“I just let Melanie do her thing,” said Mick Jagger of his latest project: a ballet set to the tunes of the Rolling Stones. He was referring to his partner, the American Ballet Theatre corps de ballet member Melanie Hamrick, with whom he has a son. “She picked all the songs and did all of the choreography,” Jagger said.
Last night, the couple, along with a smattering of New York’s most graceful ballerinas (Calvin Royal III, April Giangeruso, Herman Cornejo, Brittany DeGrofft) gathered at the tip-top of Chelsea’s Moxy hotel in the not-yet-opened Fleur Room, a cocktail bar serving Manhattans against a backdrop of the city’s most famous skyscrapers (the Empire State Building is visible in all its glory). Hosted by Drew Sweeny, the party gave the dancers an opportunity to come together outside the dance studio to toast the new production.
Though Hamrick is no stranger to the stage (she matriculated through the School of American Ballet before landing at ABT over 10 years ago), this marks her first foray into choreography. “We’re in the final stages now, so it’s just rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal,” she said.
About which songs audiences can expect, Jagger maintained a tight lip: “I’m not sure she’d want me telling you; you’ll just have to see it for yourself!” This writer certainly will, though not until April 18 when the production, thematically named Porte Rouge, (or “red door” . . . perhaps to be painted black?) makes its stateside premiere at the Youth America Grand Prix’s spring gala at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, following its debut at Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, on March 24.
And while the Rolling Stones on pointe sounds novel, balletomanes may remember a certain Christopher Bruce–choreographed piece from 1991 by the name of Rooster—a jaunty piece inspired by Jagger’s famously twitchy chicken dancing. However, this piece will benefit from more direct participation from Jagger and company, who lent their expertise on all matters of costume and set design. It might appear that for Rolling Stones fans, you can always get what you want.