New York University Skirball Center for the Performing Arts 2016 -2017 Season

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New York University Skirball Center for the Performing Arts

2016 -2017 Season


Dance, Theater, Contemporary Circus, Comedy, Music, Film

and Family Entertainments

Highlights include:

  • The Suzanne Farrell Ballet presents a Staging-in-Process of Balanchine’s Gounod Symphony;

  • World premiere of Titicut Follies, a new ballet based on Frederick Weisman’s controversial 1967 documentary, performed by James Sewell Ballet;

  • BalletCollective presents two world premieres inspired by architecture, choreographed by Troy Schumacher;

  • N.Y. premiere of Cuisine & Confessions, a contemporary circus performance by Montreal’s acclaimed Les 7 Doigts de la Main (The 7 Fingers), mixes kitchen arts with circus extravaganza;

  • Pilobolus Dance Theater presents two N.Y. premieres and collaborations with Penn and Teller, choreographer Javier de Frutos and alt-band OK GO;

  • N.Y. premiere of Breaking the Waves, a new opera by Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek, presented in conjunction with the 2017 Prototype Festival;

  • U.S. premiere of three world musicals from Korea, Shanghai and Africa;

  • Circus Now Festival: International Contemporary Circus Exposure 2017 returns following two sold-out seasons;

  • Big Red Chair Series of Family Programs feature pre-show educational activities for Kids and Families;

  • Free discussions and events draw on the expertise of NYU’s renowned faculty enhance presentations

(New York, June 2, 2016) New York University Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, downtown New York’s most diverse cultural center, today announced its 2016-17 season, featuring more than 20 presentations in a wide array of genres that showcase diverse and cutting-edge talent from across the country and around the world. The season features over 60 performances, from acclaimed dance companies and contemporary circus performances to theater, comedy, film and family programming.

NYU Skirball Center presentations are enhanced by free pre-and post-show discussions and special events, drawing on the expertise of NYU’s renowned faculty and educational resources. The events are designed to provide context and give audiences the chance to interact with the artists, reflecting NYU’s commitment to education in, and through, the performing arts.

NYU Skirball’s Dance Season will present six acclaimed U.S. companies, beginning on September 11 with a staging-in-process by Suzanne Farrell, featuring discussions and performance of an excerpt from Balanchine’s Gounod Symphony. BalletCollective returns to NYU Skirball for its third season on October 27 and 28, presenting two world premiere collaborations choreographed by Troy Schumacher, inspired by architecture.

The world premiere of Titicut Follies, a full-length ballet based off Frederick Wiseman’s groundbreaking 1967 documentary about a Massachusetts Hospital for the Criminally Insane, will have its world premiere in April, 2017, performed by James Sewell Ballet.

Pilobolus Dance Theater returns to NYC for two weeks in November and December with two programs mixing dance, physical theater and short film, featuring two N.Y. premieres and including works created in collaboration with Penn and Teller, choreographer Javier de Frutos and alt-band OK Go.

Talented young dancers from two of the country’s most acclaimed dance companies will get their chance to shine, when ABT Studio Company (February) and Ailey II (March) take to the Skirball stage.

NYU Skirball is committed to presenting new and boundary-breaking contemporary circus. Circus and Kitchen Arts mix when the Montreal-based Les 7 Doigts de la Main (The 7 Fingers) makes its Skirball debut in April with the N.Y. premiere of Cuisine and Confessions, a mix of the company’s trademarked, jaw-dropping acrobatics combined with all things cuisine: kitchen utensils, food and baking ingredients. It’s a sure a recipe for fun.

Circus Now Festival returns to NYU Skirball following two sold-out engagements of its International Contemporary Circus Exposure 2017, a mix of the world’s most innovative and inspired companies from around the world. NY Comedy Festival returns in November to celebrate all things funny in New York City.

Music and opera programs include a return of the acclaimed Prototype Festival in January, presenting the N.Y. premiere chamber opera Breaking the Waves by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek. Alt-classical composer/pianist Ludovico Einaudi, whose unique musical style is renowned around the world, returns to NYU Skirball in October with a brand new concert based on his new album “Elements.”

A new theater series, World Musicals, will present three U.S. premieres from South Africa, Korea and Shanghai; and the National Theatre Live film series returns with screenings of acclaimed plays featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, Jonny Lee Miller, Mark Strong and more.

NYU’s beloved Big Red Chair Family Series will present unique family friendly fare for audiences ages 3 and up, featuring pre-show educational activities for kids and families and will include at an autistic family friendly performance of Peter Rabbit Tales in May.

