D’addario Artist Thomas Kikta Commissioned to Write and Perform for New York City Ballet

Mike Lawson • News • July 29, 2016

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Thomas KiktaD’Addario artist endorsee and Duquesne University classical guitar professor Thomas Kikta has been commissioned to write and perform a new ballet choreographed by Peter Walker with costumes by fashion designer Jason Wu for New York City Ballet. 

The ballet will feature Kikta on guitar along with Arkadiy Figlin (pianist in Black Swan) on Piano, Raymond Mase (Chair of Brass Julliard) on Trumpet and James Saporito (NYU Steinhart) on Drums.

With a September 20, 2016 premier at Lincoln Center in New York City, additional shows in 2016 are September 27th, October 1, 5, 15 with a return on May 6th and 7th of 2017.

This is Kikta’s third ballet with Walker having written a work for the New York Choreographic Institute in 2011, then the Ballet “Inverno” for School of American Ballet in 2015. 

Currently billed as the “New Walker Ballet” this yet to be titled work features 10 dancers and takes the listener through a journey of guitar from classical to contemporary with altered tunings and various guitar sounds.  To achieve the variety of sounds and tunings, Kikta is employing the Line 6 Variax and Helix system to quickly switch between the required sonorous. This will be the first time that such a system with be used at Lincoln Center.

On a personal note, Kikta’s daughter Emily, a corp de ballet member of New York City Ballet will be one of the featured dancers.


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