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New York City Ballet: Danses Concertantes, The Cage, Andantino, Symphony in C
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New York City Ballet: Danses Concertantes, The Cage, Andantino, Symphony in C

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New York City Ballet
(New York City Ballet Website)

Danses Concertantes
The Cage
Andantino
Symphony in C

Founders, George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein
Founding Choreographers: George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins
Ballet Master in Chief, Peter Martins
Ballet Mistress, Rosemary Dunleavy
Children’s Ballet Master, Dena Abergel
Orchestra, Interim Music Director, Andrews Sill
Managing Dir. Communications & Special Projects, Robert Daniels
Manager, Media Relations, Katharina Plumb
Assoc., Communications &Special Projects, Caitlin Gillette
The David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center
www.lincolncenter.org


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 13, 2012 Matinee


(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

Conductor: Andrews Sill

Danses Concertantes (1972): Music by Igor Stravinsky, Choreography by George Balanchine, Scenery and Costumes by Eugene Berman, Scenery Recreation Supervised by David Mitchell, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Megan Fairchild, Tyler Angle, and the Company.

Tonight’s all Balanchine and Robbins evening began with Balanchine’s Danses Concertantes. Costumes (and scenery) are by Eugene Berman, with tutus seemingly inspired by Karinska. Megan Fairchild and Tyler Angle led the work with aplomb. Ms. Fairchild, as always, was warm and vibrant, with Mr. Angle dancing with unusual buoyancy. The ensemble dances in trios, each ablaze in one bright color. In many ways the gestural choreography evoked Rubies and Western Symphony. In fact, the tutus did too. Eugene Berman also designed the fanciful chalk-like lines on a black screen that open and close this work.

The dancing is at times clownish or charming, and Stravinsky’s score adds exhilarating gaiety, as dancers bend at the knees, turn in gravity-defying, odd positions, and exude romantic flair in vaudevillian chases. Arms roll like wheels and dancers run in comical abandon. Ms. Fairchild and Mr. Angle led the trios with exuberant energy and wry capers. Balanchine provides clever, detailed footwork and multi-level partnering to this colorful, festive work. In the finale, the ensemble evoked imagery from his Mozartiana, arms held in fixed position.


The Cage (1951): Music by Igor Stravinsky, Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Costumes by Ruth Sobotka, Décor by Jean Rosenthal, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Performed by Sterling Hyltin as The Novice, Rebecca Krohn as The Queen, Justin Peck and Sean Suozzi as The Intruders, and the Company as The Group. A ballet about the female species as predators and the male species as prey. Score is “Concerto in D for String Orchestra, “Basler” (1946). (NYCB Notes).

Justin Peck and Sean Suozzi were magnificent choices for The Intruders. They performed with intense angst and a sense of vulnerability, behind machismo. Sterling Hyltin looked as narrow as a spider, and I almost didn’t recognize her. She moved rapidly like a dart. Her affect was bloodless, as she raped and chocked one then another Intruder with a fragment of her web. Characters rolled over the lifeless with abandon. Rebecca Krohn, as The Queen, was stunning, as her eye-catching profile fit perfectly into the ambiance of this Robbins dance drama. Ruth Sobotka’s costumes looked better than ever, shimmering occasionally in Jean Rosenthal’s creation of this dark abode. The Stravinsky score was ably led by Andrews Sill, although I would have preferred even sharper, more dynamic musicality.


Andantino (1981): Music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky (from 1st Piano Concerto, Second Movement), Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Costumes by Ben Benson, Lighting by Ronald Bates, Piano Solo: Elaine Chelton, Performed by Tiler Peck and Gonzalo Garcia.

This gem of a Pas de Deux brought out the two very vibrant Principals, who are no strangers to each other in Pas de Deux, Tiler Peck and Gonzalo Garcia. They danced with show-stopping vibrancy and freshness in every step. Elaine Chelton brought out the lightning momentum in the Tschaikovsky score, and for a time I wished we could reincarnate Jerome Robbins, as this ballet, combined with the previous, were together so invigorating. The high point of Andantino is a set of tiny, mirrored steps that Mr. Garcia, in white, and Ms. Peck, in pale lavender, create in very synchronized, focused partnering. We were also treated to luscious lifts.


Symphony in C (1948): Music by Georges Bizet, Choreography by George Balanchine, Costumes by Karinska, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Ana Sophia Scheller, Jared Angle, Maria Kowroski, Tyler Angle, Erica Pereira, Joaquin De Luz, Lauren King, Adrian Danchig-Waring, and the Company.

With Marc Happel’s sparkling new costumes awash in silver Swarovski crystals, the audience was vocally impressed, before the ballet even commenced. In the first movement, Ana Sophia Scheller and Jared Angle introduced the uplifting and vitalizing rhythm that emanates throughout. I focused on the tempo and structure, so very Bizet, so very Balanchine. Mr. Angle was focused and driven, as the first movement Allegro Vivo found him entering the stage with the male Corps to the signature orchestral horns. Ms. Scheller was jewel-like, glowing in the moment. Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle captured the etherealness of the second movement Adagio, imbuing it with dreaminess and daring. Their iconic arm and wrist gestures were gripping.

Erica Pereira and Joaquin De Luz were lyrical lightning, as they flew en air in the third movement Allegro Vivace, and vivacious they were. Lauren King and Adrian Danchig-Waring led the fourth movement Allegro Vivace. Ms. King is a rising star, and Mr. Danchig-Waring will hopefully be promoted soon. It is not possible to see Symphony in C too many times. The repetitive and rapturous Bizet symphony is contagious and cohesive, as each of the four movements builds upon the earlier one. The Company was in great form, timely and synchronized. Kudos to George Balanchine.



Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle
in George Balanchine's "Symphony in C"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik


For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net