NYU Skirball 2016– 2017 Season



Balanchine’s Gounod Symphony: A Staging-in-Process and Conversation with Suzanne Farrell

September 11, 2016


In collaboration with The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet will perform a staging-in-process showing of the second movement of the rarely seen Balanchine ballet Gounod Symphony, which will premiere in full at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. this October. The brief performance is followed by a conversation with Jennifer Homans, Founder and Director of The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University and Suzanne Farrell, Artistic Director of The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, where they will discuss Ms. Farrell’s

staging of the Balanchine’s Gounod Symphony and her work with the company.

The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, under the Artistic Direction of George Balanchine’s most celebrated muse, continues to flourish as the Kennedy Center’s own ballet company in Washington, D.C. Combining her vast artistic strengths and teaching gifts with her deep, inimitable insight into the Balanchine canon, Ms. Farrell carries forth Balanchiine’s enduring legacy—sharing his profound vision and influential works with world audiences via company tours, artistic partnerships, and educational residencies.


BalletCollective Two World Premiere Collaborations

October 27 and 28, 2016


BalletCollective’s 2016 Season will explore the company’s unique collaborative process with world premiere works featuring two collaborations: architects Carlos Arnaiz and James Ramsey will pair with composers Judd Greenstein and Ellis Ludwig-Leone, respectively. Both works will be choreographed by BalletCollective director Troy Schumacher and will feature live music and an ensemble of eight dancers, including New York City Ballet’s Harrison Coll, Rachel Hutsell Anthony Huxley, Lauren King, Isabella LaFreniere, Ashley Laracey, and Lauren Lovette.

BalletCollective, founded by Troy Schumacher in 2010, brings together artists, writers, composers, choreographers, and designers to collaborate as equals through the creation of distinctive works of art. BalletCollective’s works are intimate and reflective yet accessible, featuring a highly accomplished group of dancers in works that are made for them. At the heart of BalletCollective lies process. Artists from different genres come together and express ideas that are important to them individually; but as a group – a collective – they’re encouraged to think outside of what it is they usually do.


Pilobolus Dance Theater


November 16 – December 4, 2016

Two N.Y. Premieres

Pilobolus returns to NYU with two new exhilarating programs mixing dance, physical theater, short film, and of course Pilobolus’s unique surrealistic and magical physical language. The program will feature the New York premieres of Thresh/Hold and Wednesday Morning, 11:45; as well as revivals of Pilobolus classics Day 2 and Gnomon, and collaborations with Penn and Teller ([esc]) and alt-band OK Go (All is Not Lost).

Pilobolus is an internationally acclaimed collective, renowned for its unique, diverse collaborations that ignore preconceived barriers between creative disciplines. The company is committed to creating collaboratively, always exploring ways of using the human body as a graphic and expressive medium. Pilobolus has created and toured over 120 pieces of repertory to more than 65 countries, and currently performs its work for over 300,000 people across the

U.S. and around the world each year. In 2015, Pilobolus was named one of Dance Heritage Coalition’s “Irreplaceable Dance Treasures.”


ABT Studio Company


February 10 and 11, 2017

ABT Studio Company (formerly ABT II) is delighted to return to NYU Skirball in February for two evenings of classical and new classical repertory, showcasing the talent of the next generation of ballet’s professionals. ABT Studio Company, under the Artistic Director of Kate Lydon, is made up of 15 dancers (ages 16-20) of outstanding potential. Over sixty of the current dancers in American Ballet Theatre began their careers in the studio company, including such notable principal dancers as Misty Copeland and David Hallberg.

Ailey II


March 29-April 2, 2017

Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. Founded in 1974, the company embodies Mr. Ailey’s pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training, and community programs for all people. Under the direction of Sylvia Waters, Ailey II flourished into one of the most popular dance companies in the county. With new Artistic Director Troy Powell at the helm, Ailey II will continue to thrive as he brings a fresh dimension to this beloved company.


Titicut Follies James Sewell Ballet World Premiere

April 27 – 28, 2017


This World Premiere ballet is inspired by Frederick Wiseman’s groundbreaking and controversial 1967 documentary, Titicut Follies. Filmed in 1967 at the Bridgewater State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, Wiseman’s landmark documentary provided a raw and candid perspective on the institutionalization of patients/criminals in America. A collaboration between Wiseman, choreographer James Sewell and composer Lenny Picket, the work seeks to deepen the relevancy of ballet to contemporary life. Presented in conjunction with The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University.

James Sewell Ballet was founded in New York City by James Sewell and Sally Rousse and brought to Minnesota in 1993. Over two decades later, critically acclaimed JSB performances move and delight audiences across the country. The embodiment of the original vision is a professional company of ten dancers performing innovative work that explores the technical boundaries of ballet.



Circus Now Festival International Contemporary Circus Exposure 2017

March 3 – 5, 2017


Circus Now Festival returns to NYU Skirball following two sold-out seasons, with three programs of boundary pushing contemporary circus featuring the world’s most innovative and inspired companies.

