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Santiago Calatrava To Design City Ballet Sets

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A Valencian Spanish architect will design the sets for five ballets for this year's New York City Ballet Architecture of Dance festival.

Santiago Calatrava, 58, is perhaps best known for his transport design. He's responsible for Barcelona's Bach de Roda Bridge, the Alamillo Bridge and Cartuja Viaduct in Seville, Bilbao's Campo Volantin Footbridge, and the Alameda Bridge and Metro Station in Valencia. He has also designed Bilbao's Sondica Airport, Athens Olympic Sports Complex and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York City.

But ballet set design is a first for Calatrava. Having architects design dance sets is also new for the City Ballet. American architect Philip Johnson was the only other architect to design sets for the company in 1981. Calatrava says nevertheless, scenic designs fit right into his portfolio. "As an architect, I have always studied and sought inspiration from movement and the human body," Calatrava told "To me, there is no muse greater than a dancer. It is my sincere hope that my scenic designs truly express the choreographers' visions."

The five City Ballet performances Calatrava designed sets for are the ballet premiers by Barak, Bigonzetti, Martins, Millepied and Wheeldon. The City Ballet's Architecture of Dance festival runs from May 6 to June 27.