Sea Spirits and Spirited Dancing

Prospero deals with Ariel. Miranda sleeps. The first-night cast of Alexei Ratmansky's The Tempest: Marcelo Gomes holding Danil Simkin, Sarah Lane at back. Photo: Marty Sohl

American Ballet Theatre premieres Alexei Ratmansky's The Tempest and revives Twyla Tharp's Bach Partita. Had Shakespeare happened upon American Ballet Theater’s production of Alexei Ratmansky’s The Tempest, he might have recognized the characters of his eponymous play, but been bewildered by the absence of words—wondering how on earth audiences in this vast Lincoln Center theater could … [Read more...]

Fairy Tales to the Max

Joan Boada and Maria Kochetkova of the San Francisco Ballet in Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderalla. Photo: Erik Tomasson

Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella and Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty update classic scores and fairytales. When it comes to fairy tales danced out onstage, the borderline between what’s logical in magic worlds and what gives rise to questions is often blurred. The San Francisco Ballet’s production of Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella at Lincoln Center and the British New Adventures … [Read more...]

Good News from San Francisco

San Francisco Ballet  dancers (L to R) Shane Wuerther, Luke Ingham, and Luke Willis court Sofiane Sylve in Alexei Ratmansky's From Foreign Lands. Photo: Erik Tomasson

The San Francisco Ballet comes to Lincoln Center with two mixed bills of ballets by seven choreographers. The artistic director of a large ballet company must have headaches rather different from those of a Wall Street trader. His (and such directors tend to be male) “stocks” are highly volatile. Helgi Tomasson, who leads the San Francisco Ballet, can make predictions about how ballets by … [Read more...]

Dancers on Fire

(L to R) New York City Ballet dancers Andrew Veyette, Taylor Stanley, Brittany Pollack, Ashly Isaacs, and Kristen Segin. Photo: Paul Kolnik

The New York City Ballet puts on a Gala to ignite its Fall Season. Gala performances are strange animals—the bigger the dance company, the more lavish they have to be. Money is spent so that more money may accrue. At the New York City Ballet’s Fall Gala in its Lincoln Center home, designer Bronson van Wyck has hung huge blue-and-white and red-and-white-striped hot air balloons over the … [Read more...]

A Lark Ascends

Dance Theatre of Harlem in Robert Garland's Return. Photo: Matthew Murphy

The revived Dance Theatre of Harlem performs at Jacob’s Pillow, June 19 through 23. If a repertory company starts its program with a performance of George Balanchine’s Agon, where can it possibly go from there?  Higher?  Don’t make me laugh. But whatever follows, you can get a jolt of almost electric pleasure when Dance Theatre of Harlem begins its performance in Jacob’s Pillow’s Ted Shawn … [Read more...]

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...]