Seven of the world’s leading ballet talents, all dancers with the New York City Ballet, will grace the Township Auditorium stage March 31, as the University of South Carolina Department of Theatre and Dance presents the 14th Annual Ballet Stars of New York Gala Performance.
Show time is at 6:30pm. Tickets for the performance are $35 for Orchestra seating, $25-$30 for balcony seating, and $15 for gallery seating. Tickets can be reserved through the Township Auditorium box office online or by phone at 800-745-3000. The Township Auditorium is located at 1703 Taylor St.
Featured dancers will be NYC Ballet Principal Dancers Sara Mearns (a Columbia native), Jared Angle, Ask La Cour, and Lauren Lovette, as well as NYCB Soloists Emilie Gerrity and Indiana Woodward, and corps member Roman Mejia. The concert is once again directed by UofSC Distinguished Artist-in-Residence Stacey Calvert, who for seventeen years was a soloist with the NYCB.
Mearns, described by The New York Times in 2015 as “very possibly the most talked of ballerina in America,” began her ballet training at Columbia’s Calvert-Brodie School of Dance, under the tutelage of Ann Brodie. She first gained major recognition with the New York City Ballet in 2006 performing the lead role of Odette/Odile in Peter Martin’s Swan Lake. She was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2008 and has since earned high praise for her roles in, among many other ballets, The Nutcracker, Serenade, and Walpurgisnacht.
These special guest artists will perform alongside dancers from the USC Dance Company, with music accompaniment from a live orchestra conducted by Nyamka Odsuren, sponsored by the Robert S. Handler Foundation. The concert is additionally made possible by Presenting Sponsor Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Morgan Stanley, and the UofSC College of Arts and Sciences.
Scheduled repertory for the concert includes two ballets by George Balanchine, founding Artistic Director of the New York City Ballet: the romantic Serenade (set to the music of Tschaikovsky), and Western Symphony, a crowd-pleasing romp through the Old West set to Hershy Kay’s spirited arrangements of well-known American folk songs. A special highlight of the concert will be Fandango, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, former director of the Bolshoi Ballet and current Artist-in-Residence for American Ballet Theatre. Choreographed to Spanish-style music by Luciano Boccherini, this solo work featuring Sara Mearns led New York Times critic Alastair Macauley to declare it the best dance performance of the year when he saw her perform it in 2016. (“Ms. Mearns blazed; her musicality electrified. If I had to choose one 2016 performance by one dancer, this would be the one.”)
An elegant gala fundraiser will follow the performance. A special ticket will admit guests to the gala, to be held at the Township Auditorium. The gala will include fine cuisine by Loosh Culinaire and dancing to the music of Eight Track Parade. The ticket also provides guests VIP seating during the concert and complimentary valet parking.
Gala tickets are $150 per person and are available by contacting Susan Anderson by phone at 803-777-0704 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsorship opportunities for the evening are also available, with levels ranging from $500 to $10,000. All proceeds benefit scholarships for the talented students in the university’s fast-growing dance program, recently described in Dance Magazine as “one of the top three university programs to consider for classical ballet training.”
For more information on the 14th Annual Ballet Stars of New York Gala Performance or the dance program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at email@example.com.