All-Star 'Kings of the Dance' Debut in California

Classic Arts News   All-Star 'Kings of the Dance' Debut in California
Kings of the Dance, a newly assembled group of four top male ballet dancers, makes its debut tonight at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Southern California.

The group is made up of Angel Corella of American Ballet Theatre, Johan Kobborg of the Royal Ballet, Ethan Stiefel of American Ballet Theatre, and Nikolay Tsiskaridze of the Bolshoi Ballet.

The four are attempting to transfer to dance the concept that made the Three Tenors a spectacular success: drawing an audience through sheer star power and by doing away with the demands of an evening-length work.

While Plšcido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and Jos_ Carerras performed familiar arias and songs, however, the Kings have programmed new works by leading choreographers.

Together, the four will premiere a dance by Christopher Wheeldon, and each will perform a solo by a different choreographer: Kobborg will perform Tim Rushton's Afternoon of a Faun, set to the Debussy work; Stiefel will dance Nils Christie's Wavemaker, set to John Adams' music; Tsiskaridze will perform a solo set to music from Bizet's Carmen by Roland Petit; and Corella will perform a new work by Stanton Welch.

In addition, the four will appear in excerpts from such repertoire staples as Petipa's Le Corsaire and Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. And over the four-night run, each will take a turn performing in Flemming Flindt's The Lesson opposite Royal Opera ballerina Alina Cojocaru.

Initially, the four dancers were to alternate in Roland Petit's Le Jeune Homme et le Mort opposite Kirov Ballet star Diana Vishneva, but Vishneva dropped out because of the need to rehearse with the Kirov for its premiere of Pierre Lacotte's Ondine at the Mariinsky Theatre in March.

The performances at at OPAC's Segerstrom Hal run through February 19; the group will then perform at New York City Center February 23-26.

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