"Duo Concertant" tag
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 Serenade.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Serenade, Hallelujah Junction, Duo Concertant, Western Symphony – New York

★★★★✰   Balanchine himself once said that Serenade is “many things to many people.” If it is one thing to City Ballet, it is the single ballet which they are expected to do perfectly every time.

Sara Mearns and Ask La Cour in Balanchine's Walpurgisnacht.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Sonatine, La Valse, Symphony in C – New York

After a week of modernist works by Balanchine set mostly to Stravinsky, Hindemith, Webern, there’s no denying that a night of French music falls sweetly on the ear.

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.

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

New York City Ballet – Apollo, Agon, Duo Concertant, Symphony in Three Movements – New York

The New York City Ballet spring season is off to the races with a week devoted to George Balanchine, specifically the “black-and-white” ballets that for many have come to define his style.

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.

Amar Ramasar and Maria Kowroski in the first aria of Stravinsky Violin Concerto.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Concerto Barocco, Four Temperaments, Stravinsky Violin Concerto – New York

Watching these three ballets, made over a span of thirty-two years, one can see how Balanchine’s style evolved toward the hyper-stylization of Violin Concerto…

Michael Cook and Natalia Magnicaballi in Duo Concertant.© Linda Spillers. (Click image for larger version)

Suzanne Farrell Ballet – Pas de Dix, Duo Concertant, Tempo di Valse, Agon – Washington

…offered a perfect Balanchine sampler, bringing together an assortment of ballets, full of unexpected juxtapositions, from very different periods of the choreographer’s long career.

Megan Fairchild and Taylor Stanley in Peter Martins' Jeu de Cartes.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Tradition and Innovation & Just for Fun bills – New York

Jeu de Cartes, by Peter Martins, is jaunty and busy, a cross between the pas de deux in Balanchine’s Rubies, the trios in Danses Concertantes, and the non-stop action of Martins’ Fearful Symmetries….

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.

The Company in Justin Peck's In Creases.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – In Creases (new Peck) quad bill – New York

Creases revealed, once again, Just Peck’s ability to create strikingly imaginative patterns and formations onstage.

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.

Megan Fairchild and Chase Finlay in George Balanchine's Duo Concertant.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Black and White program – New York

I’ve noticed two troubling trends this season at New York City Ballet. Perhaps they are connected. The first is the creeping tendency toward stolid tempi from the pit…

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