Circus Now, a volunteer-powered circus advocacy organization, works to support and spread circus in a variety of ways: professional development workshops, social media advocacy, and community-building events. The company encourages and promotes circus as an art and a practice and helps

circus companies survive, thrive and connect with theaters and presenters from around the world.


Cuisine & Confessions Les 7 Doigts dela Main N.Y. Premiere

April 11 – 16, 2017


Cuisine & Confessions, the newest creation by Montreal-based circus company Les 7 Doigts de la Main (The 7 Fingers), the company behind Traces and Broadway’s Pippin, combines culinary arts with circus high jinks. The company’s awe inspiring acrobats combine kitchen appliances, food, and recipes with elaborate choreography, jaw dropping acrobatics and pulsating music to heighten audiences’ most visceral senses.

Les 7 Doigts de la Main (The 7 Fingers) was founded in 2002 by seven Montreal-based artists with the goal of making circus a transformative experience for audiences, and developing shows in a collaborative creative process that nurtures new generations of circus artists. The company’s name is a twist on the French idiom “the five fingers of the hand,” used to describe distinct parts united tightly, moving in coordination towards one common goal. Their work is characterized by the combination of traditional acrobatics with elements of theater, skateboarding, basketball, and parkour.


NY Comedy Festival_ _ _

November 3 – 5, 2016


NYU Skirball welcomes back the NY Comedy Festival, a celebration of all things funny in New York City.



Ludovico Einaudi


October 18, 2016

Alt-classical composer/pianist Ludovico Einaudi, whose unique musical style is renowned around the world, returns to NYU Skirball with a brand new concert based on his new album Elements, whichwill be released on October 16th.

Einaudi’s hauntingly beautiful and evocative music has been described as minimalist, alt-classical, ambient and contemporary, but it defies easy classification. He has sold over 1.5 million records, and his music tops the classical charts worldwide.


Breaking the Waves 2017 Prototype Festival N.Y Premiere

January 6 – 9, 2017


In conjunction with the 2017 Prototype Festival, NYU Skirball Centerpresentsthe

N.Y. premiere chamber opera Breaking the Waves by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek. Set in the Scottish Highlands in the early 1970s, the work is based on the 1996 Academy Award-nominated film by Lars von Trier.

Prototype: Opera/Theatre/Now is an annual festival of visionary opera- theatre and music-theatre works by pioneering contemporary artists from New York City and around the world. Prototype, founded in 2014, has

produced and presented 91 performances, shared the work of more than 275 local, national, and international artists, exposed visionary work to more than 9,000 people, and filled 19 stages across multiple boroughs of New York City. It has unleashed a powerful wave of opera-theatre and music-theater from a new generation of classical and post- classical composers and librettists.



WORLD MUSICALS Three U.S. Premieres

Jews in Shanghai


September 28 – 30, 2016

Jews in Shanghai, created by Chinese and Israeli artists and inspired by a true story, was written to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II. Between 1933 to 1941, while many countries closed their borders to Jews trying to escape persecution in Europe, Shanghai offered shelter to around 20,000 Jewish refugees. The musical centers on the friendship and unspoken love between a young Jewish engineer and a local college girl who acts as a volunteer to help orientate the refugees. Presented in collaboration with NYU Shanghai.

Miriam Makeba (Mama Africa)


October 7 – 9, 2016

Miriam Makeba (Mama Africa) is a celebration of the life and turbulent political times of Miriam Zenzi Makeba, the South African singer and civil rights activist whose anti-apartheid politics led to her exile by the government. She was the first African artist to popularize African music around the world, and she recorded and performed with Harry Belafonte, as part of Paul Simon’s Graceland tour, and for President Kennedy’s 1962 birthday celebration. Presented in collaboration with the NYU Institute for Africana Studies.

Global Fantastic Musical Nori


November 10 -11, 2016

Global Fantastic Musical Nori takes audiences on a global journey, combining the essence of Korean arts with dance and music from around the world. Nori transcends the boundary between tradition and contemporary, and the boundary of different cultures and arts.

Founded in 1986, Seoul Performing Arts Company has been producing performances in the unique genre called Theater of Music and Dance, a musical theater which combines modern and traditional Korean arts. In addition, as a national performing arts company affiliated with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the company has performed not only for Korean audiences but also at international venues to help global audiences to better understand Korean culture and performing arts. Nori is presented in affiliation with NYU Steinhardt.

National Theater Live: Encores Series

October – December 2016


National Theatre Live returns to NYU Skirball with encore screenings of four acclaimed broadcasts, starring Academy Award nominee Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, and “Elementary” star Jonny Lee Miller. Launched in 2009, National Theatre Live broadcasts have been seen by an audience of over 5 million people at 2000 venues in 50 countries.

