Oct 19 – 23, 2022
Wed – Sat | 8pm
Sun | 2pm
“Still the most original, accomplished, and exciting work we’ve been offered in ages”
—The Christian Science Monitor
Back at City Center after last fall’s triumphant TWYLA NOW presentation, the history-making choreographer Twyla Tharp revisits two iconic works.
Set to a propulsive score by Philip Glass, In the Upper Room is a widely acknowledged masterpiece of artistry and athleticism. Hurtling through a mist-shrouded stage in pointe shoes and sneakers, an all-star cast of performers propel themselves relentlessly toward the piece’s explosive finale.
Nine Sinatra Songs takes its suave, jazzy style from classic Ol’ Blue Eyes standards to conjure love stories of ardent passion and world weariness alike, exemplifying Tharp’s unique ability to showcase the individual personalities and talents of her dancers.
Choreography by Twyla Tharp
Music by Philip Glass
Featuring Jeanette Delgado, Benjamin Freemantle, Jada German, Kaitlyn Gilliland, Daisy Jacobson, Lloyd Knight, Julian MacKay, Marzia Memoli, Stephanie Petersen, Reed Tankersley, Cassandra Trenary, Daniel Ulbricht, and Richard Villaverde
Ayaka Kamei (cover), George Sanders (cover)
Choreography by Twyla Tharp
Music by Frank Sinatra
Featuring Jeanette Delgado, Benjamin Freemantle, Kaitlyn Gilliland, James Gilmer, Jacquelin Harris, Daisy Jacobson, Lloyd Knight, Julian MacKay, Marzia Memoli, Stephanie Petersen, Reed Tankersley, Cassandra Trenary, Daniel Ulbricht, and Richard Villaverde
Ayaka Kamei (cover), George Sanders (cover)
Lighting Designer Jennifer Tipton
Scenic Designer Santo Loquasto
Casting and programming subject to change.
“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
JEANETTE DELGADO was born in Miami, Florida to Cuban parents. A former principal ballerina with The Miami City Ballet, she is currently a freelance artist based in NYC. Delgado was the 2003 Princess Grace Award recipient. Throughout her career, she has performed works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Paul Taylor, among others. Her classical repertoire include works such as Giselle and Don Quixote. Delgado has been fortunate enough to originate roles in new works created by Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Liam Scarlett, and Twyla Tharp. She has performed in Paris, Moscow, and all over the United States. Most recently, Delgado plays a Shark in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story (2021) and she performed in film work by Damien Chazelle and Justin Peck.
Benjamin Freemantle is originally from Vancouver, Canada. Freemantle’s dance training includes his hometown studio of Caulfield School of Dance, San Francisco Ballet School, and the San Francisco Ballet School Trainee Program. The multihyphenate joined the San Francisco Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet in 2015, immediately dancing principal roles in original works and full-length ballets. In 2018, Freemantle became a Soloist with the company and was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch”. In 2019, he was named principal dancer after performing works by George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Jerome Robbins, Trey Mcintyre, Dwight Rhoden, John Neumier, William Forsythe, and more. In 2022, he stepped away from San Francisco Ballet, now pursuing an independent artistic career based in New York City.
Jada German is a native of Frisco, Texas, and began dancing competitively before attending Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She recently graduated from The Juilliard School, earning a BFA in Dance. While at Juilliard, she had the honor to perform works by Ohad Naharin, Bobbi Jene Smith, Aszure Barton, Olivia Ancona, Justin Peck, Paul Taylor, and Trisha Brown. In addition, she has attended summer programs at the b12 dance festival, Jacob’s Pillow, Orsolina 28’s Forsythe/Pite Intensive, and Alonzo King LINES Ballet. Post-graduation, she is working as a company member with Ballet Collective and is honored to be working with Twyla Tharp!
Kaitlyn Gilliland began her dance training at the Minnesota Dance Theatre and continued at the School of American Ballet, where she received the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise in 2004. From 2006 to 2011, Gilliland danced with the New York City Ballet and was named the company’s Janice Levin Dancer Honoree for 2009-2010. Gilliland joined Twyla Tharp in 2014 for her 50th Anniversary Tour and has since performed featured roles in numerous Tharp works including Beethoven Opus 130, Brahms Paganini, Country Dances, The Fugue, Nine Sinatra Songs, The One Hundreds, and The Raggedy Dances. In 2021, she served as an assistant to Tharp on the premiere of Commentaries on the Floating World at Ballett am Rhein in Düsseldorf, Germany.
