Zorba!, which comes to City Center from May 6 – 10.

Based on the 1946 novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba! is the tale of the unlikely friendship that forms on the island of Crete between Nikos, a young educated writer, and Zorba, a boisterous and worldly-wise working man. The musical, with music and lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb and book by Joseph Stein, opened at the Imperial Theater in 1968 and ran for 305 performances. Starring Herschel Bernardi as Zorba and Maria Karnilova as Hortense and directed by Hal Prince, the show received mixed critical reception, and the authors revised the show for its 1970 national tour, which starred John Raitt as Zorba and Chita Rivera as the Leader.

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April 21, 2015 by New York City Center
Little Shop NYC Cast

Suddenly, Seymour is standing beside you—and it’s Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal! Gyllenhaal will make his musical theater debut this July as the doomed florist Seymour Krelborn in the Encores! Off-Center production of Little Shop of Horrors. (A matinee performance has just been added on Thursday, July 2 in order to meet ticket demand.) The giddy, gory cult musical will also star “Saturday Night Live” star Taran Killam as the sadistic dentist Orin Scrivello and Ellen Greene, who will reprise her iconic performance as the ditzy, lovable Audrey. (Chuck Cooper was initially announced to play Audrey II but is no longer available; he will star in Amazing Grace on Broadway.)

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April 14, 2015 by New York City Center
Jacques d Amboise

Jacques d’Amboise playing with his sons in 1962, photographed by John Dominis.

“It’s an extraordinary thing to be a ballet dancer,” Jacques D’Amboise has said. “You cannot divorce yourself from the music.” Before the New York City Ballet legend talks with Wendy Whelan at tonight’s Studio 5 event, we asked him to share some of the music that has clung to him most tenaciously over the years. The resulting playlist reveals the dancer’s love of opera and Edith Piaf, as well as his encyclopedic knowledge of the American Songbook—from top-flight standards (“Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “Over the Rainbow”) to nutty novelties (“Bless Yore Beautiful Hide”).

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April 13, 2015 by New York City Center
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We’re thrilled to announce that Adam Chanler-Berat, Santino Fontana, Marin Mazzie, John Turturro, and Zoë Wanamaker will star in the Encores! production of Zorba!, John Kander and Fred Ebb’s 1968 musical about love, loss, and what it means to be truly alive.

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April 8, 2015 by New York City Center