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When you’re compelled to dance for a living, you make all sorts of sacrifices. Even so, Stanton Welch may be the only contemporary choreographer who spent a year working at Kentucky Fried Chicken. (His wages paid for a ticket to America, where he studied at the San Francisco Ballet School; he is now the artistic director of the Houston Ballet.) Welch’s deep-fried work ethic is reflected throughout the dance world. “They’re not there for the money,” said choreographer Stephen Petronio of his dancers. “They’re not there for the benefits. Because it’s modern dance. The gold is the movement, and that’s what they’re there for.”

On October 6, 2015, Welch and Petronio were joined by dance critic Nancy Dalva for a Fall for Dance conversation that touched on just about everything: working with Lou Reed, being inspired by Nureyev, and why leading a dance company is like being the head of a family. “I’ve been there long enough that it’s all my…fault,” said Welch, laughing.


New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival continues through October 11.

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October 9, 2015 by New York City Center
Tiler Peck in Studio

Tiler Peck in the City Center studios, photographed by Jordan Matter.

When New York City Ballet star Tiler Peck dances onstage to the music of Mendelssohn and Tschaikovsky, audiences probably don’t realize that she warmed up before the show by blasting Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams, and Taylor Swift. “Because my days are filled with classical music, I’ve always felt like it’s the only music I listen to,” says Peck. “These pop songs feel like refreshers. They get me excited.”

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October 6, 2015 by New York City Center
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We’re delighted to announce that Andy Karl, Ron Raines, Judy Kaye, Chuck Cooper, and Brad Oscar will join the previously announced Megan Hilty in a concert version of Irving Berlin’s classic 1946 musical Annie Get Your Gun. The October 27 performance is part of City Center’s annual Gala; a second performance has just been added on October 28.

Tony Award nominees Andy Karl (On the Twentieth Century, Rocky) and Ron Raines (Follies, Annie) will make their City Center debuts in the concert, playing Frank Butler and Buffalo Bill, respectively. We can’t wait for them to join the fold. Everyone else in the cast, from Megan Hilty down to the ensemble, is an Encores! veteran.

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October 5, 2015 by New York City Center
Lea DeLaria Photo

Lea DeLaria, photographed by Sophie Holland.

Just like Encores!, Lea DeLaria doesn’t play the hits. The singer, comedian, and “Orange Is the New Black” star says, “I’d never do ‘My Funny Valentine,’ because everyone else has. I’d never do ‘Lush Life,’ because everyone else has. I always try to be different.” True to form, her latest project is House of David, a gorgeously idiosyncratic album of David Bowie jazz covers. In our interview series My Dream Encores! Show, we talk with actors, writers, and artists about the deep cuts of Broadway: neglected musicals that they think deserve to be seen again. DeLaria chose Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart’s I Love My Wife, the 1977 sleeper hit that follows two married couples from New Jersey in their clumsy, halfhearted attempts to join the “love revolution.”

CITY CENTER: Why I Love My Wife?
LEA DELARIA: I’ve been thinking Encores! should do this musical for quite some time. It’s just a great musical. It got lost, I think, because it came out around the same time as Chicago and Chorus Line, and was up against some pretty heavy hitters. To me it’s like the little musical that could. Somebody is just aching to do a revival of this, and it will run for a very long time, like what happened with Chicago. It’s a fantastic musical. And given that it’s sort of a small musical, I’m surprised that nobody’s ever done it again.

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October 2, 2015 by New York City Center
Steven McRae Rehearsal

Steven McRae rehearsing The Rite of Spring in 2011, photographed by Johan Persson.

Royal Ballet star Steven McRae is the son of drag racer, and in a way his chosen profession isn’t much different. “Every time you step on stage there’s always the risk that it could go horribly wrong, but it could also be the best show of your life,” McRae told The Guardian in 2011. “It’s that adrenaline of just not knowing. I live off that buzz.”

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October 1, 2015 by New York City Center
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