"Ask la Cour" tag
Tiler Peck and the company in The Times Are Racing.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – American Rhapsody, The Four Temperaments, The Times Are Racing – Washington

★★★✰✰   To watch works created by the 29-year old Justin Peck, resident choreographer of New York City Ballet, is to experience what it feels like to be young.

Sterling Hyltin and Joaquin De Luz in Odessa.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Spring Gala with Odessa, Ratmansky premiere – New York

★★★✰✰   With only four works, no intermissions and a run time of less than two hours, New York City Ballet’s Spring Gala was short and to the point.

Sterling Hyltin and Amar Ramasar in Symphony in Three Movements.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Apollo, The Four Temperaments, Duo Concertant, Symphony in Three Movements – Paris

★★★★✰   The pleasure, above all, in watching this company is their fearless super-charge of energy and their commitment as the inheritors of Balanchine’s ballets.

New York City Ballet in Justin Peck's The Most Incredible Thing.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – The Most Incredible Thing (premiere), Polaris, The Blue of the Distance, Common Ground, Estancia – New York

★★★✰✰ “Incredible is Peck’s first narrative, and this fact was obvious Tuesday night, particularly in the opening scenes which lacked clarity…”

New York City Ballet in George Balanchine’s Liebeslieder Walzer.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Liebeslieder Walzer, Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3 – New York

A great Liebeslieder is like a short story, a complete world in fifty minutes of dancing; this Liebeslieder is still a work in progress.

Ballet San Jose flyer for the 2013 Benefit Gala.© Ballet San Jose. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet San Jose – 2013 Benefit Gala – San Jose

This was an evening not to be missed. Newly appointed Artistic Director, José Manuel Carreño, made sure that the quality of the eighteen guest artists for Ballet San Jose’s Gala Performance would tantalise even the most skeptical dance fan.

Ashley Bouder as Choleric with Robert Fairchild and Adrian Danchig-Waring in The Four Temperaments.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Black & White Balanchine bill – New York

What most struck me on this particular evening was the transparency, and clarity of intention, that marked each work.

NYCB in George Balanchine's Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Swan Lake, Allegro Brillante, Tsch Suite No. 3 – Washington

The revitalizing impact of Balanchine’s choreography on Tchaikovsky’s music was particularly evident in the all-Tchaikovsky, all-Balanchine program presented by New York City Ballet at the Kennedy Center Opera House during the last week of March.

Blakeley White-McGuire in Martha Graham's Imperial Gesture.© Charles Eilber. (Click image for larger version)

Martha Graham Dance Company – “Fall and Recovery” Gala – New York

Even more than with other choreographers, the costumes and sets are essential elements of Graham’s dance imagination. Think of Martha’s stretchy sack-dress in Lamentation, or the prickly metal tree-dress by Noguchi in Cave of the Heart. They are extensions of the dancers’ bodies, and of Graham’s Jungian world-view.

Teresa Reichlen.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

Teresa Reichlen – New York City Ballet – Principal

Teresa Reichlen – known as Tess by friends and colleagues – is an immediately striking dancer: tall, pale, preternaturally serene. She could be a Madonna in a painting by Botticelli.

Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild in Divertimento from 'Baiser de la Fée'.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Divertimento from Le Baiser de la Fée quad bill – New York

Is there a ballet more deceptive than Balanchine’s Divertimento from ‘Le Baiser de la Fée’? If so, I’m not aware of it.

Chase Finlay in Apollo.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Apollo, Orpheus, Agon – New York

What is there to say about Orpheus, except that it seems to slip deeper into the recesses of time? I’ve read that at the première, the critic and poet Edwin Denby was so moved by it that he sat dumbfounded during intermission, unable to stand. It is difficult to imagine such a reaction today.

Ashley Bouder in Firebird.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Concerto Barocco, Kammermusik No. 2, Firebird, Symphony in C – Saratoga Springs

After the dreary bombast of Alexei Ratmansky’s recent Firebird for American Ballet Theatre, the Balanchine/Robbins version, with its blessedly shorter score (Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite), heavenly Chagall designs and the great Ashley Bouder in one of her first great roles, was a welcome palliative.

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