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New York City Ballet: Fancy Free, Moves, The Concert
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New York City Ballet: Fancy Free, Moves, The Concert

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New York City Ballet
(New York City Ballet Website)

Fancy Free
The Concert

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

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 19, 2017

(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

Conductor: Andrew Litton

Fancy Free (1944): Music by Leonard Bernstein, Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Scenery by Oliver Smith, Costumes by Kermit Love, Lighting by Ronald Bates, Performed by Joaquin De Luz, Tyler Angle, Amar Ramasar as the Sailors, Georgina Pazcoguin, Tiler Peck, Faye Arthurs as the Passers-by, and Giovanni Villalobos as the Bartender.

This renowned Robbins piece, to Bernstein's score, was introduced by Maestro Litton in the “See the Music” segment that gloriously opened the evening, with the orchestra rising from the pit. The Conductor discussed the nature of Billy Holiday’s opening radio sound track, “Big Stuff”, among other musical notations. Fancy Free generates new feats in the bravura gymnastics of the sailors and in the vaudevillian gestures of the lady passers-by. Joaquin De Luz, as the first sailor that showcases a solo dance to woo the first two lady passers-by, was outstanding, as always, frenetically spinning and swigging his beers. Tyler Angle, as a fellow sailor, was endearing and energized. Amar Ramasar, as the rumba-swaying and sensually swerving sailor, in his Cuban danzón, brought down the house. Of the lady passers-by, all three, Georgina Pazcoguin, Tiler Peck, and Faye Arthurs, were superbly suited to the 1940's fashion and persona. Mr. Litton kept the music swirling and melodically jazzy. Kudos to Leonard Bernstein.

Moves, A Ballet in Silence (1984): Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Performed by Emilie Gerrity, Taylor Stanley, Claire Kretzschmar, Isabella LaFreniere, Brittany Pollack, Lydia Wellington, Ashley Hod, Daniel Applebaum, Cameron Dieck, Joseph Gordon, Aaron Sanz, and Harrison Coll.

For five segments, soloists and corps, in rehearsal leotards, perform together choreographically, incredibly well, given the lack of rhythmic or instrumental cues, in an effort to "sever that guidance and permit the audience to respond solely to the action of the dance". Robbins is the quintessential choreographer, and Moves includes quintessential choreographic design. The leg-slapping motif returned here for occasional, audible rhythm. The walks to and from the audience were dramatic, and particularly interesting imagery was enhanced by Taylor Stanley, Harrison Coll, Emilie Gerrity, and Claire Kretzschmar. The dancers magnetized the eye with a totally stunning visual drama. Solos and duets overlap in tempo and staging location.

The Concert [Or the Perils of Everybody] A Charade in One Act (1956): Music by Frédéric Chopin, Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Décor by Saul Steinberg, Costumes by Irene Sharaff, Lighting by Ronald Bates, Pianist: Elaine Chelton, Performed by Sterling Hyltin, Andrew Veyette, Meaghan Dutton-O’Hara, Daniel Applebaum, Cameron Dieck, Lars Nelson, Troy Schumacher, Emile Gerrity, Mary Elizabeth Sell, Kristen Segin, and the Company.

Elaine Chelton, the pianist in Robbins’ The Concert, is a cross between Borge and Harpo, as she exudes charm and charisma, in full pantomime persona. She chased the dancers with a butterfly net, hopping about, glancing at the crowd. Her musicality in the Chopin score is unparalleled. Sterling Hyltin danced the role of the ingénue in the audience, the one the husband flirts with, and Andrew Veyette was the cigar-chomping double-timer. He walks toward his wife in Sherlock Holmes era fashion, dagger held straight, in tights and bowler hat. Meaghan Dutton-O’Hara played the rejected, almost stabbed wife to the burlesquean hilt. The audience was vocally adoring every moment. In the ensemble, Emile Gerrity and Kristen Seguin were outstanding, filled with dramatic humor and balancing skill. At one point, the men carry the women upside down and lay them on the floor in lopsided positions, reminiscent of Balanchine’s Coppélia. At another point, the dancers are rain-soaked walkers with umbrellas, or an intense concert audience, leaning forward on chairs that fold and fall, or winged butterflies, escaping Ms. Chelton’s net. This is a ballet that shifts in entertainment with each shift in cast. Kudos to all.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at