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Youth’s Sweet Dream

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New York City Ballet:  Justin Peck’s new work, Paz de la Jolla / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / January  31, February 2, 6, and 8, 2013 Justin Peck, choreographer of Paz de la Jolla for New York City Ballet Photo:  Paul Kolnik Justin Peck, a 25-year-old member of New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet, seems to have lots of useful ideas and moods in his unstoppably busy brain.  His latest work for the company is Paz de la Jolla (the peacefulness of La Jolla) and set to a similarly evocative score along the same lines by … [Read more...]

Bliss!

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New York City Ballet / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / January 15 – February 24, 2013 The New York City Ballet’s two-week festival (January 15-27, 2013) of Balanchine’s choreography to music by Tschaikovsky came with a guarantee:  no duds, no Eurotrash or other Terpsichorean fads, no feeble imitations of the greats.  How wonderful it was to head for Lincoln Center night after night, knowing one was about to encounter dance that was sublime, to music by an ideal partner.  George Balanchine (1904 - 1983) Photo:  Tanaquil … [Read more...]

Tschaikovsky, a Balanchine Muse

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New York City Ballet / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / January 15 – February 24, 2013 The New York City Ballet opened its six-week Winter Season at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater with George Balanchine’s Serenade, created in 1935 and set to Tschaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings.  It was the first ballet the choreographer made in America.  (In the two weeks immediately following, the company’s repertory is devoted—with a single exception, a new work by Peter Martins—to this extensive and often felicitous pairing of … [Read more...]

Ailey News

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater / City Center, NYC / November 28 – December 30, 2012 I went to an Ailey matinee and the space was filled with children, onstage and off.  The dance-trained kids were inserted into Revelations where the choreography had no need of them, yet they seemed beautifully schooled, spines marvelously erect yet flexible, without a glimmer of ersatz showbiz in them, and, like the New York City Ballet’s wunderkinder, utterly at home being ogled by a huge audience—from classmates and loved ones to hordes of strangers.  … [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...]

Preview from Seattle

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Works & Process:  Pacific Northwest Ballet / Guggenheim Museum, NYC / September 9 & 10, 2012 The dance programs in the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series, each a 90-minute presentation that shunts between dancing and talking, are viewed, live, two or three times, in the museum’s tiny theater, and telecast simultaneously from sea to shining sea.  Most often, these lecture-dems serve as preludes to a run in New York; in harsher words the company that’s featured is shilling for its upcoming shows.  The tough practicality of … [Read more...]

A Ballet Romance

Lincoln Center Festival 2012

Paris Opera Ballet / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / June 11-22, 2012 Say that, as a dance fan, you happen to have a young child in your life who’s showing a burgeoning interest in—perhaps even an instinctive love for—dancing.   If you take her or him to the ballet to see one of the venerable 19th-century classics, you want to be sure it’s a production that’s faithful to its tradition—not savagely cut, skewed, or “reimagined” beyond recognition.  The very young, with their acute receptivity, deserve the very best. The Paris … [Read more...]

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...]

Wunderkinder

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The School of American Ballet’s Workshop Performances / Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / June 2 matinee and evening; June 5, 2012   School of American Ballet’s Workshop Performances:  Austin Bachman in Peter Martins’ Les Petits Riens Photo:  Paul Kolnik Students at the School of American Ballet and the in-group that cares about it call it, simply, The School, as if it had no equals.  So far it doesn’t, at least in the States.   It’s the training academy of the New York City Ballet, which skims off the cream—according … [Read more...]

What’s New?

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New York City Ballet :  Spring Gala, Á La Française / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / May 10, 2012 New York City Ballet’s spring gala treated its extravagantly dressed audience to two new ballets—one by Peter Martins, who heads the company, the other by the dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, who recently retired from performing with the company and will be pursuing an ambitious project in Los Angeles.  The evening was called Á La Française (in the French manner) and was duly decked out in French references—in the … [Read more...]

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