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Benjamin Millepied Brings World Class Ballet Talent to Nantucket!


Nantucket Atheneum Dance Festival Performances July 27 – 28

Featuring Dance Stars From American Ballet Theatre,
New York City Ballet & The Royal Ballet


Partners, pairings and the “art of the pas de deux” will be major themes at the 2012 Nantucket Atheneum Dance Festival performances on July 27th and July 28th. Artistic director Benjamin Millepied returns for the fourth year and has put together a dance program of six duets, or pas de deux, and one solo performance, which feature the work of four top choreographers at work today.


Dance stars from the American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and the Royal Ballet comprise the 2012 dance company and six of the ten dancers are husband and wife duos who will perform together.


“The Nantucket Atheneum Dance Festival’s program clearly demonstrates the many diverse ways that two dancers can relate on stage: loving, joking, remembering, pondering, and, of course, dancing. These carefully chosen selections reveal how truly reflective dance is of life itself,” said Joseph Carman, an editor at Dance Magazine and author of this year’s program notes.


“At the heart of many great ballets lies a pas de deux,” Carman said. And, the festival…could be subtitled ‘The art of the pas de deux,” he concludes.


Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg are both principal dancers for the Royal Ballet, as well, as husband and wife. They will dance a pas de deux from “Bright Stream.” The light-hearted, comic ballet was created in 2011 for the American Ballet Theatre by its resident choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. Ratmansky has reworked portions of the ballet to create the pas de deux for the Nantucket Atheneum Dance Festival.


Maria Kowroski, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, will dance with her husband Martin Harvey, who has danced for Twyla Tharp, the Royal Ballet and on Broadway. The pair will dance one of the most requested contemporary works, a pas de deux from “After the Rain,” by Christopher Wheeldon.


Stella Abrera and Sascha Radetsky husband and wife soloists with the American Ballet Theatre  will perform “The Leaves Are Fading Pas De Deux” by legendary British choreographer Anthony Tudor.  And, Mr. Radetsky also dances with Ashley Bouder, a New York City Ballet principal dancer in Twyla Tharp’s “Known by Heart Pas De Deux.” Known as the “Junk Pas De Deux,” the piece has Tharp’s trademark combination of quirkiness and sexiness and features the music of Donald Knaack, an American compser and percussionist known for his “Junk Music” created using only recycled materials.


A new Benjamin Millepied work called “Two Hearts” premiered at the New York City Ballet in May of 2012. Due to dancer commitments in other places, the work will

only be performed at the Friday, July 27th performance. The two dancers, Tiler Peck and Tyler Angle, are principal dancers with the NYCB and the tone of the “Two Hearts” dance takes its cue from a Scottish folksong called “Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender.”


Ms. Bouder dances a second time with Daniil Simkin, a soloist at the American Ballet Theatre. The two will perform a pas de deux from George Balanchine’s “Stars & Stripes.” Set to the rousing marches of John Philip Sousa. “Stars & Stripes” is a patriotic homage to Balanchine’s adopted America.


And finally the only non pas deux on the program, Simkin will perform solo in “Les Bourgeois,” created by Belgian choreographer Ben van Cawenbergh. Set to the music of Belgian songwriter Jacques Brel, “Les Bourgeois” has a cheeky masculine swagger that showcases Simkin’s acting ability and dancing prowess.


The Nantucket Atheneum Dance Festival performances will be July 27 and July 28 at 6:30 pm at the Nantucket High School auditorium. Tickets are on sale at the library and online at


The Nantucket Atheneum Dance Festival was created in 2008 and is the major fundraiser for the Atheneum, the island’s public library. Unlike many public libraries, the Atheneum  receives 36 percent of its annual operating budget from governmental sources and must raise the remaining money from private donations, grants and special benefit events. The proceeds from the dance festival help the Atheneum continue to  provide excellent services to the community.