Directed and choreographed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman, the musical had its world premiere at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2014.
The writing team passed on a potential West Coast run last year in order to do rewrites and revisions on the piece. It has music by Stephen Flaherty with book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. Commercial producers are now attached to the project.
The invitation-only March 28 industry reading featured a newly revised draft of the show. Participants included a number of cast members from the original Kennedy Center production, including New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck, Rebecca Luker, Karen Ziemba, Kyle Harris and Michael X. Martin.
Here’s how the D.C. premiere was characterized: “Part fact, part fiction, and set in the harsh backstage world of the Paris Opera Ballet. Little Dancer is inspired by the young ballerina who posed for Edgar Degas and became, inadvertently, the most famous dancer in the world. Torn by her family’s poverty, her debt to the artist and the lure of wealthy men, Marie struggles to keep her place in the ballet corps—a girl on the verge of womanhood, caught between the conflicting demands of life and art.”