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Interview with Solomon Tencer, Stars of the 21st Century Executive Director
- Offstage with the Dancers

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Solomon Tencer
Executive Director, Stars of the 21st Century Gala
Solomon Tencer Productions
(Tencer Productions Website)
Audrey Ross, Press

by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 4, 2007
Originally Published on

This is a conversation with Solomon Tencer, Executive Director of Stars of the 21st Century Gala, which will appear soon, on February 12, 2007, at New York State Theater, Lincoln Center, NY, at 7:30 PM. Mr. Tencer is Co-Founder, with his wife, Nadia Veselova-Tencer, of the Academy of Ballet & Jazz in Toronto. I spoke with Mr. Tencer by phone, at his home in Toronto. Solomon Tencer is the subject of this Inside Perspective.

I asked the Riga, Latvia-born, Mr. Tencer about his early years with the enormously successful ballet galas, and he described his inspiration from the 1995 Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev at the Paris Opera Ballet. In 1997, Mr. Tencer produced Les Étoiles du XX Siècle in Paris. He found future success in Toronto at the O'Keefe Centre, as well as at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival and also in Hamburg, after initiating Stars of the 21st Century Gala in 1996, a touring Gala. By 2000, Mr. Tencer realized his dream to bring his Millenium Gala to Lincoln Center, New York.

This year marks Solomon Tencer's seventh year in producing Stars of the 21st Century at Lincoln Center, and some of the artists have been repeated, with others being introduced to New York for the first time. Lucia Lacarra (who won a "Best Ballerina Award" in Monte Carlo) and Cyril Pierre, of Munich Ballet will (thankfully) return this year, while Kirov dancers, Olesia Novikova and Leonid Sarafanov, will make their New York Gala debuts. When asked about his favorite Gala moments, Mr. Tencer told me that all the moments are meaningful, when the audience is calm and happy, and the dancers "create moments in history".

These performances illustrate all styles of dance, from 19th Century traditional to 21st Century contemporary. For example, this year, the Kirov dancers will perform the "Don Quixote Pas de Deux", choreographed by Petipa to music by Minkus. Also, Desmond Richardson of Complexions Contemporary Ballet will dance "Showman's Groove", choreographed by Rhoden to music by Michael Bublé. And, as always, the audience will be treated to a Defile, again choreographed by Ms. Nadia Veselova-Tencer, lasting about seven minutes. The day of the performance, Ms. Veselova-Tencer will rehearse all the dancers at the Ailey Studios.

Future plans include taking the Gala to Shanghai in August 2007, after the Toronto tour in April, and before the Paris tour in September. When not on tour, Solomon and Nadia are busy with their Toronto Academy of Ballet & Jazz. For tickets to the upcoming Stars of the 21st Century Gala:

Monday, February 12 at 7:30 PM
State Theater, Lincoln Center
Tickets: $20-$150
Reservations: Center Charge - 212.721.6500 or at theater box office.

Ashley Bouder in The Kingdom of the Sun Sprites

Ashley Bouder, a Principal with NYC Ballet, will perform with NYC Ballet Principal, Joaquin De Luz in "Stars and Stripes" and "Tarantella" at the Feb. 12, 2007 Stars of the 21st Century Gala 

Photo courtesy of Natalie Laruccia


For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at