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Home > Blog > May 2016 > Explore City Center’s 2016-2017 Season
Performing Arts Blog

Explore City Center’s 2016-2017 Season

May 13, 2016 by New York City Center

City Center’s upcoming season will begin this fall with the thirteenth annual Fall for Dance Festival, the New York premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s opera 27, a “remix” of collaborative works from the Vail International Dance Festival, and an evening of US premieres with international ballet star Natalia Osipova. Alvin Ailey will return for its annual winter season, City Center’s Tony-honored Encores! series will revive three classic Broadway musicals, and Manhattan Theatre Club will present Vietgone and Sell/Buy/Date in their longtime Off-Broadway home. And that’s not even including behind-the-scenes programs like Studio 5 at City Center, Encores! Unscripted, and a new series of master classes—all of which are designed to bring the backstage center stage. We hope you’ll join us!

Fall for Dance
Grupo Corpo, photographed by Jose Luiz Pederneiras.

2016 Fall for Dance Festival
Sep 26—Oct 8, 2016
Tickets: $15
On sale Sep 10 at 11am

The 13th edition of the annual Fall for Dance Festival will feature 20 acclaimed international dance companies and artists in five unique programs and two world premiere commissions. In keeping with the Festival’s commitment to making dance accessible to everyone, all tickets are $15. The two‐week Festival will include performances by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Bangarra, Compagnie Accrorap, Dada Masilo, Grupo Corpo, Hong Kong Ballet, Richard Alston Dance Company with Montclair State University Vocal Accord, Shantala Shivalingappa, and more. Full program details will be announced at a later date.


The 2015 MasterVoices concert of The Pirates of Penzance, photographed by Erin Baiano.

Oct 20—21, 2016
Tickets start at $30
On sale Aug 1

MasterVoices (formerly The Collegiate Chorale) will open its 75th anniversary season with the New York premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27, an opera that explores the relationship between Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, who hosted regular salon evenings at their Paris home at 27 Rue de Fleurus. Originally commissioned by Opera Theater of St. Louis, 27 received its world premiere in June 2014. For the New York premiere, which stars Stephanie Blythe, Heidi Stober, Theo Lebow, Tobias Greenhalgh, and Daniel Brevik, Gordon has specially added new sections for the MasterVoices chorus.



New York City Center presents
Vail Dance Festival: ReMix NYC
Directed by Damian Woetzel
Nov 3—6, 2016
Tickets start at $35
On sale Aug 1

In Damian Woetzel’s tenth year as artistic director of the Vail International Dance Festival, City Center will present three programs and an UpClose event that spotlight the spirit of his acclaimed summer dance happening in the Rocky Mountains. Vail Dance Festival: ReMix NYC brings Vail’s unique collaborative sensibility to New York City, featuring dancers and musicians from different genres. Programs will include Vail International Dance Festival regulars Isabella Boylston, Lil Buck, Herman Cornejo, Michelle Dorrance, Robert Fairchild, Carla Körbes, Sara Mearns, Gabriel Misse, Tiler Peck, and Matthew Rushing, among others, along with the Catalyst Quartet, members of the FLUX Quartet, and solo musicians including Sandeep Das, JP Jofre, Cristina Pato, and Wu Tong.


Natalia Osipova
Natalia Osipova, photographed by Nikolai Gulakov.

Natalia Osipova & Artists
Nov 10—12, 2016
Tickets start at $35
Currently on sale to Members, General public May 23

Award-winning Russian ballerina Natalia Osipova has performed with the Bolshoi Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Mikhailovsky Ballet, and The Royal Ballet. For this latest production, Osipova is joined by dancers Sergei Polunin, James O’Hara, and Jason Kittleberger, in a program of contemporary US premieres commissioned by Osipova from choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant, and Arthur Pita. The program will receive its world premiere at Sadler’s Wells in June.    


Nederlands Dans Theater
Nederlands Dans Theater, photographed by Rahi Rezvani.

Nederlands Dans Theater 
Nov 16—19, 2016
Tickets start at $35
On sale Aug 1

One of the world’s leading contemporary dance companies, under the guidance of choreographer Paul Lightfoot, Nederlands Dance Theater (NDT 1) has built a rich repertory of over 600 works from master choreographers such as Jiří Kylián and Hans van Manen to high-profile guests such as Hofesh Shechter and Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar. The multi-national company will present a program of US premieres from Sol León & Paul Lightfoot, Marco Goecke, and Crystal Pite that showcase their versatility and astonishing technique.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, photographed by Andrew Eccles.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Nov 30—Dec 31, 2016
Tickets start at $25
On sale Sep 6

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Center’s Principal Dance Company and beloved as an American cultural ambassador to the world, returns with exciting performances that have become a joyous holiday tradition. With his expansive vision for the Company, Artistic Director Robert Battle continues to build upon the pioneering legacy of Alvin Ailey, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest civilian honor. Ailey’s acclaimed dancers will perform a diverse repertory by a wide range of choreographers, including premieres, new productions, repertory favorites and the must-see American masterpiece Revelations (with live music on select programs).


