Programming Polyphonia also marks the end of a strained period in her friendship with Wheeldon, her partner in the brief-lived contemporary ballet company Morphoses.
We literally bumped into each other in the American Airlines lounge, and I said Listen, how do you feel about our doing a couple of things of yours?
Duato, a Spanish choreographer whose work has been seen at the International Ballet Festival in Miami, will be represented by his first ballet, Jardi Tancat, an earthy 1983 ballet based on Catalan folklore. Its about these peasants in Spain singing and dancing very grounded and luscious, Lopez says. You feel like its a town somewhere, a real community its profoundly soulful.
Although it was made in 1959, Balanchines Episodes may be the most challenging work of the season for audiences and dancers. With its thorny, atonal Webern music and mysterious, abstract choreography, it is one of Balanchines most experimental and seldom-done pieces.
To me its a really revolutionary work, says Lopez. I love this ballet its like five different ways of hearing Weberns music, showing it to you in so many different ways.
West Side Story Suite will be challenging in a different way. The dancers not only have to master Robbins jazzy choreography, but they have to sing.
At New York City Ballet, Lopez learned the piece at Robbins request, but had to step out because of her lack of vocal talent. It was one of the most thrilling experiences, Lopez says. But I cannot sing to save my life.
Luckily, a number of MCB dancers can. (Lopez wont say whos in the cast, but several people close to the company report that leading ballerina Jeanette Delgado has a fine voice.)
The rest of the season will be familiar, with the return of Alexei Ratmanskys Symphonic Dances and Balanchine pieces from MCBs repertory including the lyrical Serenade and Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux. After 10 years, Lopez is reviving Ballo della Regina, a sparkling ballerina showcase made for famed former NYCB dancer Merill Ashley (who has joined MCBs board). The final show is Don Quixote, the rollicking Spanish-style rom-com ballet thats an audience favorite.
On balance, Lopez hopes the new season holds enough novelty and energy to create buzz and excitement around this company. When theres something new on every program it brings people in, it calls attention to us.