Twyla Tharp-Elvis Costello work to open ‘Dance at the Music Center’

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The West Coast premiere of a Twyla Tharp collaboration with rock star composer Elvis Costello, “Nightspot,” and the return of the Kirov Ballet will highlight the 2008-09 series.

“Nightspot,” to be danced by Edward Villella’s Miami City Ballet, will open the season Oct. 24. The work is the most recent creation by the innovative choreographer, whose Broadway hit “Movin’ Out” was set to music by rocker Billy Joel. Also part of the company’s engagement, which will run through Oct. 26, will be George Balanchine’s “Tarantella” (music by Louis Moreau Gottschalk) and “Symphony in Three Movements” (Igor Stravinsky) and Christopher Wheeldon’s “Liturgy” (Arvo Pärt).

The Kirov Ballet, under the artistic direction of Valery Gergiev and the director of the ballet company, Makhar Vaziev, will present “The Nutcracker” using Vasily Vainonen’s 1934 choreography to Tchaikovsky’s familiar score Dec. 17 to 20. Casting will be announced.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, celebrating its 50th anniversary season and led by artistic director Judith Jamison and associate artistic director Masazumi Chaya, will appear March 18 to 22. The Grammy Award-winning female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock will perform live opening night as part of a work by company member Hope Boykin, and all programs will include a short film about the company and its perennial audience favorite “Revelations.”

Tina Ramirez’s Ballet Hispanico will present Pedro Ruiz’s “Club Havana” (danced to a compiled score) June 5 to 7. The engagement will be the New York company’s first in the Music Center series.

Also making its series debut will be Nederlands Dans Theater I, consisting of 30 dancers. The troupe, led by artistic director Anders Hellström, will appear June 26 to 28 with a program of works including Jirí Kylián’s “Wings of Wax” (to a compiled score), Crystal Pite’s “The Second Person” (Owen Belton) and Paul Lightfoot and Sol León’s “Shoot the Moon” (Philip Glass).

In its fifth engagement in the series, American Ballet Theatre will dance Kenneth MacMillan’s “Romeo and Juliet” (to Prokofiev) from July 16 to 19. Casting will be announced.

All performances will be at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion except for Ballet Hispanico’s, which will take place at the Ahmanson Theatre.