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New York City Ballet: Fearful Symmetries, The Shimmering Asphalt, The Times Are Racing
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New York City Ballet: Fearful Symmetries, The Shimmering Asphalt, The Times Are Racing

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New York City Ballet
(New York City Ballet Website)

Fearful Symmetries
The Shimmering Asphalt
The Times Are Racing

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
February 1, 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: Daniel Capps

Fearful Symmetries (1990): Music by John Adams, Choreography by Peter Martins, Costumes by Steven Rubin, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Emile Gerrity, Aaron Sanz, Unity Phelan, Harrison Coll, Kristen Segin, Troy Schumacher, and the Company.

The John Adams score in Peter Martins’ Fearful Symmetries is evocative of Philip Glass, with its repetitive, building, hypnotic chords and never-ending pulse. Daniel Capps conducted the Orchestra to burst with vibrancy and brio. The three couples, plus three males and a mixed male-female ensemble, bring life to the stage with perfect stretches, arms raised as in Balanchine’s Symphony in Three…, and shifting lines of dance direction. The colorful costumes by Steven Rubin highlight the fanciful motion.

Kristen Segin and Troy Schumacher, among the all-Corps cast, were ebullient and magnetic. With pinks, reds, and purples, the stage was fired up. In slower passages, Mr. Sanz took on the aura of Nijinsky, with angular gestures, crouching position, and primal animal intensity. Emilie Gerrity, partnered by Mr. Sanz, was glowingly poised, while Harrison Coll and Unity Phelan created lightning-quick visuals in vibrant warmth. This youthful Corps was in its element, with Spartak Hoxha, Sebastian Villarini-Velez, and Ghaleb Kayali featured in the ensemble. Kudos to Peter Martins.


The Shimmering Asphalt (2017): Music by David Lang (Commissioned by NYC Ballet), Choreographed by Pontus Lidberg, Costumes by Rachel Quarmby-Spadaccini, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Violin: Kurt Nikkanen, Cello: Frederick Zlotkin, Piano: Susan Walters, Performed by Lauren King, Rebecca Krohn, Lauren Lovette, Sara Mearns, Tiler Peck, Chase Finlay, Russell Janzen, Gonzalo Garcia, Taylor Stanley, and the Company.

Pontus Lidberg’s first staged choreography for this Company, The Shimmering Asphalt, was disappointing, compared to his This Was Written On Water, a luxurious pas de deux he had created for the 2014 Fall for Dance festival. Here, nine Principals, Rebecca Krohn, Lauren Lovette, Sara Mearns, Tiler Peck, Chase Finlay, Russell Janzen, Gonzalo Garcia, and Taylor Stanley, plus Soloist, Lauren King are wearing bland, grey, pleated short kilts, designed by Rachel Quarmby-Spadaccini. They look like uniforms, and the choreography, as well, is structured and passive. David Lang’s commissioned score was tonally flat and forgettable. Sara Mearns, a master dancer, has little to do here, walks slowly onto the stage in dark stillness, and, as lights flicker, she moves a bit. The dark backdrop does little to differentiate this uniquely talented cast, who also had little to do. The only moment of interest was when Ms. Mearns was lifted by an ensemble, and she extends her body in yearning. This ballet was soporific, and I was yearning for the next piece at this point.


The Times Are Racing (2017): Music by Dan Deacon, Choreography by Justin Peck, Costumes by Humberto Leon, Costumes supervised by Marc Happel, Lighting by Brandon Stirling Baker, Sound by Abe Jacob, Performed by Tiler Peck, Amar Ramasar, Robert Fairchild, Justin Peck, Brittany Pollack, Gretchen Smith, Savannah Lowery, Sean Suozzi, and the Company. Evocative of Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, Justin Peck’s new ballet, noisy, youthful, dynamic, and “street dance” designed, The Times Are Racing, is anything but jazz. The feel is more West Side Story Sharks, in the moments before violent gang rumbles. In fact, Mr. Peck often dances the lead role of Bernardo, leader of the Sharks, in Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite. Politics and race figure in the 1995 work, and social issues may figure in this 2017 work as well, as it follows an emotionally charged election process.

Dancers wear hoodies, short shorts, and street attire, designed by Humberto Leon. The score is acoustically electrified and recorded, composed by Dan Deacon. Amar Ramasar and Tiler Peck dance a pas de deux with no romance or intimacy here. Hip hop moves and sexy flirtation abound, also reminiscent but much more contemporary than the “America” dance in West Side Story Suite. The high point, for me, was a duet for Justin Peck (choreographer in the spotlight) and Robert Fairchild (back from his Broadway and London runs). They were two Gene Kellys, mirrored images at times, quasi-competitors at times, buoyant, ebullient, fevered, and astounding. Their fancy footwork, twirls, and speed made this work so meaningful. They seemed like two guys, high on the music, letting off steam. The lead ensemble, Brittany Pollack, Gretchen Smith, Savannah Lowery, and Sean Suozzi, filled the stage with pizzazz. Kudos to Justin Peck.



Chase Finlay and Sara Mearns
in Lidberg's "The Shimmering Asphalt"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik




Tiler Peck and the Company
in Justin Peck's "The Times are Racing"
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