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Swans

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American Ballet Theatre / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / through July 7, 2012 In the past week American Ballet Theatre has been offering a handsome array of dancers to play Odette/Odile and Prince Siegfried in Kevin McKenzie’s version of Swan Lake.  Steeling myself against the choreography—as mistaken and misshapen as Peter Martins’ Lake for the New York City Ballet—I chose to see three pairs:  Paloma Herrera and Ángel Corella (in his farewell performance with the company); Polina Semionova and David Hallberg (currently … [Read more...]

Troika

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American Ballet Theatre:  Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, with Natalia Osipova, David Hallberg, and Herman Cornejo / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / June 18, 2012 The near-hysterical joy of the audience at the Metropolitan Opera House on June 18—in response to American Ballet Theatre’s pairing of Natalia Osipova and David Hallberg as the leads in Romeo and Juliet—was a theatrical phenomenon in itself.  The star-struck approach to ballet is hardly the only one to take; it may even be thought frivolous.  But it can … [Read more...]

Starry Night

American Ballet Theatre

American Ballet Theatre:  Gala / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / May 14, 2012 The 15 items presented in American Ballet Theatre’s gala opening night program proceeded, one after another, like items on a To Do list.  The individual numbers, most of them familiar (at least half of them overfamiliar), provided many an occasion for multiple fouettés for the ladies, kamikaze feats both old and startlingly new for the gentlemen, and crises of passion for the couples.  The show fulfilled its ostensible purpose of presenting every … [Read more...]

Lèse-majesté

Their majesties  Photo:  Gene Schiavone

Kings of the Dance:  Opus 3 / New York City Center / February 24-26, 2012 For the third time, Ardani Artists, an outfit specializing in the spectacular, brought us Kings of the Dance, a series of star turns contradicting Balanchine’s famous pronouncement that “ballet is woman.” This time the kings were—in alphabetical order, of course—Guillaume Côté (National Ballet of Canada), Marcelo Gomes (American Ballet Theatre), David Hallberg (ABT and Bolshoi Ballet), Denis Matvienko (Mariinsky Ballet), and Ivan Vasiliev (Mikhailovsky Ballet).  … [Read more...]

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