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Expect the Unexpected As The Music Center Stages A Daring New Dance Season With Rarely Seen Works, Master Choreographers and World-Renowned Companies

Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center’s2019/2020 Season Will Feature the First U.S. Presentation in Nearly 30 Years of Palermo Palermo from Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, the Return of the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra with George Balanchine’s Jewels, plus the Debut Performances of Teatro alla Scala Ballet Companyat The Music Center

LOS ANGELES (May 8, 2019)—From artistic heritage to modern expression, the 17th season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center (Dance at The Music Center) will exhibit the mystery and magic of some of the dance world’s greatest artistic and diverse voices through movement, emotion and interpretation. With five presentations in the Dance at The Music Center’s 2019/2020 season, audiences will experience daring and captivating performances and large-scale productions of beloved masterpieces from a wide-ranging group of world-renowned companies. The Music Center’s upcoming dance offerings will also provide Los Angeles audiences with the rare opportunity to see the first U.S. performance, since its 1991 New York debut, of Pina Bausch’s groundbreaking Palermo Palermo.

Last seen at The Music Center in 2015, the renowned Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra open the 2019/2020 season with George Balanchine’s Jewels (October 24–27, 2019), the world’s first three-act ballet without a dedicated story that was inspired by the famed choreographer’s trip to Van Cleef & Arpels in 1967. The international season continues with a national treasure—the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (March 18–22, 2020) returns for seven performances in 2020. The spring brings The Music Center’s presentation of Germany’s Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch with its Palermo Palermo (April 17–19, 2020), a modern work not staged anywhere in North America in nearly 30 years. Palermo Palermo is known for its dichotomy of grim horror and surreal humor. May 2020 marks the return of Cuban sensation Malpaso Dance Company (May 15–17, 2020) since its exciting Los Angeles debut in 2017. The season closes with the Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company making its first-ever appearances at The Music Center with Giselle (July 24–26, 2020), a centuries-old seminal work considered one of the most romantic and most challenging ballets to dance.

The 17th season of Dance at The Music Center will also offer a special bonus option for subscribers with New Adventures’s production of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake(December 3, 2019–January 5, 2020) presented by Center Theatre Group in association with Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center. Thrilling, audacious, witty and emotive, this “Swan Lake” is perhaps still best known for replacing the female corps-de-ballet with a menacing male ensemble, which shattered conventions, turned tradition upside down and took the dance world by storm.

“The body has an amazing power to express what words cannot, making dance a universal language that transcends time and culture,” said Rachel Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center. “It’s the one art form where the emotion and fluidity seen on stage speaks directly to our inner passions. We, the audience, get lost in the moment—caught between music and motion and the spectacle of the artistry and athleticism dancers exhibit. We’re so pleased to present wide-ranging works next season, many of which are massive productions, often with live orchestra, that only The Music Center can present. Los Angeles is going to find the depth and breadth of this season quite extraordinary!”

“Audiences young and old, new and returning to The Music Center will find an ideal mix of dance styles and traditions next season,” added Josephine Ramirez, executive vice president, The Music Center Arts. “From the Balanchine to Bausch, Dance at The Music Center defies categorization in 2019/2020, presenting transcendent, global art.”

As part of its commitment to deepening the cultural lives of Angelenos, The Music Center will supplement a number of the dance engagements with free arts education programs, including school performances, teacher workshops, pre-performance panel discussions and more. Every year, The Music Center’s Student Dance Matinee Program welcomes thousands of students throughout Los Angeles County to experience world-class dance performances that celebrate the diversity of Los Angeles communities, and inspire students and educators to engage with dance and movement, visual storytelling and the creative process. During the 2019/2020 Dance at The Music Center season, local students will attend special performances by the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra on Friday, October 25, 2019, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on Thursday, March 19, 2020, and Malpaso Dance Company in May 2020. Each performance also features a post-show discussion with members of the dance company and includes comprehensive study guides for teachers to share with students prior to attending.

Subscriptions to the 2019/2020 Dance at The Music Center season are available now.

Dance at the Music Center 2019/2020 Season

Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra George Balanchine's Jewels
October 24–27, 2019
The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Mariinsky Orchestra
Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Music: Gabriel Fauré, Igor Stravinsky, Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
Last appearance at The Music Center: 2015

Dance at The Music Center begins the 2019/2020 season with George Balanchine’s Jewels performed by the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra. This fan favorite was choreographed by Balanchine in 1967, which is recognized as the first great abstract work of classical ballet. Balanchine used jewel imagery to inform his choreography, incorporating leg extensions that suggest refracted light through the gemstones. The Mariinsky Ballet, where “dancers are in a class of their own” (The Guardian), is accompanied by the Mariinsky Orchestra—two of the world’s preeminent arts organizations steeped in artistic heritage and celebrated performances.

