★★★★✰ Watching this immensely entertaining program one realizes that even a minor Balanchine ballet is still a great ballet.
Tag - Edwin Denby
★★★★✰ 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.
Both nights that I attended were blessed with an exquisite Cinderella. Gillian Murphy gave this production a beating heart with her tenderly expressive and incisive performance...
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.
When watching them perform one understands what dance critic Joan Acocella meant when she said: “Every single time Suzanne Farrell sets a Balanchine ballet – it rises from the dead.”
What is there to say about Orpheus, except that it seems to slip deeper into the recesses of time? I’ve read that at the première, the critic and poet Edwin Denby was so moved by it that he sat dumbfounded during intermission, unable to stand. It is difficult to imagine such a reaction today.
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.
The seven works I saw over two nights started with Aureole and ended with Esplanade, and even in these less than perfect circumstances it's impossible to resist the enchantment of these two masterpieces. Aureole especially seems to me the essence of Paul Taylor...