"Sara Mearns" tag
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.

Sara Mearns in Dances of Isadora Duncan.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Fall for Dance 2018, Program 1 – Boston Ballet, Sara Mearns, Caleb Teicher & Co, Cie Hervé Koubi – New York

★★★★✰   On the second night the program was offered, Mearns was stunning, but the remaining three pieces, by three different companies were, to varying degrees, engaging, although hers was a tough act to follow.

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

New York City Ballet – Jewels & All Balanchine 4bill – New York

★★★★✰ The company seemed to be dancing with a special ferocity, as if to prove its worth and convince the world that this enterprise is, indeed, worth preserving and saving.

Lauren Post and José Sebastian in Zhongjing Fang's Seen by Two.© Rod Brayman. (Click image for larger version)

Co.Lab Dance – Seen by Two, Almost Ritual, The Bright Motion, Sketches – New York

★★★✰✰   What will Co.Lab become? I look forward to finding out. Meanwhile, it’s simply encouraging to see these dancers and emerging choreographers create something of their own.

Hee Seo in Giselle.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Giselle – New York

★★★★✰   Roberto Bolle, who played his usual striking Albrecht, responded to Seo with nuance and subtlety. The same goes for how Seo revealed Giselle’s madness…

Ask la Cour in The Four Temperaments.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Concerto Barocco, Agon, The Four Temperaments – New York

★★✰✰✰   Last week, on Thursday night, with the exception of The Four Temperaments, the company’s thoughts appeared to be elsewhere…

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