Segerstrom Center to open 2018-2019

Segerstrom Center to open 2018 2019 | Danza Ballet 
Segerstrom Center to open 2018 2019 | Danza Ballet 

Segerstrom Center for the Arts open 2018-19 International Dance Series with world premiere.

The world premiere of a new ballet about the life of trailblazing dancer Isadora Duncan, starring acclaimed ballerina Natalia Osipova, will provide a dramatic opening for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ 2018-19 International Dance Series, to be announced Sunday.

The season will boast performances by some of the world’s top dance companies, including Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, American Ballet Theatre, Mark Morris Dance Group and the Mikhailovsky Ballet and Orchestra. Subscription packages for the series go on sale Monday, April 9.

‘Isadora» – Aug. 10-12: Isadora Duncan radically changed dance at the turn of the last century, rejecting the strictures of classical ballet for a movement vocabulary that was more spontaneous and naturalistic. A California native, she found great acclaim dancing in Europe. Choreographer Vladimir Varnava of Russia’s Mariinsky Theatre led the creative team that transformed Duncan’s remarkable life into a new ballet. In a statement, Osipova, principal dancer with London’s Royal Ballet, said she relished portraying the icon.

“I have long wanted to bring the fascinating story and incredible artistry of Isadora Duncan to the stage, and I’m excited and grateful to be able to star in a new ballet that will bring her to life once again and honor her remarkable legacy,” Osipova said in the statement. Osipova also starred in the last work to receive its world premiere at the Segerstrom Center – Ohad Naharin’s “Solo for Two,” which she danced in July 2014 with Ivan Vasiliev, who stars in the season’s second production.

Segerstrom Center to open 2018 2019 | Danza Ballet
Natalia Osipova stars as Isadora Duncan, a California native who revolutionized dance at the turn of the last century. Duncan won acclaim in Europe, moving the art form from the former language of ballet to a radical new vocabulary that emphasized modern movement and natural expression. “Isadora” opens the Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ 2018-19 season with four performances Aug. 10-12. (Photo courtesy of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts)

“Don Quixote” – Nov. 9-11: Vasiliev will perform the role of Basilio in at least three performances of the Mikhailovsky Ballet and Orchestra’s production of this classic and comical ballet. The work, based on Miguel de Cervantes’ novel, was originally choreographed in 1869 by Marius Petipa and revised by Alexander Gorsky in 1900, with further revisions since. Vasiliev and the Mikhailovsky Ballet previously performed in Costa Mesa for the November 2016 U.S. premiere of “Le Corsaire.” This time around, Vasiliev will appear in the Nov. 9 and 10 evening performances and the Nov. 11 matinee, but the dancer for the Nov. 10 matinee has yet to be announced, according to the center.

Segerstrom Center to open 2018 2019 | Danza Ballet
Angelina Vorontsova and Ivan Vasiliev perform in the Mikhailovsky Ballet and Orchestra’s production of “Don Quixote,” which comes to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on Nov. 9-11. (Photo by Jack Devant)

“Harlequinade” – Jan. 17-20: American Ballet Theatre has a close and longstanding working relationship with the Segerstrom Center, as reflected by the company’s regular visits over the years, its creation of the ABT William J. Gillespie School in 2015 and its annual performances of “The Nutcracker” (returning this year Dec. 14-23). ABT’s next sojourn in Costa Mesa will be for the West Coast premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s rethinking of “Harlequineade,” a Commedia dell’arte piece originally choreographed by Petipa for the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg in 1900. The new work, which will receive its world premiere at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House in June, features a large cast and elaborate sets and costumes. Costume designer Robert Perdziola said in a statement that Commedia dell’arte’s costumes reflect the characters’ joy and vitality, adding, “I hope to illustrate them with color and exuberance, paying homage to the original Petipa creation.”

“Pygmalion” – May 24-26, 2019: Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg returns to the center with the kind of larger-than-life production that is characteristic of its founder, Boris Eifman. The Greek myth of Pygmalion, who falls in love with his wood-carving of a beautiful woman and has her brought to life by Aphrodite, is the type of classic source material that Eifman mines for his singular choreography.

“Pepperland” – June 14-15, 2019: Choreographer Mark Morris says he loved the Beatles as a child, but drifted away from their music because of overexposure. He rediscovered their genius when he was asked to develop a new music and dance work for last year’s 50th anniversary celebration of the band’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Club Band” album.

Composer Ethan Iverson created a hybrid score that mixes new arrangements of songs from the album with six new pieces inspired by them to set against Morris’ choreography. Add colorful Peter Max-inspired costumes for the dancers and the result is an evening that can appeal to those who don’t regularly turn out for a dance performance.


  • ISADORA – World Premiere Starring Natalia Osipova August 10 – 12, 2019
  • Mikhailovsky Ballet and Orchestra Don Quixote – Center Premiere Starring Ivan Vasiliev November 9 – 11, 2019
  • American Ballet Theatre Harlequinade – West Coast Premiere January 17 – 20, 201.
  • Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg Pygmalion – American Premiere May 24 – 26, 201.
  • Mark Morris Dance Group Pepperland – Center Premiere June 14 -15, 201.
  • Annual Holiday Presentation American Ballet Theatre The Nutcracker December 14 – 23, 2018.


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