New York City Ballet
(NYC Ballet Website)
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 Mistress, Garielle Whittle
Orchestra, Music Director, Fayçal Karoui
Managing Director, Communications, Robert Daniels
Assoc. Director, Communications, Siobhan Burns
Manager, Press Relations, Joe Guttridge
New York State Theater, Lincoln Center
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 23, 2008
(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).
Conductor: Maurice Kaplow
Bugaku (1963):Music by Toshiro Mayazumi, Choreography by George Balanchine, Scenery by David Hays, Costumes by Karinska, Original Lighting by Ronald Bates, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Wendy Whelan, Albert Evans, and the Company. Bugaku is one of City Ballet’s finest Balanchine revivals, with its slow, deliberate, and seductive motion. Toshiro Mayazumi’s score sears the imagination, as the brightly colored but sparse sets frame the Japanese-inspired milieu. Wendy Whelan’s interpretation seemed a bit more restrained than Maria Kowroski’s (See previous reviews), but her intensity and focus enhanced Albert Evans’ dramatic sexuality. Karinska’s white costumes, whether the decorated outer garments or the spare inner garments, add to the iconic imagery. The corps was mesmerizing.
An American in Paris (2005): Music by George Gershwin, Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, Scenery by Adrianne Lobel, Costumes by Holly Hynes, Lighting by Natasha Katz, Performed by Tiler Peck, Damian Woetzel, Sara Mearns, and the Company. It was a treat to see Damian Woetzel again, as he retires this June 18, in his pas de deux with Tiler Peck, such chemistry unfolding. Ms. Peck seems to alter her style with each partner, and, with Mr. Woetzel, she dances with abandon and rapture. And, with Ms. Peck, Mr. Woetzel seems nurturing and magnetized, especially in the romantic lifts.
Sara Mearns was the vamp, once again, in beret and Holly Hynes’ Parisian pants outfit, slowly drawing Mr. Woetzel into her circle of perfume. This season, Ms. Mearns has added some new leg lifts that expand her role. Gershwin’s renowned score bubbles like French champagne, with the corps bicycling and dashing about in Wheeldon’s busy choreography. Adrianne Lobel’s scenery has Mr. Woetzel painting a surreal Parisian scrim. Mr. Woetzel’s solos were just as youthfully buoyant as one could wish for, and he retires in his prime.
Valse Triste (1985): Music by Jean Sibelius, Choreography by Peter Martins, Original Lighting by Ronald Bates, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Darci Kistler and Jared Angle. Darci Kistler seems to dance less and less this season, so it was good to see her in Valse Triste, a pas de deux for Ms. Kistler and Jared Angle, choreographed by Peter Martins. Ms. Kistler remains adept in her extensive passages, en pointe, with superior balance and poise. Her tiny backward steps were flawless. Mr. Angle is an attentive, strong partner, impassioned through the music and nuanced through the choreography. Sibelius’ score is dark, drawn from Kuolema, “Valse Triste” and “Scene with Cranes”. A wing-like motif was apparent.
The Chairman Dances (1988): Music by John Adams, Choreography by Peter Martins, Scenery and Costumes by Rouben Ter-Arutunian, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Teresa Reichlen and the Company. Teresa Reichlen danced the role Abi Stafford danced in my last experience with Mr. Martins’ ballet, and she added a great deal of interest and personality. Ms. Reichlen has always been one of the most interesting dancers in the Company, with the power of her long limbs and audience engagement. She looks straight at us, with that confident gleam. This is a ballet for an all-female corps, with John Adams’ Asian-infused score. Ruben Ter-Arutunian’s scenery and costumes are colorful and uncluttered, with highlights of red.
Russian Seasons (2006): Music by Leonid Desyatnikov, Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky, Costumes by Galina Solovyeva, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Violin Soloist: Arturo Delmoni, Soprano: Irina Rindzuner, Performed by Georgina Pazcoguin, Rachel Rutherford, Wendy Whelan, Alina Dronova, Glenn Keenan, Abi Stafford, Albert Evans, Antonio Carmena, Adam Hendrickson, Amar Ramasar, Jonathan Stafford, and Sean Suozzi. Leonid Desyatnikov takes recordings and text from "Traditional Music from the Russian Lake District" and creates four concertos, each having three movements. He uses string orchestra, solo violin, and female voice, while exploring life experiences in this composition. (NYCB Notes).
Russian Seasons is a ballet that grows on the viewer, “season by season”. I had first found the vivid robes and flat hats to be too heavy, but now they seem as light as the spinning lifts and dizzying dervish onstage and en air. Irina Rindzuner, soprano, joins Arturo Delmoni, violin soloist, in embellishing the Desyatnikov score with atonal, Russian lyricism. Among the dancers, Amar Ramasar, Georgina Pazcoguin, Albert Evans, Wendy Whelan, Sean Suozzi, and Rachel Rutherford seemed the most commanding and possessed. As the fourth work on today’s program, Russian Seasons required astute attention, and the dancers’ seemed not as fatigued as the audience may have been. This recent work is better served as an opening ballet, as there is so much to absorb, without easy, melodic music. However, in the finale, when Mr. Evans and Ms. Whelan seem poised for the after-world, the audience was riveted.
Kudos to Peter Martins for developing such eclectic programs this spring season.