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New York City Ballet: Allegro Brillante, Swan Lake, The Four Temperaments
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New York City Ballet: Allegro Brillante, Swan Lake, The Four Temperaments

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New York City Ballet
(New York City Ballet Website)

Allegro Brillante
Swan Lake
The Four Temperaments

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, Music Director: Andrew Litton
Resident Choreographer: Justin Peck
Managing Dir. Communications & Special Projects: Robert Daniels
Associate Dir. Communications: Katharina Plumb
Communications Associate: Kina Poon
The David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center
www.lincolncenter.org

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 19, 2017


(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

See Images Below from New York City Ballet’s Winter Art Series by Santtu Mustonen, Mixed Media: Projections and C-Prints on Aluminum.

Conductor: Andrew Litton

Allegro Brillante (1956): Music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky, Choreography by George Balanchine, Costumes by Karinska, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Piano Solo: Susan Walters, Performed by Sara Mearns, Tyler Angle, and the Company. The Tschaikovsky “Third Piano Concerto" was first written as a symphony and then altered to include piano and orchestra. Balanchine said that this ballet "contains everything I know about the classical ballet in 13 minutes". (NYCB Notes).

This perfumy, powdery ballet, always too brief, was tonight a showcase for Sara Mearns’ elegant, commanding technique. Tyler Angle is a reliable, attentive partner, in peak form and seasoned timing. Tschaikovsky's score builds in momentum and magic, and pianist, Susan Walters and the eight ensemble dancers, including the effervescent and energized Gretchen Smith, provided depth and delicious drama to this uncluttered, eye-catching work.


Swan Lake (1951): Music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky, Choreography by George Balanchine, after Lev Ivanov, Scenery and Costumes by Alain Vaes, Original Lighting by Ronald Bates, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Teresa Reichlen as Odette, Queen of the Swans, Russell Janzen as Prince Siegfried, Ashley Laracey as Lead for “Pas de Neuf”, Savannah Lowery as Lead for “Valse Bluette”, Cameron Dieck as Von Rotbart, a Sorcerer, and the Company as Swans and Hunters. Balanchine based this one-act ballet on Lev Ivanov’s Act II of “Swan Lake”, using segments of Tschaikovsky’s score for Acts II and IV, both lakeside scenes. (NYCB Notes).

This one-act version of Swan Lake is gripping, and, to see the Corps in black swan costumes, on its own, is always a shock to the system for a Swan Lake devotee. Teresa Reichlen is one of City Ballet’s most stunning performers, and her stage presence, as the vulnerable and melodramatic Odette, offered opportunities for her long limbs and endless arms to draw us, and her Prince, into her space. Russell Janzen, as Siegfried, dances with elegance and stateliness. His partnering is flawless and his bearing regal. Physically, Mr. Janzen and Ms. Reichlen are well matched. Ashley Laracey and Savannah Lowery, as leads for “Pas de Neuf” and “Valse Bluette”, magnified the moments with grace and ardor. Cameron Dieck, as Von Rothbart, exuded demonic fervor, true to the role. The Corps was enchanting and engaging, and every phrase of this unique, one-act Swan Lake is always too fleeting. Kudos to George Balanchine.


The Four Temperaments (1946): Music by Paul Hindemith, Choreography by George Balanchine, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Piano Solo: Stephen Gosling, Performed by Lydia Wellington, Peter Walker, Brittany Pollack, Daniel Applebaum, Megan LeCrone, Aaron Sanz, Anthony Huxley, Ashley Isaacs, Jared Angle, Ask la Cour, Ashley Bouder, and the Company. The score (solo piano and strings) was commissioned by George Balanchine from Paul Hindemith in 1940. This ballet appeared at the opening program of Ballet Society, now City Ballet. (NYCB Notes).

Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments was on the opening program, 1946, of Ballet Society’s (original company, later formed into New York City Ballet) debut. The commissioned 1940, Hindemith score, swept me into the third ballet for this Winter Season. Stephen Gosling, a new piano soloist in the Company, expanded the intensity and dynamic of the intoxicating theme. The ballet has five sections, the “Theme” (danced by three couples), the “First Variation: Melancholic” (led by Anthony Huxley), the “Second Variation: Sanguinic” (led by Ashly Isaacs and Jared Angle), the “Third Variation: Phlegmatic” (led by Ask la Cour)”, and the “Fourth Variation: Choleric” (led by Ashley Bouder).

Men carry the women off in scissor-legs motion, while staccato kicks and off-center balancing enunciate the choreography. Mr. Huxley led the “Melancholic Variation” with inherent speed and magnetizing resonance. Ms. Isaacs and Mr. Angle led the “Sanguinic Variation” with focus and persuasion. My two favorite variations were the third and fourth, with Mr. la Cour leading in “Phlegmatic”, with his tall, ethereal persona and confidence. Ms. Bouder led the final “Choleric Variation” with attitude and energy.

The uncluttered black-white leotards and a grey-blue backdrop keep the focus on the choreography. Off-balance partnering, powerful entrances, and Balanchine’s masterful dance structures, so refined, so timeless, all combine for animated ballet extraordinaire.



Sara Mearns in Balanchine's "Allegro Brillante"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik




Teresa Reichlen in Balanchine's "Swan Lake"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik




Santtu Mustonen Mixed Media Installation
"Cross Pollination": Projections and C-Prints on Aluminum
On The Prominade at Koch Theater
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower




Santtu Mustonen Mixed Media Installation
"Cross Pollination": Projections and C-Prints on Aluminum
On The Prominade at Koch Theater
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower




Santtu Mustonen Mixed Media Installation
"Cross Pollination": Projections and C-Prints on Aluminum
On The Prominade at Koch Theater
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower




Santtu Mustonen Mixed Media Installation
"Cross Pollination": Projections and C-Prints on Aluminum
On The Prominade at Koch Theater
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower


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