The world’s most iconic living choreographer Twyla Tharp premiered her first ballet at City Center during the 1973 season of The Joffrey Ballet. So, nearly half a century later, there is no more fitting place to celebrate the pioneering artist than on our stage in this once-in-a-lifetime event.
Three duets from the pioneering artist’s archive including the folk-infused CORNBREAD, danced by New York City Ballet’s Tiler Peck and Roman Mejia; the never-before-seen SECOND DUET, featuring Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Jacquelin Harris and James Gilmer; and the classical and humorous PERGOLESI, revived by New York City Ballet’s Sara Mearns and Tony-nominated actor and dancer Robbie Fairchild; share the stage with the world premiere of ALL IN. For this inspiring finale, the principal dancers are joined by American Ballet Theatre’s Cassandra Trenary (replacing Catherine Hurlin) and Aran Bell and an ensemble of young performers, the next generation to glory in Tharp’s genius.
Programming subject to change.
Photos by Mark Seliger
“While Tharp has presented evenings of work over the past few years, none have felt as poignant and sharp, as charming and as wise in their blending of past and present, as TWYLA NOW.”
—The New York Times
Repertory for all performances of TWYLA NOW
Featuring live music by The Knights (Artistic Directors Eric and Colin Jacobsen)
Choreography by Twyla Tharp
Music by Carolina Chocolate Drops
Featuring Tiler Peck and Roman Mejia
SECOND DUET World Premiere
Choreography by Twyla Tharp
Music by Thomas Larcher
Featuring Jacquelin Harris and James Gilmer (Nov 17 8pm, 19 8pm, 20 8pm, & 21 2pm) Cassandra Trenary and Aran Bell (Nov 18 8pm & 20 2pm)
Accompanied by Gabriel Cabezas (cello) and Stephen Gosling (prepared piano)
Choreography by Twyla Tharp
Music by Giovanni Pergolesi
Featuring Sara Mearns and Robbie Fairchild
Accompanied by Nanae Iwata and Rebecca Anderson (violin), Kyle Armbrust (viola), Gabriel Cabezas (cello), Andrew Trombley (bass), and Stephen Gosling (harpsichord)
ALL IN World Premiere
Choreography by Twyla Tharp
Music by Johannes Brahms
Featuring Aran Bell, Robbie Fairchild, James Gilmer, Jacquelin Harris, Sara Mearns, Roman Mejia, Tiler Peck, and Cassandra Trenary
With Brady Farrar, Savannah Kristich, Zoe Liebold, Jaiden Galán Roman, Alycia Williams, and William Woodward
Nov 20 2pm: Brady Farrar, Savannah Kristich, Zoe Leibold, J’Var Martin, Gabrielle Rembert, and William Woodward
Accompanied by Agnes Marchione (clarinet) and Stephen Gosling (piano)
Aran Bell is a Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT). He was born in Bethesda, Maryland, and began studying ballet at age four, receiving his early training from Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Denys Ganio, Fabrice Herrault, and Magaly Suarez. He spent several summers at The Royal Ballet School in London, and at ABT’s Summer Intensive in NYC. Bell received major ballet awards around the world before joining ABT Studio Company in 2014. He became an apprentice with ABT in 2016, rising through the ranks to Principal Dancer in 2020. He has performed in galas throughout Europe and the US and was featured in the 2011 film First Position: A Ballet Documentary. His repertoire includes major roles in works by Jessica Lang, Cathy Marston, Wayne McGregor, Kevin McKenzie, Alexei Ratmansky, Twyla Tharp, and James Whiteside.
