Call Me Ben

Choreography by: Melissa Barak

Music by: Jay Greenberg

After she agreed to use music composed by Jay Greenberg, the choreographer searched for appropriate images for his music. Hearing a distinct flavor in each section of the score, as Ms. Barak walked the art deco inspired streets of her local Los Angeles neighborhood an idea took hold. She envisioned the glamour of old Hollywood. What better way to express drama and glamour than the story of Bugsy Segal and his mistress Virginia Hill? With the inspiration of L.A. and the founding of Las Vegas by an American gangster, Ms. Barak had her premise. Collaborating with her former NYCB colleague, dancer Ellen Bar, they scripted dialogue for the dancers that would advance the story while designer Gilles Mendel provided old-style movie star inspired costumes. Evocative painted backdrops by Santiago Calatrava set the scene for this ballet about inspiration, greed and payback as the fantasy world of Las Vegas was born.

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Neon Refracted (2009), commissioned by New York City Ballet. Book by Ellen Bar and Melissa Barak.
June 5, 2010, New York City Ballet, David H. Koch Theater
Original Cast
Robert Fairchild, Jenifer Ringer, Daniel Ulbricht, Tyler Angle, Vincent Paradiso, Giovanni Villalobos

35 Min.
Costumes by
Gilles Mendel, supervised by Marc Happel
Set by
Santiago Calatrava
Lighting by
Mark Stanley