American Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie has announced that ABT Principal Dancer Stella Abrera will dance the role of Pierrette at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in its West Coast premiere on January 17. Abrera will also dance in the January 20 matinee. Misty Copeland will make her debut as Pierrette on Friday, January 18.
Audiences are in for a delightful treat with this new production of a rare comic gem created over a remarkable 18 months by ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, inspired by the archival notes of Marius Petipa. Harlequinade is set to a score by Riccardo Drigo, played live by Pacific Symphony. The ballet features sets and costumes by Robert Perdziola, praised by Forbes as a “feast of colors and whimsy.” Harlequinade will be performed January 17 – 20 in Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, California.
As previously announced, the Thursday, January 17 opening night cast also includes Isabella Boylston as Columbine, James Whiteside as Harlequin and Thomas Forster as Pierrot. Additional casts include Skylar Brandt, Sarah Lane, Hee Seo, Christine Shevchenko, Cassandra Trenary, Alexandre Hammoudi, Blaine Hoven, Carlos Gonzalez, Tyler Maloney, Calvin Royal III and Daniil Simkin.
Principal Casting for Harlequinade at Segerstrom Center for the Arts Artists and program are subject to change.
Thursday, January 17 at 7:30 p.m. | Columbine – Isabella Boylston, Harlequin – James Whiteside Pierrette – Stella Abrera, Pierrot – Thomas Forster
Friday, January 18 at 7:30 p.m. | Columbine – Sarah Lane, Harlequin – Carlos Gonzalez, Pierrette – Misty Copeland*, Pierrot – Calvin Royal III*
Saturday, January 19 at 2 p.m. | Columbine – Skylar Brandt, Harlequin – Daniil Simkin, Pierrette – Hee Seo, Pierrot – Alexandre Hammoudi
Saturday, January 19 at 7:30 p.m. | Columbine – Cassandra Trenary, Harlequin – Tyler Maloney*, Pierrette – Christine Shevchenko, Pierrot – Blaine Hoven
Sunday, January 20 at 1 p.m. | Columbine – Isabella Boylston, Harlequin – James Whiteside, Pierrette – Stella Abrera, Pierrot – Thomas Forster
* Debut in role
Single tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s Harlequinade start at $29 and are now available online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787. For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236.
About the Ballet
Marius Petipa originally created Harlequinade, known as Les Millions d’Arlequin (Harlequin’s Millions), for the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg in 1900, with music composition by the Imperial Ballet’s conductor and composer of the time Riccardo Drigo. A ballet in two acts, the plot revolves around the well-known characters of Italian commedia dell’arte: Pierrot, his wife Pierrette, Columbine and her romantic suitor Harlequin. Distilling through its own expressive language – Commedia’s particular traits of wit, humor, farce and mime – Harlequinade tells the charming tale of the love struck Harlequin and his pursuit of the captivating Columbine.
Taking inspiration from Petipa’s archival notes, acclaimed choreographer Alexei Ratmansky has restaged this comic gem for American Ballet Theatre’s first full-length production of the ballet (a co-production with Australian Ballet), which received its world premiere in June of 2018 at the Metropolitan Opera House. Set and costumes are designed by Robert Perdziola in a sumptuous evocation of the Imperial Ballet and colorful Commedia dell’arte tradition.
The Story: In the first act, the Harlequin and Columbine are kept apart by her father Cassandre, who would prefer that his daughter marry the wealthier (and older!) Lèandre. Not to be deterred, Harlequin tries futilely to win Cassandre over, only to be turned away again and again by Cassandre and his servant Pierrot. Finally, with the help of a Good Fairy and Pierrot’s sympathetic wife Pierrette, Harlequin’s bad fortunes are turned around, and Cassandre agrees to bless the union. Harlequin and Columbine are married in the festive second act, when love finally triumphs over all.
The Center’s International Dance Series is made possible by the Audrey Steele Burnand Endowed Fund for International Dance and The Segerstrom Foundation Endowment for Great Performances. Segerstrom Center for the Arts thanks its corporate partners including Kia Motors America, Official Automotive Partner; and United Airlines, Official Airline.
American Ballet Theatre is one of the great dance companies in the world. Few ballet companies equal ABT for its combination of size, scope and outreach. Recognized as a living national treasure since its founding in 1940, ABT annually tours the United States, performing for more than 300,000 people, and is the only major cultural institution to do so.
For 78 years, the Company has appeared in a total of 132 cities in 50 countries and has performed in all 50 states of the United States. ABT has recently enjoyed triumphant successes with engagements in Paris, Brisbane, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
On April 27, 2006, by an act of Congress, American Ballet Theatre became America’s National Ballet Company®.