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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...]

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...]

Five-Alarm “Firebird”

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American Ballet Theatre:  Alexei Ratmansky’s new Firebird / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / season runs through July 7, 2012 I can’t imagine what Alexei Ratmansky was thinking of in creating his New Look Firebird.  To begin with—and this is the first thing you notice--it‘s dressed for Las Vegas by Galina Solovyeva, with complementary décor (including a sci-fi forest with hints of porn) by Simon Pastukh.  It wrests the fairy-tale narrative that Michel Fokine created for his 1910 L’Oiseau de Feu (in which good, abetted by … [Read more...]

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