It’s a new year, and here at the Gelsey Kirkland Academy we are now well into the second semester of the 2012-2013 academic year. We would like to share with you some of the exciting new developments that are happening at GKA. Firstly, in addition to our diverse and talented students in the Academy programs (Full Day Professional Training program, Pre-Professional After School program, and Children’s program) we are especially thrilled to announce the inaugural season of the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Studio Company.
The Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Studio Company will be comprised of twelve paid dancer positions and four apprenticeships, for both male and female dancers. Studio Company dancers will have 32 week contracts beginning March 4th, 2013, followed by additional contracts commencing in September 2013. Gelsey Kirkland Ballet’s Studio Company will have several performance opportunities here in New York City with three productions a year – performances in late February/early March, (Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Studio Company), as well as performances in May and December (Academy and Company joint performances). Through the shared vision of Co-Artistic Directors Gelsey Kirkland and Michael Chernov, the Studio Company will facilitate the development of an ensemble company capable of realizing diverse and compelling theatrical ideas through specialized, comprehensive training and direction. The future Gelsey Kirkland Ballet company will develop new, innovative dramatic ballets, while at the same time building a repertoire of traditional classical works and providing exciting creative opportunities for gifted choreographers, musicians, designers, and dramaturges. We invite you to be a part of this incredible opportunity and journey.
GKA encountered a fantastic opportunity to acquire sets, costumes, and props for theatrical use through the New York City Opera liquidation auction in January 2013. Thanks to our generous donors and the donations of supporters of the Gelsey Kirkland Academy, the auction was a tremendous success for GKA. We were able to acquire thousands of props from the NYC Opera, as well as nearly eight hundred costumes of incredible quality.
We also obtained three complete opera sets with accompanying costumes which will be used for GKA’s ballet repertoire and will be especially useful for the Academy’s spring performance this May. The complete opera sets include Mephistopheles (Faust), (which will be used for the prologue of Sleeping Beauty for Carabosse and her minions), Marriage of Figaro (sets and costumes will be used for Romeo and Juliet as well as Sleeping Beauty), and Barber of Seville, (costumes and sets will be used for Don Quixote) as well as sets from operas/ballets created by Ravel and Prokofiev. We also have several stunning individual set pieces designed by Maurice Sendak from the operas Love of Three Oranges, L’heure Espagnole and L’Enfant et Les Sortileges. The pieces from opera L’Enfant et Les Sortileges will be used for this spring performance of the ballet Harlequinade. In addition to the full sets mentioned above, GKA also obtained other bits and pieces of other sets like the pieces of the Maurice Sendak sets. The sets have found a home in a facility in New Jersey, and the costumes are currently being cataloged for showcasing online for rentals.
GKA extends its gratitude to the donors who made it possible to obtain these beautiful sets and costumes, as well as to the volunteers currently cataloging and organizing the costumes. In the near future GKA is planning to set up a workshop at the storage facility for the creation and restoration of sets – volunteers wanted!
The Gelsey Kirkland Academy has held auditions these past few months for both the Studio Company and also our summer programs in states all around the U.S. as well as abroad. This year we have seen record-breaking numbers, and are looking forward to welcoming dancers from around the world to our 2013 summer programs! Our summer intensive programs include the five week Repertory Workshop, the three week Junior Dance Program, the three week Fast Track, and the five week Pre-Professional program which culminates in a performance opportunity on Friday, August 16, 2013 at the Michael Schimmel Center of the Performing Arts at Pace University.
In addition to these exciting activities, the Academy is now preparing for the May performance, which will showcase the GKA Pre-Professional Students as well as the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Studio Company.
Our May performance’s repertoire will feature the ballet Harlequinade and the full Prologue and Act III of Sleeping Beauty. We encourage you to join us over the next few months as we share the preparations for the May show, behind the scenes and in the studio. Over the next few weeks you will learn more about the ballets being performed, as well as the sets and costumes which will be used for the May performance, and take a look behind the scenes in rehearsals and inside the studio here at GKA. There is all of that and more to come! We thank you for your support and interest in our mission, school, and company.
Written by Rachel Wunder