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New York City Ballet: Scenes de Ballet, The Cage, Eight Easy Pieces, Scherzo Fantastique, Stravinsky Violin Concerto
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New York City Ballet: Scenes de Ballet, The Cage, Eight Easy Pieces, Scherzo Fantastique, Stravinsky Violin Concerto

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New York City Ballet
(New York City Ballet Website)

See the Music…
Scènes de Ballet
The Cage
Eight Easy Pieces
Scherzo Fantastique
Stravinsky Violin Concerto

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 24, 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: Andrews Sill

See the Music… Andrews Sill masterfully presented tonight’s “See the Music”, with demonstrations of Stravinsky’s jazzy, bluesy, multi-part score for Wheeldon’s Scènes de Ballet, as the Orchestra had risen to full audience view. In fact, Maestro Sill even pointed out phrases from Gershwin’s “The Man I Love”, within this gorgeous music. Tonight’s full program is all Stravinsky-scored. Stravinsky, who was living in Hollywood at the time, originally wrote Scènes de Ballet for a review called "The Seven Lively Arts," presented by showman Billy Rose at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City on December 7, 1944. The leading roles were danced by Anton Dolin (who had choreographed the piece) and Alicia Markova. (NYC Ballet Notes).


Scènes de Ballet (1999): Music by Igor Stravinsky, Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, Scenic Design by Ian Falconer, Costumes by Holly Hynes, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by (students of the School of American Ballet) Maria Kashvili, Ada Sensoy, Noah Strand, Nathan Compiano, Gabriella Domini, Davide Riccardo, and the Company. With Russian and Parisian motifs, this work is choreographed solely for 62 youthful students, all ages, of the School of American Ballet. Ian Falconer’s set includes faux, abstract mirrors in a decidedly Russian ballet studio. The figures on the mirror designs resemble Degas ballerinas. But, when the dancing starts, students create “mirrored images” in synchronized, look-alike dance. When two men carry two women in peach tutus, bluesy horns can be heard, echoing the earlier “See the Music” segment. I would like to see this ballet again soon. Wheeldon never disappoints. His ballets are uniquely magnetic.


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 Lauren Lovette as The Novice, Savannah Lowery as The Queen, Jared Angle 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).

In Jerome Robbins’ The Cage, also scored to Stravinsky, Lauren Lovette assumed the role of The Novice, in a striking performance. Spidery women attack and consume male “intruders”, Jared Angle and Sean Suozzi, who both generate intense theatricality to exude the enacted pain and anguish. Both Intruders wore very brief costumes, exposing gripping muscularity. The wiry, diminutive Ms. Lovette was in stunning predatory mode, moving with lightning quick limbs. Mr. Suozzi, a powerful dancer, was taken down quickly, with the help of a svelte, sinewy Savannah Lowery, as The Queen. The female spidery ensemble of twelve, in wild wigs and insect-like unitards, was fully dramatic and driven.


Eight Easy Pieces (1980): Music by Igor Stravinsky, Choreography by Peter Martins, Costumes by Santo Loquasto, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Duo Pianists: Nancy McDill and Alan Moverman, Performed by Rachel Hutsell, Olivia MacKinnon, and Alexa Maxwell. Once again, Stravinsky’s music filled Koch Theater. As a precursor to Peter Martins’ related ballet, Eight More, we were treated here to duo pianists, Nancy McDill and Alan Moverman, and a trio of Corps ballerinas, Olivia MacKinnon, Rachel Hutsell, and Alexa Maxwell, who engagingly and exquisitely frolicked across the stage in coordinated fashion. They were flirtatious and witty, with lightning spins and hummingbird toes. This was a work of confection and airiness, with the three dancers in full complement to each other. Kudos to Ms. McDill and Mr. Moverman for their poise and elegance, both as musicians and as onstage personalities.


Scherzo Fantastique (2016): Music by Igor Stravinsky, Choreography by Justin Peck, Scenic Design by Jules de Balincourt, Scenery supervised by Mark Stanley, Costumes by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Brittany Pollack, Taylor Stanley, Anthony Huxley, and the Company.

Justin Peck’s recent choreography, that had premiered in Saratoga in 2016, is designed by Jules de Balincourt as a woodland scene, with Anthony Huxley the central character, at the edge of Taylor Stanley and Brittany Pollack’s pas de deux. Costumes by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung are horizontally striped to crisscross the vertical lines of the woodland backdrop. There are hints of Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the spritely motion. The casting could not have been more perfect, with these three mesmerizing, high spirited dancers onstage.


Stravinsky Violin Concerto (1972): Music by Igor Stravinsky (Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major), Choreography by George Balanchine, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Solo Violinist: Arturo Delmoni, Performed by Sterling Hyltin, Robert Fairchild, Maria Kowroski, Amar Ramasar, and the Company.

Robert Fairchild, back from a Broadway musical, has become quintessentially virtuosic. His visual shapes and speed were remarkable. Partnering Sterling Hyltin, they made the most of the pronounced shifts in orchestral rhythm. Their “Aria II”, however, was a bit too much akin to Balanchine’s joyful Rubies, also scored to Stravinsky. Yet, Mr. Fairchild’s humility and charisma were striking. Ms. Hyltin created spider-like turns down on the stage, then wound herself in Mr. Fairchild’s arms, gazing out at the hall.

With a simple blue backdrop and black tights that extend below the slippers, Mr. Balanchine fashioned unembellished imagery for his four-movement work, re-choreographed for the 1972 City Ballet Stravinsky Festival. In the “Toccata”, Maria Kowroski and Amar Ramasar joined Mr. Fairchild and Ms. Hyltin in leading an ensemble of sixteen. This ballet is replete with dynamic propulsion and daring partnering, and tonight’s superb casting added musical edge to the visual surrealness. Mr. Ramasar and Ms. Kowroski’s “Aria I” was imbued with the requisite stark eloquence.



Lauren Lovette in Robbins' "The Cage"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik




Anthony Huxley in Peck's "Scherzo Fantastique"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik




Brittany Pollack, Anthony Huxley, and Taylor Stanley
in Peck's "Scherzo Fantastique"
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