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Paul McCartney Composes Orchestral Score for NYCB Production

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Paul McCartney has written a major orchestral work for New York City Ballet—a love story titled Ocean’s Kingdom, which will premiere at the company’s fall gala on September 22, according to The New York Times.

NYCB’s ballet master in chief, Peter Martins, will create the choreography. In its current state the four-act ballet is 45 to 50 minutes long with a cast of 40 to 45, including four or five main roles. A composer, John Wilson, is helping with the final orchestration. The other half of the gala program will consist of George Balanchine’s Union Jack, which Martins said would be a tribute to the former Beatle.

More than most mainstream celebrity musicians, McCartney has crossed over to the classical world with enthusiasm in the past two decades, composing two major oratorios, Liverpool Oratorio and Ecce Cor Meum, a symphonic poem (Standing Stone), and some shorter works.

He’s certainly not the first pop musician to plunge into modern dance or ballet. Elvis Costello has written at least two ballets, and next month Sadler’s Wells Theater in London will present The Most Incredible Thing, a collaboration between the Pet Shop Boys and the choreographer Javier de Frutos.

To read the full story, visit www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/arts/dance/24dance.html?_r=2&hpw.

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