The Adelphi Dance Department is proud to present the New York premiere of choreographer Christopher Fleming’s award-winning The Who’s Tommy: A Rock Ballet. This electrifying new work combines Peter Townsend’s iconic 1969 concept album Tommy with contemporary ballet in a full production of sets, lights, and costumes. Fleming premiered his ballet with the Dayton Ballet in 2007.The Who’s Tommy: A Rock Ballet will have only five performances in the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center (AU PAC) April 14 through 17, 2011 in the Olmsted Theatre, 1 South Avenue, Garden City, NY.
In addition to Adelphi dance majors, The Who’s Tommy: A Rock Ballet cast features Justin Koertgen reprising the title role from the original production. Orion Duckstein, former Paul Taylor Dance Company member and Adelphi visiting professor, will play the key role of Uncle Ernie and members of Fleming’s own dance company, BalletFleming, will round out the cast. The critically revered album, Tommy, was released in 1969 by the band The Who and later became known as an iconic rock opera—one of the first of its kind. The album has since been turned into a movie, Broadway musical, opera, and an orchestral soundtrack. The Tommy Rock Opera revolves around Tommy Walker, a handicapped child who is exploited and abused by many people, including family members. Through his mastery of pinball and the persistence of his mother, Tommy is cured, and goes on to become a spiritual leader. Mr. Fleming did not want to create a production that only linearly chronicled the life of Tommy Walker. His version ofTommy! concentrates on the experiences, events, and characters that influence Tommy spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically.
As a member of the New York City Ballet, Mr. Fleming danced principal and soloist roles in works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Through Mr. Balanchine’s encouragement, Mr. Fleming received a fellowship from the National Choreographic Institute and started his career as a choreographer. He has served as the artistic director of the Compañia Colombiana de Ballet in Bogota, Colombia and Bay Ballet Theatre in Tampa, Florida. Mr. Fleming also served as assistant director and resident choreographer for The Rock School for Dance Education. His variety of works have appeared in the repertoire of companies such as The Atlanta Ballet, Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Southern Ballet Theatre, Ballet Concierto, Dayton Ballet, The Ohio Ballet, Long Island Ballet Theatre, The Delaware Opera, The State Ballet of St. Petersburg, and The Czech National Ballet. When Christopher Fleming choreographed for MTV’s hit program “MADE,” his episode received the highest rating in MTV’s history. In 2010, Mr. Fleming founded the Philadelphia based company BalletFleming, and is currently a faculty member at Goucher College. His choreographic awards include Silver Medals at the Festival Des Arts Des St. Sauveur in Quebec, Canada, and the Special Choreographic Award from the Youth American Grand Prix. Read more about Christopher Fleming.
Individual tickets for The Who’s Tommy: A Rock Ballet are on sale now for $20 or $10 depending on seating section. Discounts are available for students and seniors citizens. To learn more about the Tommy Rock Opera and the AU PAC 2010-2011 season, call the AU PAC Box Office at 516.877.4000.
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