Robbie Fairchild made his Tony-nominated Broadway debut in 2015 as Jerry Mulligan in the Tony Award-winning musical An American in Paris, which he reprised in London’s West End in 2017. From 2009 to 2017, Fairchild performed as a Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet. His other theater credits include Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein (Signature Theater, Chita Rivera Award), Brigadoon (New York City Center Annual Gala Presentation), Oklahoma! (Royal Albert Hall, London), A Chorus Line (Hollywood Bowl), and Kiss Me, Kate (Roundabout Theater Company’s 2017 Gala). Television: Soundtrack (Netflix), Julie’s Greenroom (Netflix), Oklahoma! (BBC Proms), Romeo and Juliet and Live from NY Phil’s Carousel, Dancing with the Stars, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Live with Kelly and Michael, CBS Sunday Morning, and 60 Minutes. Film: Tom Hooper's Cats, An American in Paris Live (West End Production), The Chaperone, and NY Export: Opus Jazz.
James Gilmer trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School. After graduating, Gilmer performed with Texture Contemporary Ballet and joined Cincinnati Ballet in 2011. While dancing with Cincinnati Ballet for six seasons, he was promoted to Soloist (2015) and performed works by Victoria Morgan, Amy Seiwert, Septime Webre, Ohad Naharin, Val Caniparoli, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Edwaard Liang, Jennifer Archibald, and George Balanchine, to name a few. Gilmer was also a member of Amy Seiwert's Imagery, performing during the summer seasons since 2013, and ODC/Dance, performing works by Brenda Way, KT Nelson, and Kate Weare. He joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2019.
Jacquelin Harris began her dance training at Dance Productions Studios. She graduated with honors from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program in Dance. Harris has performed works by Kyle Abraham, Jamar Roberts, Wayne McGregor, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Lar Lubovitch, and Camille A. Brown. In 2016, Harris was named "25 to Watch" by Dance Magazine and later received a 2017 dance fellowship from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA. She performed in the Merce Cunningham celebration, Night of 100 Solos: A Centennial Event. Harris was a member of Ailey II and is currently a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Sara Mearns is a principal dancer with New York City Ballet since 2008. She is known for her portrayal of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. Among many others, Mearns has originated roles in ballets choreographed by Justin Peck, Kyle Abraham, Alexei Ratmansky, Pam Tanowitz, Andrea Mille, and Christopher Wheeldon. As a guest artist, she performed with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, The Cunningham Centennial Celebration, Jodi Melnick Dance, Bill T Jones/Lee Ming Wei, and Wang Ramirez. She starred in the premiere of Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes at New York City Center and performed the Dances of Isadora Duncan at Lincoln Center and City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival. She won the 2018 Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer and was a nominee for the Benois de la Danse and Princess Grace Awards. Mearns made her musical theater debut in New York City Center’s Encores! I Married an Angel in March 2019, directed/choreographed by Josh Bergasse.
Roman Mejia is a soloist with New York City Ballet. He was born in Fort Worth, TX, and began studying ballet at age three with his mother and father. At age 13, he entered the Mejia Ballet Academy. He attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet, NYCB’s official school, in 2014 and 2015 before entering SAB full time for the 2015 winter term. In August 2017, Mejia became an apprentice with NYCB, and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in November 2017. He was promoted to Soloist in October 2021.
Tiler Peck is an award-winning Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet. Her theater credits include starring roles in Broadway productions of The Music Man and On The Town, Live From NY Phil’s Carousel and played the title role in The Kennedy Center’s Little Dancer. Peck has performed three times at Kennedy Center Honors and choreographed the box office smash action movie John Wick 3. She most recently starred in CLI Studios’ A New Stage and the World Premiere of William Forsythe’s The Barre Project (Blakeworks II), serving as Executive Producer for both. She recently appeared on television in Ray Donovan, Tiny Pretty Things, and starred in the documentary Ballet Now. Peck is the designer of Tiler Peck X STATESIDE and Tiler Peck Designs for Body Wrappers. The second book in her Katarina Ballerina children’s series was released in September.
Leadership Support is provided by
Lynne and Richard Pasculano Fund for Programming and Education
Major Support for dance at New York City Center is provided by
Support for new dance works at New York City Center is provided by
Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation