Home Artwork American Ballet Theater’s “ZigZag” Celebrates the Music and Works of Tony Bennett

American Ballet Theater’s “ZigZag” Celebrates the Music and Works of Tony Bennett

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The world premiere of American Ballet Theater Company of Zigzag celebrates the legendary career of Tony Bennett, using both his songs and visual works to showcase the authentic humanity of his vocal performances.

Zigzag, choreographed by Jessica Lang and composed of 11 recorded songs sung by Tony Bennett, premiered at the ABT Fall 2021 Gala on Tuesday, October 26.

Ahead of the gala, one of ABT’s lead dancers, Calvin Royal III joined WBGO’s Doug Doyle to discuss the show, his return to the stage, and his incredible career.

Doug Doyle / Zoom

ABT’s Calvin Royal III chats with WBGO’s Doug Doyle about “ZigZag”

Royal says Tony Bennett’s music is inspiring.

“Tony Bennett is an icon. And his music is classical, it’s jazzy, it’s fresh, it’s fun, it’s funky, she has so much soul and deep meaning in a lot of the songs we perform. there’s one song in particular that he collaborated with Lady Gaga with on “It’s De-Lovely” and when we first heard the song, there’s that moment, a jazzy touch that makes you want to move. feel like snapping your fingers and moving your feet. To be able to perform on his work and his music is truly an honor. To have been able to be a part of this creative process and the collaboration of dance and music, I think the audience will really love it. “

Calvin Royal III

Myesha Evon

Calvin Royal III. Photo: Myesha Evon.

Royal has worked for ABT for over 15 years, joining the main company as an apprentice in October 2010 and the corps de ballet in April 2011. He was appointed soloist in September 2017 and principal dancer in September 2020.

“Before the pandemic, I was still a soloist with the Company and you know, missing a season as a professional dancer is crucial because the longevity of our careers is much shorter than other professions, so a season without being able to perform, being able to travel and develop as artists has certainly been a challenge. But I think over the last year and a half, the opportunity to explore things and use that time, I have been able to work with other choreographers outside of ABT. ABT himself, during the pandemic, actually found a way to safely bring small groups of dancers together in what we call “ballet bubbles” and residences across New York State where we were able to come together in small groups and create new work, film and broadcast it so that our audiences and those who love ABT across America and around the world can connect and see the art we create. “

Calvin Royal III began his formal dance training under the direction of Suzanne Pomenrantzeff and Patricia L. Paige at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Her repertoire with ABT includes the title role in Apollo, a rider in Cinderella, Dorcon in Daphnis and Chloe, Espada in Don Quixote and many more.

There are two casts of the Zigzag. The cast of Royal will perform on:

October 28 7:30 p.m.

October 29 7:30 p.m.

October 31 2 p.m.

For more information on all the shows you can visit here.


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