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.
Tag - Andrew Veyette
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.
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...
It’s becoming something of a New York City Ballet tradition to start off the season with, if not a whimper, then let’s say a less-than-stellar performance. Perhaps it’s a kind of exorcism, a ritual cleansing. Maybe that’s why the gala usually takes place a few days later...
Fortunately, Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite, the final dance of the evening, was anything but tedious. One of the greatest entertainers in ballet, Robbins knew how to keep his audiences awake, engaged, and excited.