Each of Jewels’ three acts is styled and composed in stark contrast to each other, united only by the dancers’ dazzling costumes inlaid with colored gems that correspond to the title. The triptych pays homage to the three countries Balanchine called home at various points in his life. The first act, “Emeralds,” set to music by Gabriel Fauré, suggests a romantic medieval French forest, while “Rubies” features music by Igor Stravinsky and showcases more energetic modern movement within an American urban setting. As the final act, “Diamonds” represents Russian Grand Imperial Classicism with music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. Since receiving its first performance at the Mariinsky in 1999, Jewels has become Balanchine’s calling card at the theater and a core part of the company’s repertoire.


Alvin Ailey® American Dance Theater
March 18–22, 2020
The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Last company appearance at The Music Center: 2019

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater embodies six decades of achievement, celebrating the human spirit with performances that unite and inspire. Under the leadership of its visionary artistic director, Robert Battle, the company continues to honor the legacy of its founder while stewarding the next generation of choreographers influenced by the African-American experience. In all, more than 235 works by more than 90 choreographers have been part of the Ailey company’s repertory, which is “the best possible representation of how Dance (capital D) can bring people together” (Los Angeles Times).

Programming information for the company’s performances will be announced at a later date. In response to popular demand from dance fans across the region, each performance will conclude with the crowd-pleasing Revelations, a masterpiece which remains as poignant, relevant and moving as when it debuted in 1960.


Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch’s Palermo Palermo
April 17–19, 2020
The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Presented by Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center in association with UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance
Live and recorded music
Choreography: Pina Bausch
Music: Edvard Grieg, Niccolo Paganini and others
Set Design: Peter Pabst
Costume Design: Marion Cito
Last company appearance at The Music Center: 1996

Pina Bausch, “a genius, a trailblazer, a game changer in the dance world” (Dance Magazine), shaped the work of Tanztheater Wuppertal for 36 years, creating 46 pieces in a style and voice all her own. Her perspective was completely unfamiliar, empowering the dancers to take on characters that also spoke, sang and cried, conveying a full range of theatrical emotions. Bausch’s oeuvre not only influenced dancers and choreographers, but also theater by often breaking the fourth wall during performances.

Once a student of Paul Taylor, Bausch created Palermo Palermo in 1989. The piece is a post-war view of the Italian city as only Bausch could envision—beautiful and squalid, dangerous and ancient—and interpreted as the disintegration of society. The Music Center offers a rare opportunity to experience this vision of neo-expressionist dance theater during the first North American presentation of Palermo Palermo in more than 30 years and the company’s first Los Angeles performances since 2007. Performed with live and recorded music and featuring a crashing wall and projected text in Act 1 and six pianists on stage in Act II, Palermo Palermo transforms the everyday into the absurd as the audience is immediately taken on a dark journey rich with fractured relationships, beauty and surreal humor. Given its grim content, including scenes of sex and murder, these performances are suggested for attendees age 13 and older.


Malpaso Dance Company
May 15–17, 2020
The Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre
Last company appearance at The Music Center: 2017

Since its founding in 2012, Malpaso Dance Company has become Cuba’s leading contemporary dance company known for technically strong, agile dancers and its Cuban dance heritage. The company tours with 11 dancers and is led by its original three founders: resident choreographer and Artistic Director Osnel Delgado, Executive Director Fernando Sáez, and dancer and co-founder Daileidys Carrazana. The company collaborates on original works with prominent international choreographers, but also dedicates itself to nurturing new voices in Cuban choreography, often fielding world premieres by company members. “Malpaso’s dancers were exceptional” (Los Angeles Times) during their Los Angeles debut in 2017 at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and their return to The Music Center in the 2019/2020 season is highly anticipated. Program information will be announced at a later date as Malpaso Dance Company continues to grow its repertory of modern dance.


Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company’s Giselle
July 24–26, 2020
The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Live Orchestra
Choreography: Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot 
Choreographic restaging: Yvette Chauviré
Music: Adolphe Adam
Set and Costume Design: Alexandr Benois, elaborated by Angelo Sala and Cinzia Rosselli
Company debut at The Music Center

Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company enjoys a storied history as an elite ballet company, tracing its roots back to 1778 with the opening of the famed Milan theater. For centuries, the company has worked to perfect a disciplined technique executed with effortless musicality and dramatic storytelling, making “La Scala’s gorgeous Giselle”…a “jewel of the ballet canon” (Bachtrack). Giselle is one of the most popular and most performed classical story ballets.

