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Enterprises that Require New Clothes

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New York City Ballet / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / September 17 – October 13, 2013 On September 19, with considerable fanfare in the media, the New York City Ballet gave its Fall gala.  The orchestra was raised on a platform, liberated from the pit that is its usual home, to let the spectators ogle the musicians.  The downstairs portion of the audience, many of them clearly one-percenters, was outfitted in expensive-date-night costume.  Plenty to look at without a dancer yet in sight.  Then the musicians charged the air … [Read more...]

Ballet’s Sweetheart

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Pacific Northwest Ballet / City Center, NYC / February 13-16, 2013 The Pacific Northwest Ballet, whose home is in Seattle, has just made a rare visit to New York.  It offered two programs, one an acid-test rep of three top-of-the-line Balanchine classics; the other, Jean-Christophe Maillot’s take on Romeo and Juliet, to that Prokofiev score  ballet fans hear far too often.  Evolved by Francia Russell and her husband, Kent Stowell, in the course of the 1970s, the company is one of several groups whose roots lie in Balanchine territory.  Peter … [Read more...]

Making It New

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New York City Ballet:  Premiere of Justin Peck’s Year of the Rabbit / David H. Koch Theater. NYC / October 5, 2012 Old-time followers of the New York City Ballet used to yearn for “another Balanchine”; today’s fans are more realistic.  They count themselves lucky to discover “another Christopher Wheeldon”—an astute practitioner of the classical craft even if he doesn’t regularly fire the imagination.  At 25, Justin Peck, a member of City Ballet’s corps, stands out in the crowd of aspirants to that status and has already achieved far more.  … [Read more...]

Occupy Lincoln Center

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Paul Taylor Dance Company / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC /  March 13 – April 1, 2012 What dance company director could resist the opportunity of playing the grand-scale Lincoln Center house formerly known as the New York State Theater, even if his or her usual venue were the now handsomely refurbished City Center?  Not even Paul Taylor, who has firm, if sometimes oddball, principles. The Paul Taylor Dance Company seized the opportunity to perform there for three weeks and the people in charge of such things shrank the space and … [Read more...]

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