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Not One Bleak Swan in Sight

American Ballet Theatre: Ratmansky, Wheeldon, Millepied, and Tudor / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / May 24-26, 2011 The lone mixed-repertory program in American Ballet Theatre's eight-week spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House attempted to lure today's audience, addicted to multi-act story ballets, to a more varied--and riskier--scenario. It offered new pieces by the two most gratifying classical choreographers in our midst (Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon), another by the fellow most avid to join their … [Read more...]

ABT Gala: Touting the Coming Attractions

American Ballet Theatre: Opening Night Gala / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / May 16, 2011 Gala! Of course there were little speeches before the curtain--from Rachel Moore, American Ballet Theatre's Executive Director, resplendent in an origami-influenced emerald gown; Kevin McKenzie, the company's Artistic Director; and Carolyn Kennedy, whose girlish awkwardness has become part of her charm, following her mother's example of supporting the arts. Then a tasting menu of familiar love-story pas de deux for ABT's principal … [Read more...]

Balanchine: Black & White

New York City Ballet / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / May 3 - June 12, 2011 The Women in White: Members of the New York City Ballet corps de ballet in George Balanchine's Symphony in Three Movements Photo: Paul Kolnik New York City Ballet opened its spring season with a week and a day of programs devoted solely to the abstract Balanchine ballets that form the core of the master's repertoire and aesthetic. Balanchine worshippers, often discouraged by the works acquired since the master's death, flocked to the … [Read more...]

Sloth, Pride, Anger, Gluttony, Lust, Greed, and Envy (once again)

New York City Ballet: The Seven Deadly Sins / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / March 11, 12, 13 14, & 15, 2011 Working Girls: Patty LuPone, Wendy Whelan, and company men in Lynne Taylor-Corbett's The Seven Deadly Sins Photo: Paul Kolnik New York City Ballet's spring season gala on May 11 focused on the company's new production, The Seven Deadly Sins, choreographed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, credit-wise a practiced hand at dance-theater. It looks pretty much born yesterday, but the Kurt Weill - Bertolt Brecht … [Read more...]

À la Française

Paris Opera Ballet School / Palais Garnier, Paris / April 7, 9, 11, & 12, 2011 The spectacularly ornate Palais Garnier opera house, home to the Paris Opera Ballet, can be daunting to a visitor, given its grand staircase, paired pillars of marble in exotic colors, elaborate gilded carvings, and profusion of crystal chandeliers. Nevertheless it's a perfectly suitable showcase for the children, adolescents, and very young adults being trained in the company's celebrated academy. Their accomplishment is equal to the effusively regal setting … [Read more...]

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