Three for One

L to R: Elisa Osborne, Ann Chiaverini, Alexandra Berger, and Emily Gayeski in Dusan Tynek's Widow's Walk. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

Zvi Gotheiner, Cherylyn Lavagnino, and Dusan Tynek share a series at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, June 12 through 22. I should have sat down at the computer right after getting home from the opening of Musa! A Festival of Dance with Music at Baruch Performing Arts Center. The inaugural performance was so dense with dancing that keeping my memories of it intact has been a challenge. Also, … [Read more...]

Dmitri and Alexei, Heart to Heart

Cory Stearns and Diana Vishneva in Piano Concerto #1. Photo: Gene Schiavone

American Ballet Theatre presents a trilogy of ballets by Alexei Ratmansky to Shostkovich's music. When American Ballet Theatre premiered Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphony #9 last October, it was understood that this was to be the first in a trilogy of ballets set to music by Ratmansky’s fellow Russian, Dmitri Shostakovich. That trilogy made its debut with four performances during the company’s … [Read more...]

Dancing Love and Love of Dancing

Hee Sao and David Hallberg in American Ballet Theatre's production of Frederick Ashton's A Month in The Country. Photo: Morty Sohl

American Ballet Theatre’s new production of Frederick Ashton’s “A Month in the Country” on a program with Mark Morris’s “Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes” and George Balanchine’s “Symphony in C.” Metropolitan Opera House, May 21-23. Frederick Ashton’s A Month in the Country distills the five acts of Ivan Turgenev’s eponymous play and the passage of several weeks into 40 minutes of dancing, … [Read more...]

All American

Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild in Christopher Wheeldon's A Place for Us. Photo: Paul Kolnik

New York City Ballet, Lincoln Center, April 30 through June 9 In the Spring of 1988, the New York City Ballet put on an American Music Festival. George Balanchine had been dead for five years, and the two Ballet Masters in Chief, Peter Martins and Jerome Robbins, commissioned enough new ballets to keep dancers, guest choreographers, and resident choreographers rushing in and out of the … [Read more...]

Fair Winds from the West

Seth Orza as Balanchine's Apollo with (front to back) Carla Körbes, Maria Chapman, and Lesley Rausch. Photo: Lindsay Thomas

Lincoln Kirstein has written that while the New York State Theater (now the Koch) was under construction, George Balanchine wandered in and saw that the pit would hold no more than 35 musicians. He immediately threatened to withdraw the New York City Ballet as the principal designated tenant. The pit was redesigned to accommodate 70 players. Had Balanchine, to whom music was so important, … [Read more...]

See the Music

Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, keeping an eye on his creations

George Balanchine once said that during his grueling years as a pupil in the Imperial St. Petersburg Theatrical School, he didn’t fall in love with ballet until he was twelve. The change occurred the first time he appeared onstage in Marius Petipa’s Sleeping Beauty, set to Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky’s ravishing score, and young Georgi Melitonovitch was cast as a Cupid. His arrows, so to speak, … [Read more...]

About That Nutcracker

A dream wedding: Clara and her Prince (Hee Seo and Cory Sterns). Photo: Gene Schiavone

The Nutcracker in its many manifestations is like an attic toy box into which generations of children have tossed the playthings they’ve grown too old for. Amid the dolls and stuffed animals and fairy tales and toy soldiers are folded longings, nightmares, pre-pubescent thoughts of sex, and fear of growing up. The ballet by Lev Ivanov that premiered in St. Petersburg in December of 1892 has … [Read more...]

In Season

The peerless Herman Cornejo in Ratmansky's Symphony #9. Photo: Gene Schiavone

Hello!  Goodbye! American Ballet Theatre’s City Center season came and went with dispiriting speed—seven performances in five days (October 16 through 20). The pleasures outweighed the disappointment. New Yorkers could rendezvous with revivals of three ballets in the company’s history: Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo (1942), Antony Tudor’s The Leaves Are Fading (1977), and Mark Morris’s Drink to Me Only … [Read more...]

Astray in Summer Dreams

Cory Stearns as Oberon and Xiomra Reyes as Titania in ABT's The Dream. Photo: Gene Schiavone

If you can’t see a production of Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a woodland setting during a long June twilight, as I once did, you can be enthralled by a different sort of magic conjured up by the Bard’s plot. George Balanchine’s 1962 ballet of the same name ended its week in the New York City Ballet’s season before American Ballet Theatre hit the solstice dead on with Frederick … [Read more...]

Flaming Magic and Goofy Girls

Natalia Osipova in Alexei Ratmansky's new Firebird for ABT. Photo: Gene Schiavone

One of the most surprising things about American Ballet Theatre’s new Firebird is how Russian it isn’t. When Serge Diaghilev commissioned 27-year-old Igor Stravinsky to write his first ballet score, one of the impresario’s continuing aims was to acquaint Paris with Russian music and culture. L’Oiseau de Feu premiered in 1910 with a wandering Tsarevitch as its hero and a magic bird as its … [Read more...]