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New York Theatre Ballet performs at ECC on November 2

The New York Theatre Ballet performs at Edgecombe Community College on November 2 in its tenth appearance in the Edgecombe Performance Series.

by Briyana Storm Baker

The New York Theatre Ballet (NYTB) will come to Edgecombe Community College on Thursday, November 2, to perform a series of ballets by legendary choreographers.

This is the tenth year that NYTB has participated in ECC’s Edgecombe Performance Series, which is currently in its seventeenth season.

The performance will begin at 7 p.m. in Keihin Auditorium, located in the Fleming Building on the Tarboro campus. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children.

Under the direction of NYTB Artistic Director Steven Melendez, NYTB will perform the works of David Gordon, Amanda Treiber, Richard Holden, and Merce Cunningham. Also, NYTB will offer Between the Acts, a community engagement program where Melendez spends time between the pieces giving context for each ballet.

In addition, NYTB’s Once Upon a Ballet series will present The Firebird and Scramble at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 3, for elementary students in Edgecombe County.

“I am honored to come to Tarboro to perform for the community,” says Steven Melendez. “For many people, especially in rural areas, dance can be seen as culturally inaccessible. I strive to break through those stereotypes and show my audience that they can be represented through ballet. Dance is for everybody, and it is not enough to believe that. My company wants to make it happen.”

NYTB’s Legends and Visionaries will introduce audiences to a diverse range of ballets starting with The Firebird by Richard Holden. Originally created in 1910 by Michel Fokine, The Firebird is a mesh of several Russian fairy tales that create a captivating narrative for audiences.

The Firebird features music composed by Igor Stravinsky, with costume design by Sylvia Taalsohn Nolan. The tree that is part of the ballet was designed and constructed by Keith Michael.

The performance will also feature A Plain Romance Explained / Keith’s Solo, with choreography and text by David Gordon and staged by Karen Graham. This ballet received its world premiere in 1984 in New York City, featuring performers who speak while dancing and challenging the conventions of traditional ballet. A Plain Romance Explained / Keith’s Solo is performed with permission from the Pick Up Performance Company.

Legends and Visionaries will also feature Amanda Treiber’s Sideslip. Created in 2022, this contemporary piece features a collaboration between choreographers and artists. Sideslip includes interactions between performers and artwork, showcasing a dynamic relationship between dance and art as mediums of creativity.

The art featured in Sideslip is created by Marcy Rosenblat, with the musical pieces “Chorale,” “Image De Moreau,” and “Deuxième Chorale” created by Louis Andriessen. The recording artist for the ballet is Ralph van Raat.

NYTB’s Legends and Visionaries will round off the performance with Scramble, choreographed by the late Merce Cunningham. Scramble was first performed at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Illinois, in July 1967, and quickly became an iconic piece in modern ballet. Scramble was a unique work for its time because it comprised eighteen sections, which could be done in different orders or have omissions of sections.

The music for Scramble is called “Activities for Orchestra” by Toshi Ichiyanagi. Costumes are reconstructed by Carmella Lauer, after the design by Frank Stella. Scramble is staged by Jennifer Goggans with lighting by Beverly Emmons.

Tickets for the NYTB performance at ECC are $25 for adults and $15 for children.

Tickets are available at the ECC Box Office on the Tarboro campus, by contacting, or online at (keyword: edgecombe).

For more information about the Edgecombe Performance Series, please contact Event Manager Dr. Doneva Chavis at (252) 618-6618 or