Ethan Stiefel’s Frontier
World Premiere, May 25-27
The Kennedy Center, Opera House

Artistic Director Julie Kent’s first-ever commissioned work, Frontier, will be choreographed by Ethan Stiefel for The Washington Ballet. The work is inspired by President Kennedy and his aspirations for America as a leader of artistic, cultural and intellectual excellence. His historic May 25, 1961 “urgent needs” address to the United States Congress serves as the impetus for this work. This speech launched what became a legacy in U.S. space travel and exploration with a determination for the United States to be the first to land a man on the moon. The President and First Lady focused national attention on the role of the arts in a country and the need for a nation to represent itself through its art. They also encouraged the development of Washington as a cultural center. The President was an advocate for America’s ability to educate and develop individuals in cultural, intellectual and artistic endeavors.

Stiefel investigates space exploration through the perspective of the astronaut, delving into the emotional and physical rigors required for space travel. From the enigmatic anticipation of the adventure yet subsequent isolation in having such a unique and powerful experience, the astronaut’s journey is compelling.

Choreography Ethan Stiefel
Music Adam Crystal performed by The Washington

Ballet Orchestra under Conductor Martin West

Frontier is sponsored by FedEx.


This page features a ballet video titled Frontier- The Washington Ballet World Premiere. The ballet dancers appearing in this ballet video include Ethan Stiefel, Julie Kent. The ballet company performing in this ballet video include The Washington Ballet. Choreography featured in this video is by .