"Sara Mearns" tag
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.

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…

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.

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.

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.

Sara Mearns as Titania in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – A Midsummer Night’s Dream – New York

★★★★✰   For Balanchine, Shakespeare’s characters are two-dimensional types, exemplary but wholly unreal. They are shadows in a shadow-play, representing this or that quality…

Joseph Gordon and Ashley Bouder in Balanchine's Scotch Symphony.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Balanchine quad bill including Scotch Symphony – New York

★★★★✰   There’s a reason why New York City Ballet doesn’t do George Balanchine’s Scotch Symphony very often. It’s a strangely disjointed ballet…

Megan LeCrone in Reisen’s Judah.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Hallelujah Junction, Judah, The Exchange, Concerto DSCH – New York

★★★✰✰   The vitality and drive of the troupe was palpable Wednesday night, as was a sense of collective energy to move forward – however rocky that movement might be.

Gretchen Smith and Indiana Woodward in Pam Tanowitz’s Bartók Ballet.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Spring Gala: Bright, Bartók Ballet, Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3 – New York

★★★✰✰   In Bartók Ballet, which coexists but does not comment on the music, the dancers explore a huge range of steps and quotations…

Sara Mearns in Justin Peck’s Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Pictures at an Exhibition, Oltremare, Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes – New York

★★★★✰   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.

Night of 100 Solos at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Merce Cunningham Trust – Night of 100 Solos, Centennial Event – New York

★★★★✰   What impresses overall is the clarity of the technique; the precision and control it requires. And the way it enlarges the dancers, distilling their strengths, stretching them to the limit.

Sterling Hyltin and Gonzalo Garcia in Jerome Robbins’ Opus 19/The Dreamer.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Balanchine, Robbins & Reisen quad bill – Washington

★★★✰✰   Opus 19 feels at once nostalgic, mysterious and dreamy…

New York City Ballet in Liebeslieder Walzer.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Prodigal Son, Liebeslieder Walzer – New York

★★★✰✰   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.

Sara Mearns and Jared Angle in Jerome Robbins' In the Night.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Robbins bill: Interplay, In the Night, N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz – New York

★★★✰✰   There was virtually nothing to fault with “In the Night” on Saturday — each couple was well matched, and Robbins’ unique capacity to imbue classical form with the richness of human experience again seems unparalleled

Ashley Bouder and Joseph Gordon in Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Serenade, Mozartiana, Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 – New York

★★★✰✰   One of the earliest things I appreciated about Balanchine is that he made me feel okay about liking Tschaikovsky (as NYCB likes to spell it)…

Rosas in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s The Six Brandenburg Concertos.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Some Memorable Performances of 2018 – New York

Other years have been more exciting, I think, but this one has had its share of remarkable performances, including a few thrilling ones. Here, in no particular order, are the ones that really stood out, for one reason or another.

Tenzin Niles and Ines Gout in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – The Nucracker – New York

★★★✰✰   Come hell or high water, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker will return to New York City Ballet, filling the theatre night after night. Balanchine made a ballet built to last, and it has not disappointed.

Miami City Ballet in Serenade.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

City Center Balanchine Festival – Miami City Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet

★★★✰✰   It’s fascinating to see how Balanchinean charm and wit are interpreted by dancers for whom the Balanchine repertoire is more of a foreign language.

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