James Gilmer trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School. After graduating, he performed with Texture Contemporary Ballet and joined Cincinnati Ballet in 2011. While dancing with the Cincinnati Ballet for six seasons, Gilmer was promoted to soloist in 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. In November 2021, he performed in TWYLA NOW, New York City Center’s celebration of choreographer Twyla Tharp. Gilmer joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2019.
Jacquelin Harris began her dance training at Dance Productions Studios. Harris received a silver ARTS award from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts. She graduated with honors from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program in Dance. In 2016, Harris was named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine. She received a 2017 dance fellowship from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA. In 2019, she performed in Merce Cunningham's Night of 100 Solos: A Centennial Event, which won a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award. In 2021 Ms. Harris worked with Twyla Tharp in her production of TWYLA NOW. She was a member of Ailey II and joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2014.
Daisy Kate Jacobson was born and raised in Manhattan Beach, CA. At six years old, she began her training at Lauridsen Ballet Centre. She was fortunate to attend summer programs with American Ballet Theatre and Houston Ballet. In 2017, she earned her BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and joined LA Dance Project. While with LADP, Daisy has danced in new works and repertoire by Benjamin Millepied, Justin Peck, Kyle Abraham, Ohad Naharin, Martha Graham, Bella Lewitzky, Janie Taylor, Madeline Hollander, Gianna Reisen, Shannon Gillen, and Bobbi Jene Smith. Daisy has been featured in Dance Magazine’s “On the Rise” and Dance Teacher Magazine’s“What My Teacher Taught Me” as well as Honolulu Magazine’s “Breaking the Ballet Mold.” She is a YoungArts winner and a Presidential Scholar in the Arts.
Ayaka Kamei (Cover) Hailing from Ehime, Japan, Ayaka Kamei is a dancer/teaching artist based in New York. She has recently performed with The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, The Metropolitan Opera, and MorDance. Kamei graduated summa cum laude from SUNY Purchase with a President Award for Achievement in the Conservatory of Dance, and she has trained at Northern Ballet School as well as Codarts and Springboard Montréal. She has had the privilege of performing works by Balanchine, Cunningham, Tudor, Roy Assaf, Aszure Barton, Dario Dinuzzi, John Heginbotham, Jessica Lang, Austin McCormick, Matthew Neenan and Alexei Ratmansky, among others. It is an incredible honor to be working with Twyla for the first time, and she is ecstatic to be a part of this special show with this wonderful team. yakakamei.com
Lloyd Knight was born in England and reared in Miami. He has a BFA from the New World School of the Arts under Artistic Director Daniel Lewis. Knight joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 2005 and was promoted to principal in 2014. He has had ballets choreographed on him by Nacho Duato, Andonis Foniadakis, Larry Keigwin, Doug Varone, Lar Lubovitch, Kyle Abraham, Liz Gerring, Michelle Dorrance, Anne Bogart, Pontus Linberg, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Pam Tanowitz, Hofesh Shechter, and Mats Ek. Dance Magazine named Knight as one of the “Top 25 Dancers to Watch” in 2010. He partnered with New York City Ballet principal Wendy Whelan in Graham's Moon Duet and with American Ballet Theatre's Principal Misty Copeland in a Graham’s Letter to the World. He was picked as Best Performer of 2015 by Dance Magazine. Most recently he was a guest principal artist for The Royal Ballet of Flanders.
Julian MacKay was born in Livingston, Montana. He trained in New York City at the American Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet School London, Academy Princess Grace in Monaco, and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. At age 17, he made his professional debut as Siegfried in Swan Lake with the Russian State Ballet in Berlin and joined The Royal Ballet in London as their youngest member. Eight months later, he joined The Mikhailovsky Theatre, St. Petersburg as a second soloist. He was promoted to first soloist and has danced numerous principal roles worldwide. At the height of his time at the Mikhailovsky Theatre, MacKay became an international guest artist, now invited to perform around the world. From 2020 to 2022, he was a principal with the San Francisco Ballet. MacKay has his bachelors from GITIS University (Russian Institute of Theatre Arts). In the 2022-23 season he will dance as principal with the Bayerisches Staatsballett.
Marzia Memoli from Palermo, Italy, graduated with high honors from the Academy of Teatro Carcano in Milan. Memoli attended the Bejart School under the direction of Michael Gascard. She was asked to perform by Artistic Director Gil Roman in The Ninth Symphony and Le Sacre du Printemps with the Bejart Ballet Lausanne. In 2016, she joined the Martha Graham Dance Company. Her repertory with the Company includes Graham’s El Penitente, Chronicle, The Rite of Spring, Satyric Festival Song, Diversion of Angels, Dark Meadow Suite, Act of Light, and Primitive Mysteries. She performed works by Hofesh Shechter, Elisa Monte, Bobbi Jean Smith, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Maxine Doyle, Pam Tanowitz, Sonya Tayeh, Pontus Lidberg, Micaela Taylor, Lar Lubovitch, and Andrea Miller.