Big River
The poster art for the original Broadway production of Big River.

Encores! Big River
Feb 8—12, 2017
Tickets start at $35
Subscriptions on sale Jul 25; General public Sep 26

A thoroughly original retelling of Mark Twain’s classic novel about friendship, freedom, and the untamed Mississippi, Big River was a musical underdog as scrappy and restless as Huckleberry Finn himself. The show was created in the age of British spectacles by a quintessentially American artist—the beloved country-western singer Roger Miller—and his Tony Award-winning score is a scintillating blend of bluegrass, gospel, and honky tonk. More than thirty years later, Big River remains an affecting journey through 1840s America in all its beauty and savagery. This February, join Encores! for the ride.


Ballet Nacional de España
Ballet Nacional de España.

Ballet Nacional de España
Mar 2—5, 2017
Tickets start at $35
On sale Sep 6

Under the direction of accomplished dancer and choreographer Antonio Najarro, Ballet Nacional de España is dedication to preserving all styles of Spanish dance while undergoing a period of creative growth, combining tradition with modernity. An ambassador of Spanish culture, the company regularly performs works in varied styles ranging from escuela bolero and flamenco to folkloric and regional Spanish dances. Program details to be announced at a later date.


The New Yorkers
Peter Arno’s poster art for the original Broadway production of The New Yorkers.

Encores! The New Yorkers
Mar 22—26, 2017
Tickets start at $35
Subscriptions on sale Jul 25; General public Sep 26

Bullets fly and bathtub gin flows in Cole Porter’s 1930 Prohibition jape The New Yorkers, a gleefully amoral celebration of speakeasies, gangsters, society dames, and the great city they love. The musical centers on featherbrained socialite Alice Miller, whose bootlegger beau leads her on a madcap romp from Park Avenue to Sing Sing and back again. The New Yorkers produced a number of standards—“I Happen to Like New York,” “Love for Sale”—but much of the original material has been lost, making this Encores!’s most ambitious musical reconstruction ever. Don’t miss a lost evening of sophisticated Depression-era madness.


Goddesses & Demonesses
Goddesses & Demonesses, photographed by Patrick Berger.

Blanca Li
Goddesses & Demonesses
Mar 30—Apr 1, 2017
Ticket start at $20
On sale Sep 6

In this US premiere, contemporary dancer and choreographer Blanca Li and Bolshoi Ballet principal dancer Maria Alexandrova deliver a singular performance inspired by mythological themes. Despite their different artistic paths, these two astonishing women embody Greek-like goddesses, continually transforming into their opposites until good and evil, kindness and cruelty are one. “They share a beguiling androgynous quality, Alexandrova is a force of nature, even by Moscow’s standards of bravura, a ballerina who takes charge on stage…. Li meanwhile, is angular and commanding in an oversized red skirt that is at once toga, flamenco prop, and a throwback to Loie Fuller’s serpentine dance.” Financial Times (UK)


Dance Theatre of Harlem
DTH’s Ingrid Silva and Alison Stroming in Change, photographed by Kent Becker.

Dance Theatre of Harlem
Apr 19—22, 2017
Tickets start at $35
On sale Sept 6

Dance Theatre of Harlem returns to City Center this season with the New York premieres of works by Resident Choreographer Robert Garland and company alum Francesca Harper. The season will begin with an Opening Night Celebration and Vision Gala on Wednesday, April 19. Full program details to be announced.


The Golden Apple
Al Hirschfeld’s poster art for the original Broadway production of The Golden Apple.

Encores! The Golden Apple   
May 10—14, 2017
Wed – Thu 7:30pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 2 & 8pm, Sun 2 & 7pm
Tickets start at $35
Subscriptions on sale Jul 25; General public Sep 26

Helen of Troy as a bored housewife? Ulysses as a dashing hero of the Spanish-American War? The whimsical and toweringly ambitious 1954 musical The Golden Apple does all that and more, reshaping the myths of The Iliad and The Odyssey into an all-American fable that conjures up the days when pie-baking contests were cutthroat and lovers eloped in hot air balloons. Despite its brief run, John Latouche and Jerome Moross’ “opera for Broadway” was hailed by critics and introduced the classic torch song “Lazy Afternoon.” Encores! is delighted to present the ultimate cult musical to a new generation.


Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg
Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg.

Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg
Jun 2—11, 2017
Tickets start at $60
Currently on sale

Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg returns to City Center with two full-length ballets that typify Boris Eifman’s singular gift for creating powerful, provocative dance works. Inspired by the tragic life of ballerina Olga Spessivtseva, the 1997 ballet Red Giselle has been hailed as “one of the great dramatic ballets of the 20th century” (The San Francisco Chronicle). Tchaikovsky: The Mystery of Life and Death is a “ballet triumph” (Newsday) that delves into the composer’s glamorous life and tortured sexuality.


Studio 5 at City Center
Wendy Whelan with the legendary d’Amboise family in a 2015 Studio 5 event, photographed by Christopher Duggan.

Studio 5 at City Center
Barbara and David Zalaznick Studio (130 W 56th Street)
All tickets $25
On sale Sep 6

This studio series takes audiences beyond the proscenium for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the lives of the great dance artists of our time. Host this season by City Center Artistic Associate Wendy Whelan and New York City Ballet principal dancer Tyler Angle, scheduled participants include the extraordinary artists of Nederlands Dans Theater, as well as a discussion with repetiteurs Craig Hall (soloist, New York City Ballet) and Jason Fowler (former soloist, New York City Ballet) about setting the work of acclaimed choreographers Justin Peck and Christopher Wheeldon. All events feature live performance excerpts. Dates and program details to be announced at a later date.


A moment from the first Encores! Unscripted
A moment from the first Encores! Unscripted panel, photographed by Matthew Septimus.

Encores! Unscripted
The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WNYC (44 Charlton St)
All tickets $20
On sale Jul 25

This live-streamed series of conversations and performances about the glorious, complicated legacy of the Broadway musical returns for a second season. Created in partnership with The Greene Space at WNYC.

Mon, Oct 17 at 7pm
How Broadway Listens—To America
American musicals have always reflected the national mood, and many have tried to reinforce—or question—the character of the land that gave them birth. Oklahoma! can be read as a wartime expression of national pride, while Follies reflected a country, embittered by Vietnam and the torn fabric of the American dream. Broadway shows are often derided as being out of touch with contemporary life—but host Jack Viertel will make the case that musicals have been taking the nation’s pulse for over a century.

Mon, Dec 19 at 7pm
Putting it Together: The Art of Adaptation
In the words of Andrew Lloyd Webber, “Cats on paper was the worst idea conceivable.” Now that the most unlikely hit musical in history is back on Broadway, Encores! Unscripted will explore how the worst ideas sometimes evolve into commercial and critical triumphs. Michael Friedman—who has written musicals about everything from Andrew Jackson to the porn industry—will host this exploration of the mystical art of transposing poems, cartoons, and novels onto the stage.

Mon, Jan 30 at 7pm
When Pop Writers Go Broadway
Broadway’s relationship with pop music is a rocky one. Burt Bacharach and Hal David triumphed with their swinging 1968 hit Promises, Promises, but the team never wrote another musical—a pattern followed by subsequent Broadway one-timers like Paul Simon, Boy George, and Dolly Parton. How do pop and rock songwriters adjust to writing for the theater? And why has the Broadway establishment been so resistant to their flawed but often fascinating shows? Hosted by Jack Viertel.

Mon, Feb 27 at 7pm
Love for Sale: The History of Sex in Musicals
In the beginning, the Broadway musical had one thing on its mind: sex. The chorus girls were leggy, the comedians were blue, and the songwriters were happy hedonists like Cole Porter, whose 1930 musical The New Yorkers featured songs so scandalous that they were banned on the radio. For decades after that, sex sold on Broadway, from the eroticized choreography of Bob Fosse to the nudie musicals that reigned supreme in the 1970s. Join host Jack Viertel for a look at 100 years of life upon the wicked stage.


Front and Center: Learning from the Masters
All tickets $25

City Center’s new series of musical theater master classes will provide a unique opportunity for distinguished artists, emerging professionals, and audiences to explore themes relevant to the development and growth of artists in the field. Each event will focus on a different topic, from composition to auditioning, to the synthesis of vocal technique and acting. Renowned musical theater experts will offer personalized adjustments and guidance to selected performers while the audience receives an insider’s look into this intimate, process driven experience. This Monday evening series kicks off on November 21 with a master class led by Tony Award-winning actress and singer Victoria Clark.