"George Balanchine" tag
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…

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…

Teresa Reichlen and Russell Janzen in Diamonds.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Jewels: Emeralds, Rubies, Diamonds – New York

★★★✰✰   What do you do with a problem like Jewels? This 1967 blockbuster by George Balanchine is a hard one to pull off…

Kevin Jackson, Vivienne Wong and Rudy Hawkes in Alice Topp’s Little Atlas.© Daniel Boud. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Symphony in C, divertissements and new works bill – Sydney

★★★✰✰   The first thing to say about Symphony in C is that the Australian Ballet’s corps and soloists had been rehearsed and coached with technical perfection in mind and there was little to fault with their execution of the steps.

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.

Miami City Ballet in Justin Peck's Heatscape.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Miami City Ballet – Program’s A (Balanchine, Tharp, Ratmansky), B (Peck, Scarlett, Balanchine) – New York

★★★★✰   New York audiences and the Miami City Ballet have taken to each other like sun and salt air, and it’s easy to see why.

Frances Chung, Jennifer Stahl, Dores André and Joseph Walsh in Justin Peck's In The Countenance Of Kings.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Continuum, In the Countenance of Kings (premiere), Theme and Variations – San Francisco

★★★★✰   San Francisco Ballet (SFB) saved the best for its last mixed bill of the 2016 season.

Oksana Maslova and James Ihde in Trey McIntyre's The Accidental.© Yi-Chun Wu. (Click image for larger version)

Pennsylvania Ballet – Keep, The Accidental, Grace Action – New York

★★★✰✰   Corella’s current crop of dancers are strong and adaptable, and he seems to favor shorter dancers with very clean footwork and strong technique…

Brooklyn Mack and Venus Villa in Hamlet.© Theo Kossenas. (Click image for larger version)

Washington Ballet – Hamlet – Washington

★★✰✰✰   There is, however, one undeniably compelling personage in this somewhat flat production of Hamlet – the quiet and fragile Ophelia, as portrayed by Venus Villa…

New York City Ballet in Peter Martins’ staging of August Bournonville’s La Sylphide.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – La Sylphide, Bournonville Divertissements – Washington

★★★✰✰ In his staging of La Sylphide, Martins not only removes the intermission, thus shortening the performance time, he also accelerates the pace of the events. It feels as if the story rushes at you with…

Frances Chung and Vitor Luiz in Balanchine's Coppélia.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Coppélia – San Francisco

★★★★✰ It’s a treat to be in the theater when a dancer achieves a triumphant performance…

Amar Ramasar and NYCB in Justin Peck’s The Most Incredible Thing.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Works By Balanchine, Martins, Peck and Wheeldon – Washington

★★★✰✰ The first of two mixed programs that New York City Ballet presented at the Kennedy Center Opera House in March offered a wide variety of works…

Jerome Tisserand and Lesley Rausch in Stravinsky Violin Concerto.© Lindsay Thomas. (Click image for larger version)

Pacific Northwest Ballet – Square Dance, Prodigal Son, Stravinsky Violin Concerto – New York

★★★★✰ Clarity of execution is a hallmark of this Seattle-based company, which has been led since 2005 by the former New York City Ballet star, Peter Boal.

Adrian Danchig-Waring and Sara Mearns in Kim Brandstrup's Jeux.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Ash, This Bitter Earth, The Infernal Machine, Jeux, Paz de la Jolla – New York

★★★✰✰ Handsome to look at, with its film-noir lighting and flattering black 1940’s style dresses (by Marc Happel), Jeux nevertheless proves to be rather thin…

New York City Ballet in the Scottish Reel section of La Sylphide.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – La Sylphide, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 – New York

★★★✰✰ The Bournonville footwork and even the mime are there, but there’s little sense of joy or pathos of any kind.

Sofiane Sylve in Scarlett's Fearful Symmetries.© Erik Tomasson. (Click image for larger version)

San Francisco Ballet – Fearful Symmetries (premiere), Rubies, Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes – San Francisco

★★★✰✰ “But despite his high concept, Scarlett seemed to lose the thread halfway through, resorting to lascivious theatrics to complete the work…”

Sterling Hyltin in Mozartiana.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Sonatine, Mozartiana, Symphony in C – New York

★★★★✰ Some nights at the ballet you just get lucky: all the works are beautiful and the program is well balanced, and each of the casts is led by a ballerina who seems just right for the role.

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…

Sara Mearns and Tyler Angle in Peter Martins' Barber Violin Concerto.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Music Director’s Choice: Barber Violin Concerto, Fancy Free, Who Cares?, Candide (Overture) – New York

★★★✰✰ Lauren Gallagher at New York City Ballet’s Winter Season Opening where they introduced their new music director, Andrew Litton, in some style by naming the bill “Music Director’s Choice”…

Mark Morris's The Hard Nut.© Julieta Cervantes. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Morris Dance Group – The Hard Nut – New York

As with the Balanchine version, the Hard Nut’s success is a foregone conclusion.

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