★★★★✰ On the penultimate day of the fall season, I managed to catch a performance of New York City Ballet’s revival of Merce Cunningham’s Summerspace. The 1958 piece, which had its City Ballet premiere in 1966, was last performed here in 2000.
Tag - Abi Stafford
★★★★✰ There is a palpable sense of hope among the dancers; again and again, they rise to the occasion. The opening-night program reflected this resilience and gave reason for hope.
★★★✰✰ Opus 19 feels at once nostalgic, mysterious and dreamy...
★★★✰✰ Liebeslieder Walzer is one of the most precious of all Balanchine’s ballets; within its fifty-minute span it seems to contain a world of emotion, both profound and infinitely civilized.
★★★★✰ Nothing revives a repertory like new casting. So we can be grateful to the interim leadership at New York City Ballet for reconsidering who gets to dance some of the company’s most elemental repertory: Agon, Apollo, Serenade.
★★✰✰✰ Last week, on Thursday night, with the exception of The Four Temperaments, the company’s thoughts appeared to be elsewhere...
★★★★✰ Divertimento’s aura still shines; you want to see it again, to figure out its fluid, almost magical transitions. It’s a shame it will only be performed four times this season; it takes more than that for the audience, and the dancers, to really get to know it.
★★★★✰ 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.
★★★★✰ But the kids are just one element of what makes Midsummer tick. Another is the intelligence and efficiency with which the ballet tells its story.
★★★★✰ 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.
★★★★✰ New York is a good place to be in springtime.
★★★★✰ (20), ★★★✰✰ (21) The temperature in Glass Pieces was uncharacteristically low. Under the baton of Clotilde Otranto, the orchestra sounded muffled...
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, is there a ballet choreographer working today who is more imaginative, more wholly himself, than Alexei Ratmansky?
In many ways, Jewels is Balanchine’s choreographic résumé – a retrospective and a vivid showcase of his aesthetics and creative genius...
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.”
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.
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.
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.
In the second act, storytelling gives way to pure dance, the highpoint of which is one of the most delicate, poetic pas de deux ever made - an allegory of love, danced by an unidentified couple. It is a Balanchinean vision of absolute trust and partnership...