The cast includes four-time Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines as Edgar Degas, three-time Tony Award nominee Rebecca Luker as Adult Marie van Goethem and New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck as Young Marie van Goethem with Polly Baird, Wendi Bergamini, Lauren Blackman, Sophia Anne Caruso, Janet Dickinson, Juliet Doherty, Nina Goldman, Kyle Harris, Sean Martin Hingston, Jolina Javier, Michael X. Martin, Michael McCormick, Dulcie Pham, James A. Pierce III, Jenny Powers, Katelyn Prominski, Michele Ragusa, John Riddle Amy Ruggiero, Joseph Simeone, Justin Urso, Lyrica Woodruff and Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba.
"Part fact, part fiction, and set in the harsh backstage world of the Paris Opera Ballet," Little Dancer, according to The Kennedy Center, "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."
The production also has set design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Ken Billington, sound design by Kai Harada, music supervision by David Loud, dance arrangements by Sam Davis, orchestrations by Doug Besterman and Larry Hochman, wig and hair design by Paul Huntley, and projection design by Benjamin Pearcy. Shawn Gough will conduct the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.
Related programs and events follow: Works & Process: The Kennedy Center: Little Dancer with Susan Stroman
Oct. 5 at 7:30 PM, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 5th Avenue (at 89th Street), New York City
"Excerpts will be performed by four-time Tony Award winner Boyd Gaines, three-time Tony Award nominee Rebecca Luker, and New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck. Director and choreographer Susan Stroman will participate in a moderated discussion with Lynn Ahrens (book and lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (music). Arrive early and stay late to view Degas’s Dancers in Green and Yellow (Danseuses vertes et jauntes) from the Guggenheim’s permanent collection, at 6:30–7:30 p.m. and 8:45–9:30 p.m. in the Thannhauser Gallery. NOTE: This event does NOT take place at the Kennedy Center. Tickets are currently sold out. Additional tickets may be released on the Friday before the event. Please contact the Guggenheim box office at 212-423-3575 for additional information. This program was live-streamed and is archived online."
Theater Look-in: Little Dancer
Nov. 5 at 5 PM, Kennedy Center Terrace Gallery
"Join company members from Little Dancer for an insider’s look, complete with lively discussion and the opportunity to ask questions of the artists. Tickets are $12."
Little Dancer Discussion Series: Degas and His Dancers
Nov. 8 at noon, Kennedy Center Grand Foyer
"Kimberly A. Jones, associate curator, department of French paintings at the National Gallery of Art, delves into Degas’s rich body of work depicting dancers and his lifelong fascination with the art form that inspired him. This is a free event, and no tickets are required. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability. Patrons should proceed to the North Millennium Stage in the Grand Foyer."
Little Dancer Discussion Series: The Most Famous Obscure Dancer in the World: Marie van Goethem
Nov. 15 at noon, Kennedy Center Grand Foyer
"Art historian Richard Kendall introduces us to Degas’s famous sculpture and dance historian Jill De Vonyar explores what we know about the real 'Little Dancer,' a story of mystery and obscurity. This is a free event, and no tickets are required. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability. Patrons should proceed to the North Millennium Stage in the Grand Foyer."
Little Dancer Discussion Series: The Life of a 19th Century Dancer: Paris Opera Ballet & Les Petits Rats
Nov. 22 at noon, Kennedy Center Grand Foyer
"The lives of the dancers in the Paris Opera Ballet are very different today than they were 120 years ago when Marie van Goethem danced there. From the way they danced to the role of the ballet 'benefactors,' the story of Little Dancer reveals the seamy side of an art form that has come to be associated with elegance, grace, and genteel femininity. Join dance critic, author, and ballet historian Alexandra Tomalonis for a look at the progression of ballet from then to now. This is a free event, and no tickets are required. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability. Patrons should proceed to the North Millennium Stage in the Grand Foyer."
Inside Look: Degas’s “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen”
Nov. 23 at 2 PM., West Building Lecture Hall, National Gallery of Art, 6th and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.
"The most famous sculpture created by Degas, 'Little Dancer Aged Fourteen' was a bit of an experiment for the artist in terms of scale, materials, and his willingness to exhibit a sculpture at all. Daphne Barbour, senior conservator, department of object conservation; Alison Luchs, curator of early European sculpture; and Shelley Sturman, senior conservator and head, department of object conservation, take us inside the extraordinary life of this sculpture through the story of its creation and its reception in the art world. NOTE: This event does NOT take place at the Kennedy Center. This is a free event and no tickets are required."