A New York Times Critic’s Pick
“City Center made it happen: moments of fresh dance magic.”
—The New York Times
The 17th Fall for Dance Festival invites audiences around the world to experience this “worthy substitute for live dance” (The New York Times) in our first-ever digital dance celebration—with all the palpable energy of a live performance right from our stage to your home. Alicia Graf Mack and David Hallberg host two stunning programs showcasing the resiliency of extraordinary New York City artists coming together—as we take the first crucial steps to returning to our stage.
Program 1 features two world premiere City Center commissions, including a solo piece from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s first Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts titled Morani/Mungu (Black Warrior/Black God) that explores his identity as a Black man, and a duet by Christopher Wheeldon called The Two of Us for New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns and American Ballet Theatre principal and incoming Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet David Hallberg in their first-ever performance together. The program also includes Ballet Hispánico in a New York premiere of excerpts from 18+1, an electric, mambo-driven piece celebrating Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s 19 years as a choreographer. Martha Graham Dance Company’s Natasha M. Diamond-Walker performs Lamentation, one of the Company’s quintessential solos, presenting a timeless message about the essence of grief.
In Program 2, acclaimed tap artist Dormeshia performs Lady Swings the Blues, a world premiere City Center commission that honors the legacy of Black women in dance, accompanied by musicians Noah Garabedian, Winard Harper, and Gabriel Roxbury. Calvin Royal III, principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, also dances a world premiere commission solo from choreographer Kyle Abraham titled to be seen. Lar Lubovitch Dance Company featuring guests Joseph Gordon and Adrian Danchig-Waring perform the iconic male duet from Concerto Six Twenty-Two.And Ashley Bouder, Tiler Peck, and Brittany Pollack perform excerpts from George Balanchine’s Who Cares?, an exuberant response to George Gershwin’s classic tunes.
Join the conversation #FallforDance
Safety for our artists, staff, and crew is our first priority. All rehearsals and performances are executed in strict adherence to rigorous health and safety protocols under guidance from medical consultants and in accordance with all government and union guidelines.
Produced by New York City Center and Nel Shelby Productions in association with the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library.
Program 1 and 2 are now available to view on demand through Sunday, November 1. Digital access is $15 per program.
The 2020 Fall for Dance Festival will be exclusively online. To purchase access and watch this event, you will need to create a new New York City Center Digital account. You will not be able to log in using your existing NYCityCenter.org account.
View on demand through Sun Nov 1
Excerpts from 18+1 | New York Premiere
Choreography by Gustavo Ramírez Sansano
Performed by Ballet Hispánico Company Dancers: Shelby Colona, Dandara Veiga, & Lenai Wilkerson
Jamar Roberts of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Morani/Mungu (Black Warrior/Black God)
Choreography by Jamar Roberts
Martha Graham Dance Company
Choreography by Martha Graham
Featuring Natasha M. Diamond-Walker
Sara Mearns & David Hallberg
The Two of Us
Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon
View on demand through Sun Nov 1
Ashley Bouder, Tiler Peck, & Brittany Pollack
Excerpts from Who Cares?
Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Calvin Royal III of American Ballet Theatre
to be seen
World Premiere City Center Commission
Choreography by Kyle Abraham
Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
Duet from Concerto Six Twenty-Two
Choreography by Lar Lubovitch
With guest artists Adrian Danchig-Waring & Joseph Gordon
Lady Swings the Blues
Choreography by Dormeshia
Accompanied by Noah Garabedian, Winard Harper, & Gabriel Roxbury
The performance of Who Cares?, a Balanchine® Ballet, is presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust and has been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style® and Balanchine Technique® Service standards established and provided by the Trust.
All programming and casting subject to change.
Your support allows us to share the 2020 Fall for Dance Festival with our New York City partner schools for free—and provide students with a vital connection to the arts and inspire a new generation of dance lovers. Your contribution is doubled thanks to City Center Board Co-Chair Richard Witten and his wife and fellow Board member Lisa, who will match all contributions from now until November 1 up to $100,000.
Ashley Bouder was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and began her ballet training at the age of six at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet with Marcia Dale Weary. After attending the School of American Ballet (SAB), Bouder joined New York City Ballet (NYCB). She was promoted to principal dancer in 2005. She has danced in ballet galas around the world and guest starred in companies including the Paris Opera Ballet, Rome Opera Ballet, Bayerisches Staatsballett, and the Mariinsky Ballet. She was awarded the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise at SAB as a student. Other awards include the Janice Levin Honoree from NYCB, the Miss Expressivity for 2011 and the Miss Virtuosity for 2013 from the Dance Open Gala, the 2019 Benois de la Danse, and the Award for Artistic Excellence from the Borough of Manhattan Community College for her work in promoting gender equality in the ballet world.
