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Academy Award-Winning Filmmaker Sofia Coppola to Direct Film Featuring New York City Ballet Dancers Performing Choreography by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Justin Peck for NYCB's 2021 Digital Season

Download Release PDF [150K]

The Coppola Film Will be Shot on Location at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center and Premiere as Part of a Special Virtual Spring Gala

The Spring Gala Event Will be Held on Wednesday, May 5
Emily and Len Blavatnik, Lead Benefactors

The Film Will Feature a World Premiere by Peck to Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Excerpts from Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15, Duo Concertant, and Liebeslieder Walzer and Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering

For the Film Coppola Will Collaborate with Acclaimed Cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd

Following the May 5 Premiere the Gala Film Will be Available Online For Two Weeks Only from May 6–20

Sofia Coppola’s Film is Generously Supported by CHANEL

Additional Digital Content to be Released by NYCB This Spring Will Include:
World Premiere by Choreographer Kyle Abraham Available April 8–22
A Stream of a 2013 Performance of Balanchine’s Vienna Waltzes Available June 3–17
and All-New Episodes of City Ballet The Podcast and Interactive Educational Workshops


New York City Ballet announced today that award-winning filmmaker Sofia Coppola will direct a film, generously supported by CHANEL, for the Company’s current digital season, which will premiere at NYCB’s 2021 Spring Gala—the Company’s first-ever virtual gala event—on Wednesday, May 5. 

The film will be shot entirely on location at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, NYCB’s home since 1964, by Coppola and acclaimed cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd, and will feature choreography by NYCB’s Co-Founding Choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, and current Resident Choreographer and Artistic Advisor Justin Peck. 

Coppola is a writer, director, and producer, who made her feature-length directorial debut in 1999 with The Virgin Suicides.  In 2004, Coppola received the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Lost in Translation, for which she was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director, becoming only the third woman in history to be recognized in that category.  In 2010 she became the first American woman to win the Golden Lion, the top prize at the Venice Film Festival, for her film Somewhere; and in 2017 she became the second woman to win the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival for The Beguiled.  Other films written and directed by Coppola include Marie Antoinette (2006), The Bling Ring (2013), and On the Rocks (2020).  In 2016 Coppola made her debut as an opera director, collaborating with Valentino on Verdi’s La Traviata for Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.

Le Sourd, who received a 2013 Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography for The Grandmaster, has previously worked with Coppola on The Beguiled and On the Rocks.

CHANEL’S support of this film underscores the House’s rich history of patronage of dance and cinema.  A longstanding patron of the arts, Gabrielle Chanel catalyzed artistic connections across disciplines throughout her career, defining a distinctly modern approach that continues today. 

Coppola’s film for New York City Ballet will feature members of the Company performing five works: a World Premiere by Peck featuring NYCB Principal Dancer Anthony Huxley set to Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings; excerpts from three works by Balanchine—Duo Concertant, featuring NYCB Principal Dancers Ashley Bouder and Russell Janzen; Liebeslieder Walzer, featuring NYCB Principal Dancers Maria Kowroski and Ask la Cour; and the finale of Divertimento No. 15, featuring NYCB Principal Dancers Tiler Peck and Andrew Veyette, Soloists Emilie Gerrity, Lauren King, Ashley Laracey, Unity Phelan, and Daniel Applebaum, and corps de ballet member Andrew Scordato—and a solo from Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering, featuring NYCB Principal Dancer Gonzalo Garcia.  The musical soundtrack for the film will be performed by New York City Ballet Orchestra members and Company pianists under the direction of NYCB Music Director Andrew Litton.

“We are thrilled to have Sofia Coppola bring her extraordinary artistic vision to New York City Ballet for this special film premiere for our 2021 virtual Spring Gala and digital season, and grateful to CHANEL for their generous underwriting of Ms. Coppola’s film, and to Emily and Len Blavatnik, Lead Benefactors, for their extraordinary support,” said NYCB Artistic Director Jonathan Stafford.  “After more than a year off the stage, this project has been conceived as a celebration of our wonderful artists, unparalleled repertory, and magnificent theater as we begin to look to a return to live performances at Lincoln Center in September.”

Tickets for the May 5 virtual Spring Gala, which will include exclusive content and other special perks in a virtual venue created by Broadway Unlocked, are available at nycballet.com/springgala or through the NYCB Special Events department at (212) 870-5585.  Following the Spring Gala premiere, the Coppola film will be available online for two weeks only, Thursday, May 6 through Thursday, May 20.  Visit nycballet.com/digitalseason for more information.



Kyle Abraham World Premiere

On Thursday, April 8 New York City Ballet will present the World Premiere of a new work by choreographer Kyle Abraham, which was filmed at the David H. Koch Theater in February, and co-directed by Abraham and Ryan Marie Helfant, who has also contributed cinematography to the visual albums Black is King (directed by Beyoncé) and When I Get Home (directed by Solange). 

Titled When We Fell, the Abraham work features eight NYCB dancers—Principal Dancers Lauren Lovette and Taylor Stanley, Soloists Claire Kretschmar and Sebastian Villarini-Velez, corps de ballet members India Bradley, Jonathan Fahoury, and Christopher Grant, and apprentice KJ Takahashi—and was created during a three-week residency at the Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in Tivoli, New York.

In addition to the film of Abraham’s new work, NYCB will also release a short documentary film that will provide a glimpse inside of the Kaatsbaan residency when Abraham and the dancers were creating the piece.  Both films will be available from Thursday, April 8 through Thursday, April 22; for more information visit nycballet.com/digitalseason.


Vienna Waltzes

For the finale of NYCB’s current digital season, the Company will stream a complete performance of Balanchine’s Vienna Waltzes from June 3 through 17.  Created in 1977 and set to waltzes by Johann Strauss II, Franz Lehár, and Richard Strauss, this work of grand scale featuring more than 50 dancers is only performed by New York City Ballet.  

Through Rouben Ter-Arutunian’s evolving scenery, Ronald Bates’ lighting, and Karinska’s costumes, the last that the famed designer created for the Company, the ballet transforms from a sylvan forest glen to a dance hall to a glittering society café to, at last, a majestic mirrored ballroom.

 This performance of Vienna Waltzes was filmed in 2013 and features Rebecca Krohn, Tyler Angle, Megan Fairchild, Anthony Huxley, Erica Pereira, Sean Suozzi, Teresa Reichlen, Ask la Cour, Maria Kowroski, and Jared Angle in the principal roles.  Visit nycballet.com/digitalseason for more information.


Podcasts and Workshops

Additional offerings of the digital season will also include all-new episodes of City Ballet The Podcast with conversations exploring Kyle Abraham’s When We Fell, launching on Monday, April 5; the 2021 Spring Gala launching on Monday, May 3, and Vienna Waltzes, launching on Monday, May 31.

In addition, during the month of May, NYCB’s Education Department will once again present a series of interactive workshops and ballet classes, including Ballet Essentials interactive repertory workshops for teens and adults on May 3, 10, and 17; Ballet Breaks movement workshops for children on May 8, 15, and 22; Signature Steps, one-hour ballet classes designed for intermediate and advanced level dancers, on May 5, 12, and 19; and a series of six Access Workshops for people with disabilities, three for teens and adults on May 6, 13, and 20, and three for children on May 8, 15, and 22.   

Visit nycballet.com/digitalseason for complete details and schedule for all of the offerings that are being presented during NYCB’s 2021 digital season.

New York City Ballet will return to the stage of the David H. Koch Theater for live performances on Tuesday, September 21 for the start of its 2021-22 season.  Subscription tickets for the season are currently available online at nycballet.com or by phone at 212-496-0600.  Single tickets will go on sale later this year.  


About New York City Ballet

New York City Ballet is one of the foremost dance companies in the world. The Company was founded in 1948 by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein, and quickly became world-renowned for its athletic and contemporary style. Jerome Robbins joined NYCB the following year and, with Balanchine, helped to build its unparalleled repertory. Now under the direction of NYCB Artistic Director Jonathan Stafford, NYCB Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan, and NYCB Executive Director Katherine Brown, NYCB is committed to promoting creative excellence and nurturing a new generation of dancers and choreographers.


About Chanel

Chanel is a private company and a world leader in creating, developing, manufacturing and distributing luxury products. Founded by Gabrielle Chanel at the beginning of the last century, Chanel offers a broad range of high-end creations, including Ready-to-Wear, Leather Goods, Fashion Accessories, Eyewear, Fragrances, Makeup, Skincare, Jewelry and Watches. Chanel is also renowned for its Haute Couture collections, presented twice yearly in Paris, and for having acquired a large number of specialized suppliers, collectively known as the Métiers d’Art. Chanel is dedicated to ultimate luxury and to the highest level of craftsmanship. It is a brand whose core values remain historically grounded on exceptional creation. As such, Chanel promotes culture, art, creativity and “savoir-faire” throughout the world, and invests significantly in people, R&D and innovation. At the end of 2020, Chanel employed close to 27,000 people across the world.


The Travelers Companies, Inc. is the Global Sponsor of New York City Ballet.

Support for new work is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, the Ted and Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund, and donors to the New Combinations Fund.

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