Footloose and Fancy Free

L to R: Daniel Ulbricht, Tyler Angle, Robert Fairchild in Jerome Robbins's Fancy Free. Photo: Christopher Duggan

New York City Ballet's Daniel Ulbricht brings a cadre of his peers to Jacob's Pillow Touring with a small pick-up company of colleagues drawn from a major ballet company must be akin to masterminding a working vacation with your pals. What will you need in the way of costumes and sets and, since you won’t be able to carry live musicians along, well-made CDs? What will you need to do to … [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...]

East to West to East

(L to R) Nathan Makolandra, Morgan Lugo, and (aloft) Charlie Hodges in Benjamin Millepied's Moving Parts. Photo: Stephanie Berger

A choreographer who has just formed his own small company must be very, very brave to make Merce Cunningham’s 1964 Winterbranch the centerpiece of its debut program. Benjamin Millepied is certifiably brave. Starting a group in Los Angeles and naming it the L.A. Dance Project is already adventurous. I’m an Angeleno by birth, with the scent of eucalyptus and Pacific salt air embedded in my … [Read more...]

New York City Ballet: The New and the Refurbished

Tiler Peck floating over Tyler Angel in Two Hearts. Photo: Paul Kolnik

Have you noticed that many new ballets look like older ballets?  Either that, or they introduce kinks that take them far outside the classical vocabulary. The best ballet choreographers have a way of making steps that every advanced student dancer does many times a day look newly expressive, or interweave with the music in deeply satisfying ways. I can’t say that Peter Martins’s new work for … [Read more...]