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Glimpses #13: Sara Mearns Away from Home

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Sara Mearns, studio portrait Sara Mearns, the object of fervid admiration as a principal with the New York City Ballet, is paying a visit to Fall for Dance.  This annual event, which showcases bits of every kind of dance imaginable (something for everyone, so to speak, and at a reasonable price), is sheltered at City Center and often sells out—to an audience of both newbies and old hands. In this year’s opening program, the audience got to see a ballerina who doesn’t conform to any of the usual types we view nowadays:  the lyrical, frangible … [Read more...]

A Cheated Flight

New York City Ballet / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / September 17 – October 13, 2013 The New York City Ballet opened its fall season at the David H. Koch Theater with a week of Swan Lakes—broken only by a trio of new works for the gala on September 19.  The version was Peter Martins’s, which, typically, illustrates the choreographer’s adamant conviction that “less is more.”  Needless to say, the stubbornly “clean” edition is likely to make a newbie viewer wonder what, indeed, this legendary piece is about.  In its more … [Read more...]

On Balanchine’s “Ivesiana”

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“I don’t have to tell you that Mr. B is with Mozart and Tschaikovsky and Stravinsky,” Lincoln Kirstein announced to the New York City Ballet audience, exactly 30 years before the company’s April 30 opening night this season.  The program, which inaugurated City Ballet’s three-week American Music Festival attracted a good house and fervid audience enthusiasm for two big pieces easy on both eye and spirit:  Who Cares? to Gershwin songs (their lyrics unsung, but engraved in popular memory; Tiler Peck at her familiar finest) and Stars and Stripes … [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...]

Made in France

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Paris Opera Ballet / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / July 11-22, 2012 The Paris Opera Ballet, playing at the David H. Koch through July 22, gets the prize for vintage achievement.  Formed in 1669, it has the distinction of being the world’s oldest classical ballet troupe.  The academy that produces most of its dancers dates from 1713.  Naturally, this legendary institution, absent from New York for 16 years, had to re-introduce itself. The Paris Opera Ballet’s Aurélie Dupont  (center, held aloft) with fellow artists of the … [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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