Shelby Colona grew up in Houston, Texas where she graduated from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts with honors in dance. After graduating, she attended The Ailey School’s Certificate Program from 2011 to 2013. In addition to her education, Colona has performed works by Robert Battle, Billy Bell, Graciela Daniele, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, and Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, among others and has performed with companies such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at City Center, Lunge Dance Collective, and BHdos prior to joining Ballet Hispánico. This is Colona’s sixth season with Ballet Hispánico.
Adrian Danchig-Waring is a principal dancer with NYCB, where he’s collaborated with many of today’s renowned choreographers and performed an active repertoire of masterworks by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. He has originated featured roles in works by Kim Brandstrup, Eliot Feld, Wayne McGregor, Benjamin Millepied, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Justin Peck, Angelin Preljocaj, Alexei Ratmansky, and Liam Scarlett, among others. He was a founding member of Christopher Wheeldon’s company Morphoses, with which he toured from 2005–2008. Danchig-Waring is the director of the New York Choreographic Institute: an incubator for the development of new work in the field of classical and contemporary ballet and director of the board of The George Balanchine Foundation.
Natasha M. Diamond-Walker is from Los Angeles. She joined Martha Graham Dance Company in 2011 and has danced solo roles in Graham classics such as Diversion of Angels, Cave of the Heart, Embattled Garden, and Appalachian Spring, among others. She has also originated roles for top choreographers Kyle Abraham, Lil Buck, Nacho Duato, Liz Gerring, Bobbi Jene Smith, and Pam Tanowitz. Diamond-Walker appeared as a guest artist with Annie-B Parson’s Big Dance Theater and can be seen in myriad TV and film projects. She holds a BFA from Fordham University.
Dormeshia is a two-time Bessie Award winner (performer and choreographer), and Princess Grace Statue Award and Astaire Award recipient. Her Broadway credits include After Midnight, Black and Blue, and Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk!, including the international tour (dance captain, principal, lead). Her film credits include TAP with Gregory Hines, Spike Lee’s Bamboozled (assistant choreographer/actress), and The Rise and Fall of Miss Thang, for which she received a nomination for Best Lead Actress. Some of Dormeshia’s choreography credits include Michael Jackson’s Rock My World, and The Blues Project (co-choreographer). Dormeshia continues her artistic journey with the first full-length work And Still You Must Swing: a celebration of tap dance, jazz music, the connection between the two, and their African roots.
Noah Garabedian holds a BA in Ethnomusicology from the University of California Los Angeles, and a Master's in Music Performance from New York University. In 2006 he was awarded a John Coltrane National Scholarship, and in 2007 he was selected as a finalist for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz graduate program. In March of 2011, Garabedian was selected to participate in Brad Mehldau's master class at the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, and in June of that same year, he was selected as a finalist in the ISB Double Bass Competition. In November of 2016, he received a Fulbright Specialist Grant to teach jazz music for one month at Silpakorn University, in Bangkok, Thailand. Garabedian, a native of Berkeley, California, has performed and toured with Ralph Alessi, Ravi Coltrane, and Josh Roseman, as well as on behalf of the US State Department throughout Asia and the Middle East.
Joseph Gordon was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and began his dance training at the age of five at The Phoenix Dance Academy. Gordon began studying at SAB, the official school of NYCB, during the 2006 summer course and enrolled as a full-time student that fall. In August of 2011, Gordon became an apprentice with NYCB, and in July of 2012, he joined the company as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to soloist in February 2017 and to principal in October 2018. He has performed featured roles in ballets choreographed by George Balanchine, August Bournonville, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Jerome Robbins, and Christopher Wheeldon. Gordon has performed on stages around the world including the Théâtre du Châtelet of Paris, Bunkamura Festival Hall of Tokyo, Copenhagen Royal Opera House, Tivoli Gardens Theater, and has been a guest artist at the Vail International Dance Festival since 2014.
David Hallberg was born in South Dakota. He trained at The School of Ballet Arizona and the Paris Opera Ballet School, before joining American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in 2001. He became a principal dancer in 2005 and his repertoire includes leading roles in all the major classical ballets. He has performed works by George Balanchine, Kurt Jooss, Lar Lubovitch, Mark Morris, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, and more, as well as roles he created in seven of Alexei Ratmansky’s world premieres. He made history in 2011 as the first American to join the Bolshoi Ballet under the title premier dancer. Hallberg has been a guest artist with the Mariinsky Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, La Scala, The Royal Ballet, and more. His recognitions include the Benois de la Danse prize, the Princess Grace Fellowship, The Bell Family Foundation Emerging Artist Award, and the Chris Hellman Dance Award and its Statue Award. Hallberg is the incoming artistic director for The Australian Ballet, and he serves as a board member with City Center and Performa in New York City.
