There is perhaps no better way to start off a season at New York City Ballet than with a performance of Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco.
The Nutcracker – from New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Gelsey Kirkland Ballet – New York
So far this season I’ve seen three “traditional” Nutcrackers: Ratmansky’s version for American Ballet Theatre, Gelsey Kirkland’s, and the familiar and much-loved 1954 staging by George Balanchine for New York City Ballet. All three have their charms…
One feels as Débussy did when he wrote, at the end of the nineteenth century, that “amid too many silly ballets, Lalo’s Namouna is something of a masterpiece.”
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….
Amid all the fuss about the costumes, the choreogaphy paled… What a joy, then, to see a section of Western Symphony, with those marvelous frou-frou tutus by Karinska and that euphoric outpouring of Balanchine’s’ crisp, witty steps.
Creases revealed, once again, Just Peck’s ability to create strikingly imaginative patterns and formations onstage.
Symphony in C, a luminous outpouring of legs and arms, crisp geometries, bobbing rhythms, and articulate patter-like conversations for the feet, is a vivid reminder of why one goes to the ballet at all. Luminosity and classical logic, laced with wit and intelligence.
But ‘A Place for Us’ (new Wheeldon) feels like a bauble, not quite a jewel.
But stuck in the middle of all this brightness was Ivesiana, like a ghost at a birthday party. It is a most unsettling ballet.
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.
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.
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.
It’s a good thing indeed when a visit to the ballet turns out to be a night full of surprises, all of them good.
Is there a ballet more deceptive than Balanchine’s Divertimento from ‘Le Baiser de la Fée’? If so, I’m not aware of it.
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….
The festival was as intensive as ever, with three performances running on seven days, four on one day, some concurrently. The range and quality of dance overall was impressive.
The Honors are America’s highest award for those whose creative triumphs influenced and enhanced American culture. This is a celebration of their outstanding careers and extraordinary talents and appreciation of their unyielding commitment and contribution to the arts.
When something is beautifully made it never gets old. So it is with Balanchine’s Nutcracker, first performed by New York City Ballet in 1954 and honed to near-perfection over the years.
The highlight of the gala was the seventieth-anniversary performance of Agnes De Mille’s Rodeo, preceded by a short film describing its creation, with archival footage of the hilariously histrionic, diminutive choreographer.
There should be more nights like this at New York City Ballet.