"Chase Finlay" tag
New York City Ballet in The Concert.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Robbins No. 4 bill – New York

★★★★✰   It was a good night for Afternoon of a Faun, in particular. Chase Finlay, débuting in the role of the young dancer sensually lolling about a ballet studio, brought back the eroticism this ballet often lacks.

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…

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.

Adrian Danchig-Waring, Tiler Peck and Ashly Isaacs in George Balanchine’s Apollo.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Balanchine No. 1 & 2, 21st Century Choreographers bills – New York

★★★★✰   After much tumult over the holidays, New York City Ballet has begun its first post-Peter Martins season. If you’re just catching up, the company’s “ballet master in chief” – ie artistic director – of over thirty years retired on New Years Day, in the midst of an investigation into allegations of physical abuse and sexual harassment.

Sterling Hyltin and Joaquin de Luz in Ratmansky's Odessa.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Square Dance, Tarantella, Odessa, Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes – Washington

★★★★★   Alexei Ratmansky’s Odessa left me breathless. The dancing (I saw both casts) was phenomenal on all levels: assured, expressive, and thoroughly dramatic.

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…

Sara Mearns and Jared Angle in Swan Lake.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – La Sonnambula, Prodigal Son, Firebird, Allegro Brillante, Swan Lake, Four Temperaments – New York

★★★★✰   Sara Mearns, who made her name as Swan Queen at the age of nineteen, is still the most thrilling Odette around.

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 Vienna Waltzes.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Ballo della Regina, Kammermusik No. 2, Vienna Waltzes – New York

★★★★✰   Vienna Waltzes is a sure-fire hit. It seduces on many fronts: the ridiculously flattering gowns by Karinska (her last for the company), the sumptuous music, the multitudes of dancers…

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.

Xander Parish in Apollo.© Valentin Baranovsky. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2015 – 10th anniversary, Sunday 8 March 2015 at London Coliseum

30 dancers already confirmed include Natalia Osipova, Olga Smirnova, Semyon Chudin, Kim Kimin, Sarah Lamb, Xander Parish, Aline Cojocaru, Tamara Rojo, Marianela Nuňez and Thiago Soares.

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

New York City Ballet – Serenade, Agon, Symphony in C, Donizetti Variations, La Valse, Chaconne – New York

In recent seasons New York City Ballet has gotten into the habit of starting things off with a week or two of Balanchine. It’s an excellent idea.

Sara Mearns in Balanchine's The Nutcracker.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker – New York

Year after year, I see Balanchine’s Nutcracker, and year after year I marvel at its perfection. This year it turns sixty.

New York City Ballet in George Balanchine's Chaconne.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Chaconne, Interplay, After the Rain, Everywhere We Go – New York

“…it’s hard not to get the impression that New York City Ballet is on a roll.”

Tiler Peck in Theme and Variations.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Tchaikovsky & Balanchine, Stravinsky & Balanchine bills – New York

One cannot help but be amazed by the number of exceptional women in the company, and by how differently they approach the steps, the music and the temperament of each ballet.

Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild in Christopher Wheeldon's A Place for Us.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Spring Gala with Wheeldon premiere – New York

But ‘A Place for Us’ (new Wheeldon) feels like a bauble, not quite a jewel.

Justin Peck in N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz by Jerome Robbins.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, Waltz Project – New York

N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz is certainly not Robbins’ finest or most original work but perhaps because of its relative straightforwardness, it reveals much about what is so remarkable about this choreographer.

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.

Sara Mearns and Company in George Balanchine's Serenade.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Serenade, Mozartiana, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 – New York

I’m not yet fully convinced of the wisdom of New York City Ballet’s thematic seasons, organized around the music of a single composer….

Valerie and Clive Barnes with foundation logo.© Valerie Taylor-Barnes.

Valerie Taylor-Barnes – former Royal Ballet dancer & Director of the Clive Barnes Foundation

On the eve of the Clive Barnes Foundation announcing its annual awards we interview Valerie Taylor-Barnes, the great critics widow, about her life in dance (including the Royal Ballet) and the work of the Foundation…

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