Updated 09/21/2011 11:35 AM
NY1 Exclusive: First Look At Paul McCartney's "Kingdom"
The New York City Ballet is set to open its season this week with a work by former Beatle Paul McCartney and legendary ballet master Peter Martins. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
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Sir Paul McCartney has found a new realm. The former Beatle composed the music for the new ballet "Ocean's Kingdom." It will make its world debut Thursday night with the New York City Ballet. At a recent rehearsal, legendary choreographer Peter Martins was still giddy about working with McCartney and meeting him at the Koch Theater last year.
"There was a party and he came to this party and we were introduced to each other and we talked about music and I asked him if he had any interest in maybe doing something for us," Martins said. "I knew he was interested in classical music, so we talked about that and I said to him we have a big orchestra and he said, 'I know.'"
"Ocean's Kingdom" is a fairyale love story about an sea princess who falls in love with a prince from the earthly kingdom. There's Kidnapping, sorcery and swooning. Yes, even in the ballet world, pop music royalty is revered. Martins says this will be the biggest gala in history, not just in fundraising but excitement.
Principal dancer Robert Fairchild says everyone is excited.
"They played Beatles in their garage with like tennis rackets so she was like, 'What was he like?' All that stuff. He enjoyed it, he came up to me and said 'It's cool man' and she just started laughing. But yeah, it's pretty surreal," Fairchild said.
So just how big a deal is it that Paul McCartney is the composer? Well, by taking a look at the publicity poster, it's clear McCartney gets top billing even over the name of the ballet.
"He [McCartney] saw the ballet for the first time last week. Loved it and had some good suggestions and I took them," Martins said.
McCartney is also getting by with a little help from his friends and family: His daughter, Stella McCartney, designed the costumes.