Stephanie Petersen has been a member of American Ballet Theatre, HET National Ballet and The Australian Ballet. Notable performances include the principal role of Myrta, queen of the Wilis in American Ballet Theatre’s Giselle, Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun, and Christopher Wheeldon’s After The Rain. In 2009, Petersen was a guest artist with Christopher Wheeldon’s Morphoses, performing principal roles in Commedia and Fool’s Paradise and in that same year she became the youngest-ever winner of The Australian Telstra Ballet Dancer of the Year award and People’s Choice award. Petersen won the Gold Medal at the 10th Asian Pacific International Ballet Competition in Tokyo (2005) and upon graduating from The Australian Ballet School performed Odette/Odile in the traditional Swan Lake.
George Sanders (Cover) Born in Durham, NC, and growing up in New York City, he received his training from Ballet Academy East, The Rock School of Dance Education, and North Carolina School of the Arts. Sanders recently made his Broadway debut in The Little Prince. He has danced principal and soloist roles in companies including Ballet Memphis, NBC, Carolina Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Collage Dance Collective, and more. He has performed with BET’s 106 and Park, Bobby McFerrin, The Freedom Awards, and BET Awards. Repertoire includes Ballets from George Balanchine, Anthony Tudor, Ben Stevenson, Trey Mcintyre, Dwight Rhoden, Mark Godden, Lynne-Taylor Corbett, Anabelle Lopez Ochoa, Jennifer Archibald, Matthew Neenan, and more. He won first place at Sydney Contemporary Competition, Silver Medal ABC, and top 8 at YAGP. IG: @gwins_
Reed Tankersley Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tankersley began his training at the age of five. After graduating from The Juilliard School in 2014, Tankersley joined Twyla Tharp’s 50th Anniversary Tour and continued to perform with the company for many years. In 2019, he ran away to the circus and toured the country as the lead performer in Cirque Du Soleil’s Volta. He has loved diving back into Twyla Tharp’s work and is excited to take the stage with this talented cast.
Cassandra Trenary began her professional dance career with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in 2011, rose to soloist in 2015, and was promoted to principal dancer in 2020. Some of Trenary’s most notable roles with ABT include Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Gamzatti in La Bayadere, Giselle in Giselle, as well as original roles in ballets created by Alexei Ratmansky, Twyla Tharp, Wayne McGregor, and Mark Morris. She has had the privilege of performing independent projects such as The Joyce Theater’s produced dance play, The Tenant, by Arthur Pita, Sonya Tayeh’s Unveiling, andMolissa Fenley’s State of Darkness. Trenary’s accolades include being named a 2011 National YoungArts Foundation Winner, and a 2015 Princess Grace Dance Honorarium recipient. In 2017, Trenary was honored to receive the final Annenberg Fellowship for Dance.
Daniel Ulbricht was born in Florida and began his dance training at the age of 11. At age 16, he attended the School of American Ballet. In 2000, he became an apprentice with New York City Ballet and in November 2001 he joined as a member of the corps de ballet. In 2005, Ulbricht was promoted to soloist and principal dancer in 2007. He has danced featured roles in Balanchine, Robbins, Martins, Peck, Ratmansky, and Wheeldon ballets. He is currently the artistic advisor of Manhattan Youth Ballet, artistic director of NYSSSA, the founder and director of Stars of American Ballet, the co-founder and producer of “Dance Against Cancer” and is also on the board of the NDI.
Richard Villaverde was born and raised in Miami, FL and began dancing at the age of 13, privately coached by Maria Eugenia Lorenzo. He is a New World School of the Arts graduate and received his BFA from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Notably, he was a part of Arsenale della Danza 2012 at La Biennale de Venezia under the direction of Ismael Ivo. He later joined BalletX (2012-2021) where he was featured in works by Matthew Neenan, Kevin O’Day, Dwight Rodan, Nicolo Fonte, Penny Saunders, Cayetano Soto, Trey McIntyre, Jodie Gates, and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. He’s performed at the Vail International Dance Festival, Ballet Sun Valley, and Belgrade Dance Festival as well as at Jacob’s Pillow. Villaverde is currently beginning his second season with the Martha Graham Dance Company.
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Key art: Photos by Mark Seliger
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