Fitting the trademark features of a traditional ballet with ethereal tulle costumes, lush sets and choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, the ghost-filled ballet tells the tragic story of a beautiful peasant girl who falls for the flirtations of a disguised Prince Albrecht. When the ruse is revealed, the fragile Giselle dies of heartbreak, and Albrecht must face the consequences of his careless seduction. Summoned from her grave by the iconic Wilis spirits who are determined to take revenge on Albrecht, Giselle’s love and forgiveness save him from death before she returns to rest in peace.

The La Scala production—enriched by the Aleksandr Benois’s sets and costumes that are part of the Scala’s repertoire—features the original Coralli-Perrot choreography in the revival by Yvette Chauviré. Her own moving interpretations of roles such as Giselle celebrated the classical ballet tradition in all its purity. One of the most popular titles of the recent La Scala seasons and international tours, Giselle is staged by the Scala Ballet Company as an homage to the late Yvette Chauviré. In her version of Giselle, performed at La Scala for the first time in 1950, Chauviré herself starred as the ill-fated peasant girl who dreamt of love and loved to dance.

Set to Adolphe Adam’s beautiful score performed by a live orchestra, Giselle is technically demanding, requiring polished dance technique and intense emotional expression to convey the contrasting styles portrayed within the two acts of idyllic folk scenes and the haunting nature of the supernatural. Special guests Marianela Nuñez, principal dancer with The Royal Ballet, and David Hallberg, principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre, join these performances as Giselle and Prince Albrecht respectively.


Subscriber Bonus

New Adventures/Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake
December 3, 2019–January 5, 2020
The Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre
Presented by Center Theatre Group in association with Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center
Director & Choreographer: Matthew Bourne
Music: Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
Set & Costume Design: Lez Brotherston
Lighting Design: Paule Constable
Last company appearance at The Music Center: 2019

Over two decades after Matthew Bourne redefined Swan Lake for Los Angeles and much of the world, the production returns with a fresh look for the 21st century. Retaining the iconic elements of the original production loved by millions around the world, Matthew Bourne and award-winning designer Lez Brotherston (set and costumes) will create an exciting re-imagining of the classic production. Acclaimed designer Paule Constable joins the creative team with a spectacular new lighting design.

When it first played London’s West End, Jenny Gilbert of The Independent warned, “See Bourne’s Swan Lake now, or live to regret it.” Over 20 years later, reviewing the revival at Sadler’s Wells, The Independent’s Zoë Anderson said, “Matthew Bourne’s reinvention of the world’s favourite ballet is still a marvel,” adding “‘the legend returns,’ posters declare, and for once it’s not just hype.”

Mixing popular appeal with a ground-breaking, unique theatrical language, world class dancers and high-quality production values, New Adventures is one of the great success stories of British theatre. Under the leadership of Matthew Bourne, New Adventures has collected numerous international awards and a dozen Olivier Award nominations.

Programs and artists subject to change. 

Season subscriptions for Dance at The Music Center are on sale now. Single tickets will be available for purchase on August 5, 2019, for the 2019 engagements. Single tickets for the 2020 engagements will go on sale October 14, 2019. For tickets and information, call (213) 972-0711 or visit

Photos available in The Music Center Press Gallery


About Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center
Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center
, a program of The Music Center Arts (TMC Arts), is one of the leading presenters of dance on the West Coast. The celebrated series offers significant works by prestigious ballet and contemporary dance artists from around the world. Now entering its 17th year, Dance at The Music Center is a powerful commissioning force, supporting new works and artists-in-residence projects by today’s most influential companies and choreographers. Performances take place throughout The Music Center, including the historic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the distinctive Ahmanson Theatre and the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, and in locations around the Los Angeles area.

About Center Dance Arts
Center Dance Arts is proud to celebrate 20 years as the founding supporter of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center. Center Dance Arts offers members the opportunity to support world class dance engagements and commission future masterpieces, inspire thousands of children with student performances, school assemblies and masterclasses, as well as interact with celebrated dancers and distinguished dance luminaries at exclusive events that enrich audiences’ passion for dance. For more information, visit

About The Music Center
The Music Center convenes artists, communities and ideas with the goal of deepening the cultural lives of every resident in Los Angeles County. The non-profit performing arts organization has two divisions: The Music Center Arts (TMC Arts) and The Music Center Operations (TMC Ops). TMC Arts, The Music Center’s programming engine, provides year-round programming inside The Music Center’s four theatres, on The Music Center Plaza, outside at Grand Park—a 12-acre adjacent green space—and in schools and other locations all over Los Angeles County. TMC Arts presents world-class dance with Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, free and low-cost public concerts and events, as well as K–12 arts education programs. TMC Ops manages the theatres, the plaza and Grand Park on behalf of the County of Los Angeles. The Music Center is also home to four renowned resident companies—Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles Master Chorale, LA Opera and LA Phil. For more information, visit  Follow The Music Center on Facebook, and follow @MusicCenterLA on Instagram and Twitter.

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