Camerata New York to Kick Off Inaugural Dance Festival January 5; Festival to Debut Christopher Caines’ “Glimpsed Through Birches,” an Original Work Set to Music by Edvard Grieg; Program to Include Pedro Ruiz’s “Aria” and “Divertimento Baroque,” and Leyland Simmons’ “Guilty Pleasures”

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Camerata New York to Kick Off Inaugural Dance Festival January 5

Festival to Debut Christopher Caines’ “Glimpsed Through Birches,” an Original Work Set to Music by Edvard Grieg

Program to Include Pedro Ruiz’s “Aria” and “Divertimento Baroque,” and Leyland Simmons’ “Guilty Pleasures”

New York, NY – The Camerata New York <> orchestra, under the direction of conductor Richard Owen, will kick off its annual dance festival this January 5 at New York’s Theatre at St. Jean’s at 76th Street off Lexington Avenue.

The program, which represents a collaboration among some of the preeminent professional and pre-professional dancers and choreographers in the world, will feature both modern and classical ballet.

“The Camerata New York dance festival is a showcase for visionary choreographers and gifted dancers,” said Richard Owen, conductor and music director of Camerata NY. “Our orchestra is privileged to provide musical accompaniment for these inspired artists.”

The program headliner is Christopher Caines’ original ballet, Glimpsed Through Birches. The work is set to two sublime but seldom-heard scores for strings by Edvard Grieg: His Two Nordic Melodies, op. 63 (1895); and Two Elegiac Melodies, op. 34 (1880).

Caines Dance Company dancers Elisa Toro Franky, Mayu Oguri, Jacob Taylor and Michelle Vargo will join choreographer Christopher Caines on stage. Two-time Tony Award nominee costume designer Gregory Gale created the costumes.

“I am thrilled to take part in this exciting new venture, and to have the chance to collaborate with Richard Owen and his exceptional musicians, said Caines. “I am likewise thrilled to create a ballet for the first time to the music of Grieg, which I have long loved for the vast wintry landscapes it evokes, its poignancy, and its vivid energy.”

The program will also feature two works by choreographer Pedro Ruiz’s – Aria and Divertimento Baroque. Aria, set to Alessandro Marcello’s Concerto in D Minor, will be performed by Yinet Fernandez and Jose Losada. Divertimento Baroque, set to Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileira n. 5, will be danced by Morgan Hasson and Glauco Araujo.

Finally, choreographer Leyland Simmons’ version of Guilty Pleasures, set to composer Karl Jenkins’ Palladio: III. Presto, will by six members of his dance company – Randy Castillo, Yun Tzu Chang, Maxfield Haynes, Holly Laroche, Brena Thomas and Kar Williams.

Performances are scheduled for Friday, January 5, 7:30 pm; Saturday, January 6, at 7:30 pm; and Sunday, January 7, at 2 pm.

Tickets cost $20 and $25 and can be purchased at EventBrite <> or by calling (212) 288-5082, OR EMAIL [email protected]

For information about other upcoming Camerata programs, call (845) 729-4986 or visit

About Camerata New York

Camerata New York <>, which is resident orchestra of St. Jean Baptiste, promotes the finest young musicians. Under the baton of music director Richard Owen, Camerata has successfully performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, St. Paul’s Chapel, Merkin Hall and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, among others. Critics have hailed Camerata New York’s “lustrous tone-quality” and “near-definitive” performances and they have been featured in the New York Times, Newsday, Huffington Post, Opera News and Forbes. With a current release on Albany Records, Camerata New York’s acclaimed recordings have been aired on three continents including on New York’s WQXR (classical radio station of The New York Times), WMNR and SiriusXM. This season, Camerata NY returns to Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, and presented Amahl at St. Jean’s Theater.

Conductor Richard Owen <> combines a career as a conductor, pianist and organist. Owen is currently music director of Camerata NY Orchestra, St. Jean Baptiste and principal conductor of Adelphi Orchestra. He was formerly on the staff of the NY Philharmonic (cover conductor) as well as the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. This season, Mr. Owen conducts Nutcracker with the Donetsk State Ballet, Scheherezade with the Adelphi Orchestra and Carmina Burana with Camerata NY. In recent seasons, Mr. Owen conducted the Little Opera Theater of New York, Rioult Dance, the Center for Contemporary Opera and Carmina Burana with the Montreal Symphony, conducting alongside Kent Nagano. Owen has conducted symphony orchestras in Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Rzeszow, Jacksonville, Monterrey, Belgrade as well as the Staatskapelle Weimar, the Europa Symphony, the Silesian Philharmonic, the Baltic Opera and the Pacific Symphony. Owen is married to a singer/cellist and they have three sons, all of whom are musical. For more information, visit,

About Christopher Caines Dance

Christopher Caines  <>founded Christopher Caines Dance <> in 2000, for which he has since created some 35 works. The company’s seasons and projects are distinguished by an exclusive devotion to live music. Highlights of the company’s repertory include Tenebrae <> (2005), set to music by Thomas Tallis, including his motet Spem in alium <>, with a 40-voice choir at New York’s Danspace Project; The Farewell to Music (2007), an all-Mozart program; and Worklight, featuring Ernst Toch’s complete music for speaking choir, including his famed Geographical Fugue <> together with the two movements that originally complemented the Fugue, which Caines edited from the composer’s manuscripts—music unheard since the work’s 1936 Berlin premiere. Caines’ edition, together with an introductory essay, has just been published in Columbia University’s journal Current Musicology, and has been performed all over the world.

About Pedro Ruiz

Pedro Ruiz  <>is a celebrated choreographer and dancer; He was just appointed Associate Artistic Director of Ballet Contemporaneo de Camagüey Cuba. Ruiz is the recipient of The Bessie Award, the Choo-San Goh Award, The Cuban Artist’s Fund, and The Joyce Foundation Award and, last year, the FBI honored him for his Public Service. In 2010, Ruiz founded The Windows Project—a groundbreaking cultural exchange program celebrating the art of dance between the U.S. and Cuba. Ruiz has been the subject of two PBS documentaries: Pas de Deux (part of the “In The Life” series), and Coming Home, a PBS documentary nominated for a NY Emmy Award. Ruiz’s highly successful ballet, Club Havana was featured in Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance. And Ruiz’s celebrated poetic duet, Lasting Embrace, premiered in the US in July 2016 at the Dancers Responding to AIDS Dance Festival on Fire Island and at Marymount Manhattan College. For more information, visit <>.

About Leyland Simmons and Company

Leyland Simmons and Company <> was established with the mission of presenting avant-garde and innovative work reflecting the human experience. Founded by choreographer Leyland Simmons the company has performed at such notable venues like the Frederick Lowe Theater, the 2017 E-moves 18 showcase and the 2017 White Wave Festival. Leyland is very excited for this journey and hopes to inspire people everywhere.


Music Director, Camerata New York
Principal Conductor, Adelphi Orchestra
Music Director, St. Jean Baptiste Church

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