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New York City Ballet: In Creases, The Dreamers, New Blood, Everywhere We Go
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New York City Ballet: In Creases, The Dreamers, New Blood, Everywhere We Go

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New York City Ballet
(New York City Ballet Website)

In Creases
The Dreamers
New Blood
Everywhere We Go

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
May 3, 2017

(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

Conductor: Andrews Sill

In Creases (2012): Music by Philip Glass, Choreography by Justin Peck, Costumes Conceived by Justin Peck and Marc Happel, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Pianos: Elaine Chelton and Alan Moverman, Performed by Sara Adams, Brittany Pollack, Emilie Gerrity, Indiana Woodward, Devin Alberda, Daniel Applebaum, Harrison Coll, and Taylor Stanley.

This 2012 Justin Peck work, with dancers in Mr. Peck’s and Marc Happel’s warm-up-styled leotards, that resemble Henri Rousseau’s 1908 painting, “The Football Players”, only without the stripes, is fairly brief but fresh and inviting. Elaine Chelton and Alan Moverman are compelling and charged, on duo pianos in the rear dimness. The ensemble creates kaleidoscopic figures, either facing the audience, with upward arms, or standing in horizontal lines, with arms stretched out, shifting position and shape periodically. Every level of stage and space are utilized. Harrison Coll’s solo includes scissors kicks in motion, a propulsive feat. Philip Glass’ Four Movements for Two Pianos was ever so captivating, with Ms. Chelton and Mr. Moverman maximizing the effect of so many chords. In this ballet, the piano acoustics were extraordinary. And, in the ensemble, Brittany Pollack, Taylor Stanley, and Daniel Applebaum danced with extra vitality and vim. Mr. Peck continues to excel among young, contemporary choreographers. Tonight’s full program is dedicated to his ballets.

The Dreamers (2016): Music by Bohuslav Martinů, Choreography by Justin Peck, Costumes by Dries Van Noten, Costumes supervised by Marc Happel, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Piano: Craig Baldwin, First Violin: Kurt Nikkanen, Second Violin: Lydia Hong, Viola: Shmuel Katz, Cello: Frederick Zlotkin, Performed by Sara Mearns and Amar Ramasar.

Justin Peck, City Ballet’s Resident Choreographer, has created many new ballets for this and other companies in recent years. This pas de deux for Sara Mearns and Amar Ramasar, a seasoned duo in partnered ballets, is set to Bohuslav Martinů’s “Adagio” from his Piano Quintet No. 2. A live quintet, noted above, includes musicians on piano, two violins, viola, and cello. The red-black-white costumes by Dries Van Noten were eye-catching. The choreography utilizes several levels of the stage, with each relaxing quietly, lying on the stage as the other dances. Ms. Mearns meets Mr. Ramasar en pointe. There were partial lifts and even higher elevated lifts, all to an atonal, fascinating score. Ms. Mearns generates rapid turns in Mr. Ramasar’s arms, amidst the spiritual, yearning, and melancholy score.

New Blood (2015): Music by Steve Reich ((Variations for Vibes, Piano, and Strings), Choreography by Justin Peck, Costumes by Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony and Kenzo, Costumes supervised by Marc Happel, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Peter Walker, Brittany Pollack, Taylor Stanley, Sebastian Villarini-Velez, Kristen Segin, Claire Kretzschmar, Lauren King, Daniel Applebaum, Andrew Veyette, Rachel Hutsell, Lydia Wellington, Ashley Bouder, and Russell Janzen.

Justin Peck’s New Blood, with a score by Steve Reich (Variations for Vibes, Piano, and Strings), was conducted tonight by the evening’s maestro, Andrews Sill. An ensemble of thirteen brings out the two leads, both Principals, Ashley Bouder and Russell Janzen, after the entrance of the other eleven, one of whom is the Principal, Taylor Stanley. Humberto Leon, of Opening Ceremony and Kenzo, designed the costumes. The rousing ovation for this ballet, right before the intermission, attests to the dynamic energy and propulsive feats inherent in Mr. Peck’s choreography. The Leon-fashioned costumes seemed cut and sewn from a trunk full of leotards and tights, with different colors on torsos and one or both legs. Plus, key to this visual aspect of New Blood was the makeup design, with much pink on the eyelids and nude or brown lipstick, etc. The dancers seemed avant-garde. I found this ballet effusively electric, serendipitous in movement and connectivity, and fully youthful. Even the four stalwart Principals danced with driven pulse and joyous personality. Soloists, Brittany Pollack and Lauren King, were each exceptionally compelling, as was Corps dancer, Claire Kretzschmar.

Everywhere We Go (2014): Music by Sufjan Stevens, Commissioned by New York City Ballet, Orchestrated by Sufjan Stevens and Michael P. Atkinson, Choreography by Justin Peck, Costumes by Janie Taylor, Costumes Supervised by Marc Happel, Scenery by Karl Jensen, Scenery Supervised by Penny Jacobus, Lighting by Brandon Sterling Baker, Performed by Sterling Hyltin, Rebecca Krohn, Tiler Peck, Andrew Veyette, Russell Janzen, Amar Ramasar, Teresa Reichlen, and the Company.

Justin Peck’s Everywhere We Go, with Sufjan Stevens’ commissioned score, has nine musical movements, each numbered and labeled, like “The Shadows We Fall Behind” and “I Am In The House And I Have The Key”. Mr. Peck also choreographed to a Stevens score for his well-received Year of the Rabbit. It seems that the entire Principal list is onstage, with seven Principals, plus Soloist Brittany Pollack and Corps dancers in the ensemble. Janie Taylor, retired from the company, designed the costumes, and Karl Jensen designed the black-white, geometric, shifting shapes, that form the set. With Brandon Sterling Baker’s lighting design, that set and the very stage took on foreboding and frenetic shadows. Michael P. Atkinson orchestrated the music, but Andrews Sill had conducting honors tonight.

The choreography of this Peck ballet is fragmented and cohesive, at once, with ensemble jack-in-the-box, two-foot hops, a bit of turning “bunny hop” steps, and several solos and pas de deux. Sterling Hyltin is partnered by Andrew Veyette, Rebecca Krohn is partnered by Russell Janzen, and Tiler Peck by Amar Ramasar. Teresa Reichlen has a lead solo role, with aplomb. The Corps-Soloist ensemble is dynamic in a floor-sliding motif, that occurs and reoccurs, to change the level of motion from mid-air to against the stage. Every surface and space are devoured. The style and mood are eclectic, with evocations of Bernstein and brassy blues. Sudden, spatial shifts in tempo and style match the bristling, bubbly, buoyant score. Busby Berkeley’s kaleidoscopic films come to mind, with fragments of dance imagery merging for a camera shot of momentary stillness.

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