"Agon" tag
Miami City Ballet in Serenade.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

City Center Balanchine Festival – Miami City Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet

★★★✰✰   It’s fascinating to see how Balanchinean charm and wit are interpreted by dancers for whom the Balanchine repertoire is more of a foreign language.

Aidan Gibson and Casey Ouzounis in Neue Suite (Berio 1-2-3).© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Semperoper Ballett – In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Neue Suite, Enemy in the Figure – London

★★★✰✰   Semperoper’s dancers distort the classical ballet line more than the Paris Opera Ballet’s (or ENB’s) and don’t bother much with fifth positions or precise épaulement for Forsythe’s endless tendus. They seem contemporary dancers rather than étoiles being outrageous.

New York City Ballet in Warren Carlyle’s Something to Dance About.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Robbins No. 2 and Tribute to Robbins bills – New York

★★★★✰   The centenary celebration bills are more than enough to give a sense of Robbins’ breadth, theatrical savvy, stylistic curiosities, and, perhaps most unique of all, his ability to present dancers as human beings onstage.

New York City Ballet in Dybbuk.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Robbins No. 1 – Bernstein Collaborations bill – New York

★★★✰✰   One of Robbins’ great talents was sniffing out the style of his time, but this inevitably places a date stamp on his work.

Ask la Cour in The Four Temperaments.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Concerto Barocco, Agon, The Four Temperaments – New York

★★✰✰✰   Last week, on Thursday night, with the exception of The Four Temperaments, the company’s thoughts appeared to be elsewhere…

Wende and Dutch National Ballet in Last Resistance.© Hans Gerritsen. (Click image for larger version)

Dutch National Ballet – Dutch Doubles: Impermanence, Two and Only, Déjà vu, Last Resistance – Amsterdam

★★★★✰   Dutch National Ballet’s Dutch Doubles quad bill features 3 new works by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Ernst Meisner and Wubkje Kuindersma plus a classic piece, new to the company, from the legend that is Hans van Manen.

Tiler Peck and Zachary Catazaro in Peter Walker’s Dance Odyssey.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Dance Odyssey, The Red Violin, Russian Seasons – New York

★★★✰✰   Like Walker’s first work for the company “Dance Odyssey” shows a lot of promise. It has warmth and humor, a good grasp of stage geometry and a sensitive musicality.

Suzanne Farrell Ballet, with Heather Ogden and Thomas Garrett, center, and the corps de ballet, in Chaconne, choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. (phew!)Image © Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Suzanne Farrell Ballet – Forever Balanchine: Farewell Performances – Washington

★★★★★   As artistic director of her own troupe, Farrell was able to take her devotion to Balanchine and her aspiration to promote and preserve his legacy to a new level. For nearly 20 years, Washington audiences have enjoyed an annual mini-festival of Balanchine’s works…

Unity Phelan and Zachary Catazaro in Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Liturgy, Polyphonia, Odessa, The Times are Racing – New York

★★★★✰   The oldest piece on the program is Wheeldon’s Polyphonia. Made in 2001, it has stood the test of time. Just last week it was performed at the Fall for Dance festival…

Marijn Rademaker and Igone de Jongh in Sarcasmen.© Hans Gerritsen. (Click image for larger version)

Dutch National Ballet – Hans van Manen, Ode to the Master bill – Amsterdam

★★★★✰   An outstanding bill in showing Hans van Manen’s work for three companies and its rich contemporary diversity – it all looks so fresh and of today.

Unity Phelan and Zachary Catazaro in Polyphonia.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – HERE/NOW Festival, Wheeldon Quad bill – New York

★★★✰✰   It’s a shame that the company didn’t choose to revive some Wheeldon rarities from its back catalogue…

Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks in Some of a Thousand Words.© Nir Arieli. (Click image for larger version)

Wendy Whelan & Brian Brooks – Some of a Thousand Words – New York

★★★✰✰   Over two years after her retirement from New York City Ballet, Wendy Whelan remains a sight to behold.

Taylor Stanley, Anthony Huxley and Brittany Pollack in Justin Peck's Scherzo Fantastique.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Stravinsky x Five bill – New York

★★★✰✰   Alongside George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, one could argue that the third most important voice at New York City Ballet in the twentieth century was that of Igor Stravinsky.

Matthew Ball and Marianela Nunez in Wayne McGregor's Multiverse.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Wayne McGregor bill: Chroma, Multiverse, Carbon Life – London

★★★✰✰   Multiverse: McGregor and his dramaturg may know what they want to convey about life and the universe(s) but despite the dancers’ efforts, the result is baffling.

Silas Riener, Jimena Paz and Eleanor Hullihan of Tere O'Connor Dance.© Julieta Cervantes. (Click image for larger version)

Tere O’Connor Dance – Undersweet, Transcendental Daughter – New York

★★★★✰   Structure and meaning lie at the heart of O’Connor’s work. With Undersweet he has achieved a perfect balance.

Philharmonia Orchestra & Armitage Gone! Dance performing Agon.© Camilla Greenwell Photography. (Click image for larger version)

Philharmonia Orchestra & Armitage Gone! Dance – Agon, Rite of Spring, Symphonies of Wind Instruments – London

★★★✰✰   Esa-Pekka Salonen is conducting London’s Philharmonia Orchestra in a Stravinsky festival, the first concert of which included a collaboration with Karole Armitage’s company on “Agon” – famously originally choreographed by Balanchine…

Abi Stafford in Flower Festival in Genzano.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – 21st Century Choreographers & Classic NYCB I bills – New York

★★★★✰   New York is a good place to be in springtime.

Sara Mearns and Adrian Danchig-Waring in Glass Pieces.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Masters at Work and All Balanchine I bills – New York

★★★★✰ (20), ★★★✰✰ (21) The temperature in Glass Pieces was uncharacteristically low. Under the baton of Clotilde Otranto, the orchestra sounded muffled…

Marianela Núñez and Carlos Acosta in Diana and Actaeon.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Carlos Acosta – A Classical Selection – London

Acosta deserves every moment of his standing ovation…

Russell Janzen and Sterling Hyltin in Duo Concertant.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – some Balanchine Black and White Festival debuts – New York

There were three débuts at New York City Ballet last night: Zachary Catazaro in Apollo, Russell Janzen in Duo Concertant, and Lauren King in the role I think of as the “jumping girl” in Symphony in Three Movements.

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