October 23-27, 2019

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Championing the relevance and advancement of dance in the 21st century, The Washington Ballet continues its commitment to the creative process. The Washington Ballet’s 2019.20 Season opener, NEXTsteps – a program debuting new, never-before-seen ballets in the heart of the nation’s capital – features works by emerging and acclaimed choreographers Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, John Heginbotham, and Jessica LangNEXTsteps supports the evolution of both ballet and the dancer, and celebrates the evolving beauty and resonating power of our art.

Julie Kent on NEXTsteps:

NEXTsteps reflects the voices and works of our time. It is the responsibility of the leaders of our art form to allow for the development of new works and to steward ballet into the 21st century. Creating new works of art is an exciting, creative, and collaborative process for the choreographers, dancers, and community and I’m excited to see this initiative grow and evolve.

Become a 2019.20 Season Ticket Holder  Purchase Individual Tickets for NEXTsteps

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

“Delusional Beauty is an ode to Salvador Dali’s surrealist world. As a child I used to collect postcards with his paintings, and one of them was “La femme à  la tête de fleur”. While making the work it struck me that I could still watch and enjoy his images while as a creative myself my art evaporates into the realm of memory once it happens, leaving merely a sensation.” – Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

About Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

The Colombian-Belgian Annabelle Lopez Ochoa completed her dance education at the Royal Ballet School of Flanders in Belgium. She started choreographing at the early age of 11, and decided in 2003 to end her dance career to focus her energies solely on choreography. In that same year, she was hailed “rising star of the Dutch dance scene” (NRC newspaper) and only seven years later the Temecula Performing Arts Examiner wrote: ”Ochoa is truly a masterful choreographer with an edge for what dance can and should be in this constantly changing industry”.

Ochoa is a prolific choreographer who has created works for 60 dance companies around the world such as the Dutch National Ballet, Ballet of Flanders, Pennsylvania Ballet, BalletX, BJM-Danse Montreal, Ballet Hispanico, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Scottish Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, West Australian Ballet, The Washington Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, English National Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Grands Ballets Canadiens, San Francisco Ballet, and New York City Ballet.

Among the honors her work has received; A Streetcar Named Desire, created for the Scottish Ballet in 2012 won Best Choreography Classical from Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards UK and was nominated for the prestigious Olivier Award. Broken Wings, the life and work of Frida Kahlo created for English National Ballet was named one of 2016’s best premieres by Dance Europe and other Newspapers; and was nominated for several Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. Sombrerisimo, created for Ballet Hispanico is on the repertoire of four companies and received Cuba’s Villanueva Award in 2015.

Ochoa is the recipient of the Jacob’s Pillow Choreography Award 2019.

Jessica Lang

Jessica Lang’s new ballet for The Washington Ballet is a variation on a theme of Robert Schumann’s Symphonic Etudes. Comprised of eight dancers (four men and four women), the 11-movement piece evokes the beauty and full dynamic of classical ballet. Lang has focused on the etudes (live piano performed by Glenn Sales) and costumes (by fashion designer Jillian Lewis) defining her vision to combine music and movement into a single focus. There is no story. But audiences can expect to be transported into a world of beauty. Lang considers the audience part of the experience.

This will be the 104th ballet Jessica Lang has created. She sees herself as a ‘supportive guide’ in the collaborative process working together with the dancers and the pianist to create a new work of art. Schumann’s Etudes are considered one of the most difficult works for piano. They will be reborn with this new ballet along with a masterwork that defines dance today and continues into the 21st century.

John Heginbotham

About John Heginbotham

Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, John Heginbotham graduated from The Juilliard School in 1993, and was a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group (1998-2012). In 2011, he founded Dance Heginbotham (DH), a performance group devoted to the presentation of his dance and theatrical work. The company has been presented and commissioned by Bard College, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carolina Performing Arts, Duke Performances, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, among others. In the Spring of 2016, DH traveled to Indonesia, Laos, and the Philippines as part of DanceMotion USASM, a cultural diplomacy initiative of The US State Department, produced by the Brooklyn Academy of Music. DH celebrated its 5th Anniversary in February 2017, at The Kennedy Center with the world premiere of Lola, performed with the world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell and the National Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to DH, Heginbotham is active as a freelance choreographer. Recent projects include John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West, directed by Peter Sellars (San Francisco Opera 2017, Dutch National Opera 2019); Candide with the Orlando Philharmonic (2016) and The Knights (2018, 2019); Daniel Fish’s 2015 Bard Summerscape production of Oklahoma! (Off-Broadway 2018, Broadway 2019); Angels’ Share for Atlanta Ballet (2014); and two projects with Isaac Mizrahi: The Magic Flute with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis (2014) and Peter & the Wolf for Works & Process at the Guggenheim (2013), which has become an annual holiday event.

A frequent collaborator, Heginbotham has worked with numerous and diverse artists and ensembles, including Alarm Will Sound, Brooklyn Rider, Raymond Scott Orchestrette, composers Tyondai Braxton, Ethan Iverson, and Colin Jacobsen, vocalists Gabriel Kahane and Shara Nova, puppeteer Amy Trompetter, and artist and author Maira Kalman.

Heginbotham is the recipient of the 2014 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award and numerous Fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship (2018), a National Center for Choreography Akron (NCAA) Research Residency Fellowship (2018-2020), a City Center Choreography Fellowship (2017-18), an NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts Fellowship (2016), and two Jerome Robbins Foundation New Essential Works (NEW) Fellowships (2010, 2012). He is the Director of the Dartmouth Dance Ensemble, and is a founding teacher of Dance for PD®, an ongoing collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group.


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October 2019

Calendar for NEXTsteps

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Sidney Harman Hall

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Sidney Harman Hall

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