Winard Harper studied at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and at Howard University and was awarded a scholarship to study jazz under the guidance of Jackie McLean at the University of Hartford. He has played with Betty Carter, Dexter Gordon, and Johnny Griffin. Harper was part of the Young Lions with his brother Philip, and together they formed jazz sensation The Harper Brothers, with five much lauded albums and Billboard 100 positions to their name. He formed his own sextet in 1993, recording seven albums featuring a host of special guests, true to his collaborative approach and the strong desire to showcase jazz greats of all ages. His latest project “Winard Harper & Jeli Posse” continues to record and perform throughout the region.
Alicia Graf Mack began her inaugural season as the dean and director of the Dance Division at The Juilliard School in fall 2018. She enjoyed a distinguished career as a leading dancer of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and was a principal dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. She has also danced as a guest performer with André 3000, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Beyoncé, John Legend, and Alicia Keys. Mack graduated magna cum laude with honors in history from Columbia University and holds an MA in nonprofit management from Washington University in St. Louis. In 2007, Smithsonian Magazine named her an American Innovator of the Arts and Sciences. She is a recipient of the Columbia University Medal of Excellence, an annual award given to an alumnus who has demonstrated excellence in their field of work. In 2008, she delivered the keynote address to the graduates of Columbia University’s School of General Studies. As a dance educator, Mack most recently taught as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Houston and was a visiting assistant professor at Webster University. She is a co-founder of D(n)A Arts Collective, an initiative created to enrich the lives of young dancers through master classes and intensives.
Sara Mearns of Columbia, South Carolina, has been a principal dancer with NYCB since 2008. She has been a guest artist with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Jodi Melnick Dance, and Wang Ramirez. She has also starred in the US premiere of Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes at City Center and performed the Dances of Isadora Duncan at both Lincoln Center and City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival. Mearns was also featured in the Fall for Dance Festival in 2013, 2017, 2018, and 2019. She has worked with world-renowned choreographers including Justin Peck and Alexei Ratmansky. In 2019, she made her City Center Encores! debut in I Married an Angel. Mearns is the winner of the 2018 Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer and a nominee for both the Benois de la Danse and Princess Grace Awards. She has partnerships with Cole Haan, Tiger Balm, and SoDanca.
Tiler Peck has been a principal dancer with NYCB since 2009. She most recently starred as Marie in the Kennedy Center's production of Little Dancer and is slated to star in the show’s upcoming Broadway production now called Marie. Peck made her Broadway debut at age 11 in The Music Man and was seen on Broadway as Ivy Smith in the Tony-nominated On the Town. She has appeared on television in Ray Donovan, Dancing with the Stars, the 2012 and 2014 Kennedy Center Honors for the Obamas, and Live from Lincoln Center’s George Balanchine's The Nutcracker and Carousel. She is a recipient of the Princess Grace Statue Award, Dance Magazine Award, Mae L. Wien Award, and was named one of Forbes “30 under 30.” Peck has appeared in previous City Center events including Studio 5, the 2015 and 2018 Fall for Dance Festival, and the 2016 Vail Dance Festival: ReMix NYC. Peck recently added “author” to her already impressive list of titles by writing her first children’s book, Katarina Ballerina. She choreographed the blockbuster hit film John Wick 3 and developed a daily ballet class, #TurnItOutWithTiler, that airs on her Instagram, @tilerpeck. Tiler is the designer of Tiler Peck Designs, a studio to streetwear clothing line.
Brittany Pollack is a soloist with NYCB. She has performed principal roles in ballets choreographed by George Balanchine, Mauro Bigonzetti, August Bournonville, Justin Peck, Angelin Preljocaj, Alexei Ratmansky, Jerome Robbins, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Christopher Wheeldon, and more. Her standout roles include Anita in West Side Story, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Symphony in C, Opus 19: The Dreamer, Western Symphony, Who Cares?, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and more. Her Broadway credits include Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel–2018 revival and her film and TV credits include Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, Camp, NY Export: Opus Jazz, The David Letterman Show, Live from Lincoln Center’s George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, and more. Pollack has also appeared in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the cover of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” issue, and more. She holds a BS from Fordham University and an MBA from Colorado State University. Pollack performed Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia with NYCB at City Center’s 2011 Fall for Dance Festival.
