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Archives for 2011


American Ballet Theatre: Jose Manuel Carreño's farewell performance / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / June 30, 2011 Jose Manuel Carreño bowing to the audience at the close of his farewell performance with American Ballet Theatre Photo: Rosalie O'Connor Is any dancer among us today as much loved as Jose Manuel Carreño? The ardor was apparent at American Ballet Theatre's June 30th performance of Swan Lake at the Metropolitan Opera House. The occasion was the company's official farewell to the 38-year-old star playing … [Read more...]

The Royal Danish Ballet in New York

Royal Danish Ballet / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / June 14 - 19, 2011 On the final leg of its ambitious coast to coast American tour, the Royal Danish Ballet played New York--the city least likely to let the troupe's legendary charm dissuade fans from seeing its problems. A central one is repertory. As Nikolaj Hübbe, the company's artistic director--and an energetic publicity machine--are telling the world at every turn, the RDB hopes to redefine itself by combining cutting-edge contemporary work with its custodianship of … [Read more...]

The Turning Point

School of American Ballet: 2011 Workshop Performances / Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / June 4 and 7, 2011 As classical dance fans know, the annual Workshop Performances of the School of American Ballet--New York City Ballet's renowned academy--display the accomplishments of its budding teen-age dancers, some of whom will be the next decade's stars, others who will make a corps de ballet ever more deserving of its name--"the body of the ballet." This year's performances--I saw two of the three showings, the matinee and … [Read more...]

Not One Bleak Swan in Sight

American Ballet Theatre: Ratmansky, Wheeldon, Millepied, and Tudor / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / May 24-26, 2011 The lone mixed-repertory program in American Ballet Theatre's eight-week spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House attempted to lure today's audience, addicted to multi-act story ballets, to a more varied--and riskier--scenario. It offered new pieces by the two most gratifying classical choreographers in our midst (Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon), another by the fellow most avid to join their … [Read more...]

ABT Gala: Touting the Coming Attractions

American Ballet Theatre: Opening Night Gala / Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, NYC / May 16, 2011 Gala! Of course there were little speeches before the curtain--from Rachel Moore, American Ballet Theatre's Executive Director, resplendent in an origami-influenced emerald gown; Kevin McKenzie, the company's Artistic Director; and Carolyn Kennedy, whose girlish awkwardness has become part of her charm, following her mother's example of supporting the arts. Then a tasting menu of familiar love-story pas de deux for ABT's principal … [Read more...]

Balanchine: Black & White

New York City Ballet / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / May 3 - June 12, 2011 The Women in White: Members of the New York City Ballet corps de ballet in George Balanchine's Symphony in Three Movements Photo: Paul Kolnik New York City Ballet opened its spring season with a week and a day of programs devoted solely to the abstract Balanchine ballets that form the core of the master's repertoire and aesthetic. Balanchine worshippers, often discouraged by the works acquired since the master's death, flocked to the … [Read more...]

Sloth, Pride, Anger, Gluttony, Lust, Greed, and Envy (once again)

New York City Ballet: The Seven Deadly Sins / David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, NYC / March 11, 12, 13 14, & 15, 2011 Working Girls: Patty LuPone, Wendy Whelan, and company men in Lynne Taylor-Corbett's The Seven Deadly Sins Photo: Paul Kolnik New York City Ballet's spring season gala on May 11 focused on the company's new production, The Seven Deadly Sins, choreographed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, credit-wise a practiced hand at dance-theater. It looks pretty much born yesterday, but the Kurt Weill - Bertolt Brecht … [Read more...]

À la Française

Paris Opera Ballet School / Palais Garnier, Paris / April 7, 9, 11, & 12, 2011 The spectacularly ornate Palais Garnier opera house, home to the Paris Opera Ballet, can be daunting to a visitor, given its grand staircase, paired pillars of marble in exotic colors, elaborate gilded carvings, and profusion of crystal chandeliers. Nevertheless it's a perfectly suitable showcase for the children, adolescents, and very young adults being trained in the company's celebrated academy. Their accomplishment is equal to the effusively regal setting … [Read more...]

Seeing Things Elsewhere

Hello! I'll be in Paris for the first half of April--seeing things. Posting will resume later in the month. Meanwhile, your Comments on my recent reviews and any of the Personal Indulgences essays--listed on the first page of Seeing Things--are very welcome. tt … [Read more...]

Working From Home

Mark Morris Dance Group / James and Martha Duffy Performance Space, Mark Morris Dance Center, Brooklyn, NY / March 17-27, 2011 There Is Nothing Like a Dame: Amber Star Merkens (c.) and women of the Mark Morris Dance Group in Morris's Petrichor Photo: Brian Snyder Where does Mark Morris make his artistic home in New York? At the David H. Koch Theater? It has showcased L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, often cited as his masterpiece, no fewer than four times and housed the premiere and a return run of his Mozart Dances. At the … [Read more...]

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