"Wendy Whelan" tag
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tiler Peck and Zachary Catazaro in Peter Walker’s Dance Odyssey.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Dance Odyssey, The Red Violin, Russian Seasons – New York

★★★✰✰   Like Walker’s first work for the company “Dance Odyssey” shows a lot of promise. It has warmth and humor, a good grasp of stage geometry and a sensitive musicality.

Wendy Whelan, Brian Brooks and Brooklyn Rider in Some of a Thousand Words.© Nir Arieli. (Click image for larger version)

Wendy Whelan, Brian Brooks and Brooklyn Rider – Some of a Thousand Words – San Francisco

★★★✰✰   I very much like Brooks’ work, particularly his approach to rebound, points of contact in partnering and his nuanced use of accumulation…

Wendy Whelan.© David Michalek. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Wendy Whelan on staging her first ballet – at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Passing it On: Wendy Whelan Stages her first ballet, Alexei Ratmansky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, for Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Sterling Hyltin and Joaquin De Luz in Odessa.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Spring Gala with Odessa, Ratmansky premiere – New York

★★★✰✰   With only four works, no intermissions and a run time of less than two hours, New York City Ballet’s Spring Gala was short and to the point.

Unity Phelan and Zachary Catazaro in Polyphonia.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – HERE/NOW Festival, Wheeldon Quad bill – New York

★★★✰✰   It’s a shame that the company didn’t choose to revive some Wheeldon rarities from its back catalogue…

Tyler Angle and the corps in Namouna, a Grand Divertissement.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Russian Seasons and Namouna, a Grand Divertissement – New York

★★★★✰   I still remember my feelings during the premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons at NYCB in 2006. There was a shock of recognition: this was the thing I had been looking for…

Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks in Some of a Thousand Words.© Nir Arieli. (Click image for larger version)

Wendy Whelan & Brian Brooks – Some of a Thousand Words – New York

★★★✰✰   Over two years after her retirement from New York City Ballet, Wendy Whelan remains a sight to behold.

Isabella Boylston and Calvin Royal III in Wheeldon's This Bitter Earth.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

Vail Dance Festival – ReMix NYC – New York

★★★★✰   After watching two of the four programs, a few things stand out. Firstly, it is clear that this is no simple gala, despite the format; there is a strong personal esthetic and philosophy at work behind the programs.

Marianna Krempeniou, Liam Riddick, Oihana Vesga Bujan, Nancy Nerantzi and Elly Braund in Richard Alston's Rejoice in the Lamb.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Fall For Dance Festival – Program 2: Richard Alston, Aszure Barton, Wendy Whelan, Edward Watson, Grupo Corpo – New York

★★★✰✰   One of this recurring festival’s strongest selling selling points is the serendipity of its pairings. You pay $15 and get a grab-bag of dance in return. You’re bound to like something.

Jamar Roberts in Rennie Harris' Exodus.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Programmes A and B – London

★★★★✰   Revelations is always a joy, however often one sees it. Ailey’s choreography, influenced by his mentor, Lester Horton, and Martha Graham, is a reminder of how potent that modern dance technique could be.

Adrian Danchig-Waring and Sara Mearns in Kim Brandstrup's Jeux.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Ash, This Bitter Earth, The Infernal Machine, Jeux, Paz de la Jolla – New York

★★★✰✰ Handsome to look at, with its film-noir lighting and flattering black 1940’s style dresses (by Marc Happel), Jeux nevertheless proves to be rather thin…

Tamisha Guy, Penda N'Diaye and Jeremy Jae Neal in Absent Matter.© Sharon Bradford. (Click image for larger version)

Kyle Abraham / Abraham.In.Motion – The Quiet Dance, Absent Matter, The Gettin’ – New York

If there was an award for the most likely New York dance troupe to be compared to a sportscar, I’d give it to Abraham.In.Motion. The choreography is, like the best supercars, all torque and velocity…

Travis Clausen-Knight, Marie-Agnès Gillot, Louis McMiller in Tree of Codes.© Stephanie Berger. (Click image for larger version)

Wayne McGregor | Random Dance & Paris Opera Ballet – Tree of Codes – New York

With her startling presence, Gillot manages to supply Tree of Codes with the sense of purpose it otherwise lacks.

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