A Ballerina Moves On

Whelan and Tyler Angle in By Two, With and From, by Christopher Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky. Photo: Paul Kolnik

Wendy Whelan retires from the New York City Ballet after thirty fertile years. In 2008, Nikolaj Hübbe was leaving his position as a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet to become the artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet, where he had gotten his start. At a cocktail reception in his honor thrown at the Danish Consulate, someone asked him which ballerina he would miss … [Read more...]

Two by Two by Two

Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild in Liam Scarlett's Funérailles. Photo: Paul Kolnik

Three New Ballets premiere at the New York City Ballet's Gala on September 23, 2014 Fashions change more rapidly than dance styles do, so for the New York City Ballet to structure its Fall gala around the theme of “what’s new?” makes a certain marketing sense. The aura of novelty cloaks all. And the green leaves bedecking the balcony overlooking the Lincoln Center Plaza suggested springtime … [Read more...]

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...]

Back in ’64, Movin’ On

Maria Kowroski and Robert Fairchild in Everywhere We Go. Photo: Paul Kolnik

The New York City Ballet honors its theater with a gala and a premiere. On April 24, 1964, I wasn’t sitting in one of the red plush seats shown above, cheering New York City Ballet’s inaugural performance in Lincoln Center’s recently completed New York State Theater. However, occupying a seat in that same theater on May 8, 2014, when the company celebrated its 50th anniversary in the … [Read more...]

Jewels in the City’s Crown

Sara Mearns and Jonathan Stafford in Emeralds. Photo: Paul Kolnik

The New York City Ballet performs Balanchine's Jewels. To see George Balanchine’s 1967 Jewels again at its first performance during the New York City Ballet’s winter season is to be delighted all over again. In choreographing its three separate but united ballets, Balanchine absorbed and brilliantly interpreted three diverse musical styles, the threads of narrative and atmosphere that clung … [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...]

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...]

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...]

At Sea

Princess Honorata (Sara Mearns) and Prince Stone (Robert Fairchild) Photo: Paul Kolnik

Here’s a fairy tale for 2011. Once upon a time, a very important knight—one of the great musicians of the late 20thcentury—joined forces with an adept ruler-choreographer (also a knight) who had inherited a powerful kingdom of dance. They set out together on a quest to find the true grail—a beautiful ballet that would further ennoble them both and maybe even bring in money. As far as we know, they … [Read more...]