Jamar Roberts is the first resident choreographer of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. A dancer with the company since 2002, Roberts’s first full-length work for the company, Members Don’t Get Weary, premiered at City Center in 2016. In 2019, he premiered his next work, Ode, also at City Center. Roberts set his work Gemeos on Ailey II. A graduate of the New World School of the Arts and The Ailey School, he has danced for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Roberts won the 2016 Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer. He has been commissioned by The Juilliard School Dance Division, the March on Washington Film Festival to create a dance tribute to the honorable John Lewis, and as a Works & Process Virtual Commissioned Artist where he created the acclaimed short work on film, Cooped.
Gabriel Roxbury studied with Sekou O’Hura and Chiku Awali African Dance, Arts & Culture with Makane Koute and Jerry Dzokoto. His credits include Hello from Hollywood at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic featuring Tony Award winner Bryan Stokes Mitchell, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, and the Hudson River Dance Festival. Roxbury has also toured and taught in Ghana, West Africa, and Tempe, Arizona.
Calvin Royal III began his formal dance training at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was a finalist at the Youth America Grand Prix Competition and was awarded the Ethan Stiefel Scholarship to train at ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in 2006. Royal joined ABT II in 2008 and the main company in April 2011. He was promoted to soloist in September 2017 and to principal dancer in September 2020. Royal has been featured in the company's classical repertoire such as Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Apollo, and new works by Kyle Abraham, Wayne McGregor, Alexei Ratmansky, Twyla Tharp, and Christopher Wheeldon. Royal was the winner of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship grant and the July 2020 cover star of Dance Magazine. He was named the 2020–2021 artist-in-residence at the Vail Dance Festival in Vail, Colorado.
Dandara Veiga is originally from Brazil where she began her dance training at Projeto Social Primeiros Passos, before training as a scholarship student at Escola de dança Ballerina. She also studied at Studio Margarita Fernandez in Argentina, Opus Ballet in Italy, and Annarella Academia de Ballet e Dança in Portugal. Veiga continued her training as a scholarship student at The Ailey School from 2016–2017. She has participated in dance festivals around the world and received scholarships from San Francisco Ballet and Ballet West. She has performed for the Vibe Competition, Assemblée Internationale, Harlem Arts Festival, and the Ailey Spirit Gala. Veiga has had the opportunity to work with artists like Robert Battle, Raul Candal, Jean Emille, Melanie Futorian, Charla Gen, Caridad Martinez, Ray Mercer, and Claudia Zaccari. This is her fourth season with Ballet Hispánico
Lenai Alexis Wilkerson is from Washington, DC where she attended the Baltimore School for the Arts. Wilkerson graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) as a Glorya Kaufman scholar with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Political Science in 2019. She is one of the seven 2016–2017 dance scholars to be awarded a scholarship from Nigel Lythgoe’s Dizzy Feet Foundation. At USC Kaufman, Wilkerson performed the works of George Balanchine, Aszure Barton, William Forsythe, Martha Graham, Jared Grimes, Jiří Kylián, Yanis Marshall, and Dwight Rhoden, among others. Additionally, she has trained seasonally with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Bolshoi Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and with legendary ballerina Suzanne Farrell. This is Wilkerson’s second season with Ballet Hispánico.
Fall for Dance has presented over 200 companies and artists to a cumulative audience of over 350,000 newcomers and dance buffs. In 2013, City Center began commissioning new works for Fall for Dance. Recent seasons have featured world premieres from some of today’s leading choreographers, including Lil Buck, Michelle Dorrance, Mark Morris, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and Justin Peck.
MAJOR SUPPORT FOR FALL FOR DANCE
Jody and John Arnhold
ADDITIONAL MAJOR SUPPORT
Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation
Lisa and Richard Witten
ARTS ACCESS FUND
Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund
William and Dewey Edelman Charitable Trust
Denise R. Sobel
Barbara and David Zalaznick
Perry and Marty Granoff
Caroline Howard Hyman
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR FALL FOR DANCE IS PROVIDED BY
The Shubert Foundation
Joyce F. Menschel
The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc.
The SHS Foundation
LEADERSHIP SUPPORT FOR DANCE AT NEW YORK CITY CENTER
Top photo: Ballet Hispánico’s Shelby Colona; photo by Rachel Neville Photography
Encores! Inside the Revival
Starting Nov 18 at 2pm
Go behind the scenes with this new digital five-part mini documentary series that takes you inside the next chapter of the beloved Tony-honored Encores! where the unique creative process of musical theater productions in development is led by Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet and newly announced Producing Creative Director Clint Ramos. Enjoy live performances and hear one-on-one conversations with directors and artists like Kenny Leon, Ashley Park, and Billy Porter who are invested in bringing these productions to you as soon as it is safe to do so. Learn More.