"New York City Ballet" tag
Jonathan Glazer's Strasbourg 1518.© Strasbourg 1518/Academy Films/BBC . (Click image for larger version)

BBC, Artangel and Sadler’s Wells – Jonathan Glazer’s Strasbourg 1518, featuring Pina Bausch dancers

★★✰✰✰   Strasbourg 1518 has been lauded as ‘head buttingly confrontational’ and an original ‘dance for today’. It isn’t. Familiar Bausch tropes don’t really reflect 1518’s psychogenic mania, which was communal, or today’s experience of isolation, stress and tedium.

Misty Copeland, Sara Mearns and Tiler Peck on the Studio 5: Great American Ballerinas flyer. © City Center. (Click image for larger version)

Studio 5: Great American Ballerinas – the City Center virtual series of master classes

New York City Center is streaming some ballet master classes, curated and hosted by Alastair Macaulay, and involving Misty Copeland, Sara Mearns and Tiler Peck. The coaches/guests include Nina Ananiashvili, Merrill Ashley, Alessandra Ferri, Stephanie Saland and Pam Tanowitz.

Tamara Rojo in Song of the Earth.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Song of the Earth – streamed archive recording of 2017 performance

★★★★✰   The recording reveals how unusual the choreography is, as it was in 1965… Dancers in pointe shoes have to adapt to flexed feet, flat-footed parallel positions, torsos bent forward, elbows and wrists held at angles.

Derick K. Grant and Dormeshia in And Still You Must Swing.© AK47 Division. (Click image for larger version)

Dormeshia – And Still You Must Swing – streamed recording

★★★★★   Dormeshia’s And Still You Must Swing is the first online dance that made me want to write about it. I knew it would be good…

New York City Ballet in Justin Peck’s Rotunda.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Classic NYCB II bill with new Justin Peck – New York

★★★✰✰   In the last week of its winter season, New York City Ballet unveiled a new work by its resident choreographer, Justin Peck, to a score by the popular neo-Minimalist composer Nico Muhly. It was a homecoming of sorts for Peck…

Adrian Danchig-Waring, Jovani Furlan, Teresa Reichlen in Robbins’ Concertino.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Classic NYCB I including Haieff Divertimento & Episodes – New York

★★★★✰   The four ballets make for a slightly over-long evening (both Episodes and Rodeo are substantial works). But it’s a small price to pay for seeing these rarities back onstage.

Megan Fairchild and NYCB in Ratmansky’s Voices.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Voices (new Ratmansky), and New Combinations bill – New York

★★★★✰   There was always something new around the corner, a surprising shape, a witty step, an unlikely transition. It’s clear that Ratmansky felt liberated by the unusual structure and soundscape…

Teresa Reichlen and Ask la Cour in Balanchine’s Firebird.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Balanchine: Allegro Brillante, La Source, Firebird – New York

★★★★✰   How is the company looking? …the company looks good so far.

Lauren Lovette and Joseph Gordon in George Balanchine’s Stravinsky Violin Concerto.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Stravinsky & Balanchine bill – New York

★★★★✰   New York City Ballet is off to a fine start when it opens the winter season with a very well-danced all Balanchine, all Stravinsky program.

Bijayini Satpathy in the Kalpana bill.© Anubhava. (Click image for larger version)

Some Memorable Performances of 2019 – New York

I don’t really believe in lists, but it’s admittedly fun to look back over the year and reflect on moments that have stayed with me. So here they are, in no particular order…

Michael Trusnovec in Variations solo from Balanchie's Episodes.© Nina Wurtzel. (Click image for larger version)

Paul Taylor American Modern Dance – Gala including new Kyle Abraham – New York

★★★★✰   As a special one-off, Michael Trusnovec, now a guest artist, danced the solo from George Balanchine’s spiky and ascetic Episodes which he made for Paul Taylor in 1959.

Charlotte Landreau, Marzia Memoli and Lorenzo Pagano in The Auditions.© Melissa Sherwood. (Click image for larger version)

Martha Graham Dance Company – Appalachian Spring, The Auditions – New York

★★★★✰   This season, as part of the 75th anniversary of Appalachian Spring, Martha Graham Dance Company invited Troy Schumacher to create a new piece to be danced alongside the iconic work…

Maya Beiser and Wendy Whelan in The Day.© Nils Schlebusch. (Click image for larger version)

Maya Beiser + Wendy Whelan + Lucinda Childs + David Lang – The Day – New York

★★★✰✰   The pairing of prestigious participants does not always guarantee success – a lesson learned again and again in the theater.

Pam Tanowitz.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Pam Tanowitz – Choreographer and Director

Pam Tanowitz, well known in New York, just created her first work outside the States – for the Royal Ballet. It’s been a critical success and Jann Parry (who gave the work 5 stars) finds out what makes her tick and why so many directors are seeking Tanowitz out…

Catherine Hurlin and Aran Bell in Let Me Sing Forevermore.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Fall Gala and The Masters bills – New York

★★★★✰   The fewer the speeches, the better the gala – this universal truth seems to have bypassed the organizers at American Ballet Theatre…

Adrian Danchig-Waring and Emilie Gerrity in Cunningham’s Summerspace.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Serenade, Summerspace, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 – New York

★★★★✰   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.

Adrian Danchig-Waring and Unity Phelan in Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Dances at a Gathering, Everywhere We Go – New York

★★★✰✰   Robbins’ response to Chopin (in Dances at a Gathering) is also extraordinary: sensitive, simple, vulnerable, direct, un-fussy.

Georgina Pazcoguin and Company in Lauren Lovette’s The Shaded Line.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Fall Fashion Gala with The Shaded Line, Lineage, Symphony in C – New York

★★★✰✰   Kudos to Lovette for really going out on a limb… The Shaded Line feels truly her own, and it’s clear that she has much to say about her chosen profession…

Sara Mearns and Daniel Ulbricht in George Balanchine’s Variations Pour Une Porte et Un Soupir.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Balanchine + Wheeldon bill & Jewels – New York

★★★★✰   It makes a noticeable difference when Litton, music director of the company, is in the pit; the orchestra has presence and sings, providing a convincing counterpart for the dancing.

Joseph Gordon and David Hallberg in Maurice Béjart's Song of a Wayfarer.© Maria Baranova. (Click image for larger version)

RB, ABT, NYCB & NYTB dancers at the Joyce Ballet Festival – Prog C, curated by Jean-Marc Puissant – New York

★★★★✰   Starwise, Bejart’s Wayfarer bumps this program from two stars to four.

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