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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...]

Untitled

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American Ballet Theatre / City Center, NYC / October 16-20, 2012 American Ballet Theatre, financially afflicted like many a dance company in these stringent days, gave a Fall “season” consisting of just one “week”—October 16-20.  Did the brevity of the run ensure the excellence of the repertory?   Presented at the City Center, it consisted of seven ballets or stand-alone excerpts, none of which was filler or “novelty.”   Most were safe (and worthy) favorites—Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo, for instance; Antony Tudor’s The Leaves Are Fading; Twyla … [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...]

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...]

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