The Schedule:

October 11: A View from the Bridge, starring Mark Strong

October 25: Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch & Jonny Lee Miller November 21: Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch

December 29: War Horse


NYU Skirball Center will be presenting the ninth season of the Big Red Chair Family Series, unique performances of high-quality, family-friendly fare for audiences of all ages.


Beethoven’s Wig (All Ages) __

October 1, 2016


Four-time Grammy Award nominated vocal quintet Beethoven’s Wig sings witty and very funny lyrics set to masterpieces of classical music. The show stars lyricist and lead singer Richard Perlmutter, who has drawn comparisons to Victor Borge, Tom Lehrer and Danny Kaye for his quick wit, songwriting genius, and vocal gymnastics. Beethoven’s Wig has been praised as one of the best introductions to classical music for children and families. It is also a show that sophisticated classical music and comedy fans of all ages will love.


Odd Squad—Live! (Ages 6 – 10) _

October 29 -30, 2016


NYU Skirball will transform into the top-secret “Mathroom” as Odd Squad agents investigate unusual phenomena in this all-new stage production, based on the popular PBS Kids series. Agents, Olive and Otto need help to solve local problems and to crack the case in this live, interactive adventure. Odd Squad LIVE! allows the audience’s junior agents to help solve these problems alongside Olive and Otto, utilizing math to put things right when oddness strikes.


Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live (Ages 3 and up)

April 29-30, 2017


Dinosaur Zoo Live takes kids on a breathtaking tour through pre-historic Australia to interact with an eye-popping collection of amazingly life-like dinosaurs and other extinct creatures, brought to life by a team of skilled performers and puppeteers, and so extraordinarily realistic kids may feel the urge to run and hide.

The Australian company Erth — Visual & Physical Incorporated brings the impossible to life. For over 21 years, the company has developed a truly fantastic aesthetic and an extraordinary box of tricks, the foundations of its unique visual theater works. More than a million people have seen its dinosaurs in performance works ranging from large-scale interactive environments to more intimate in-theater works and roving spectaculars.


Peter Rabbit Tales (Ages 3 – 9)

May 6, 2017



“Once upon a time there were four little rabbits, and their names were – Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter….” These famous opening lines of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” have enchanted young audiences for over one hundred years. In celebration of author Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday anniversary, Enchantment Theatre Company brings her captivating stories to life, using fantastic masks, whimsical puppets, gorgeous scenery and original music. Enchantment Theatre Company creates original theater for young audiences and families through the imaginative telling of stories that inspire, challenge

and enrich audiences onstage and in the classroom.

Note: The Peter Rabbit Tales presentation will include an autistic family friendly performance at 11 am.

For complete scheduling, dates and times, visit Tickets will be available in July and may be purchased online at or in person at the NYU Skirball Center Box Office: Tuesday-Saturday, 12:00– 6:00 P.M. NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is located at 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square, New York, New York 10012.


NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is the premier venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for New York University and lower Manhattan. NYU Skirball’s mission is to showcase and support diverse and eclectic talent from around the world, while cultivating audiences for live performance through deeper engagement opportunities. For more information visit:


2016-17 Season Chronology

September, 2016

Dance Theater

Sept 11

Sept 28-30

Balanchine’s Gounod Symphony Jews in Shanghai

A Staging in Process by Suzanne Farrell World Musicals

October, 2016


Oct 1

Beethoven’s Wig

The Big Red Chair Family Series


Film: Music: Film Dance: Family:

Oct 7-9

Oct 11 Oct18 Oct 25

Oct 27-28

Oct 29-30

Miriam Makeba (Mama Africa)

A View from the Bridge Ludovico Einaudi Frankenstein BalletCollective

Odd Squad Live!

World Musicals

National Theatre Live National Theatre Live

The Big Red Chair Family Series

November, 2016


Nov 3-5

NY Comedy Festival


Theater: Dance:

Nov 21

Nov 10-11

Nov 16-Dec 4


Global Fantastic Musical Nori Pilobolus

National Theatre Live

World Musicals

December, 2016


Thru Dec 4



Dec 29

War Horse

National Theatre Live

January, 2017


Jan 6-9

Breaking the Waves

2017 Prototype Festival

February, 2017


Feb 10-11

ABT Studio Company

March, 2017


Mar 3-5

Circus Now Festival

Circus Now


Mar 29-Apr 2

Ailey II

April, 2017


Apr 11-16

Cuisine & Confessions

Les 7 Doigts de la Main (The 7 Fingers)



Apr 26-28

Apr 29-30

Titicut Follies

Dino Zoo

James Sewell Ballet

The Big Red Chair Series

May, 2017


May 6

Peter Rabbit Tales

The Big Red Chair Series

Programs, artists and ticket prices are subject to change.

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