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Harlequinade—Back to Petipa

Edward Villella and Patricia McBride in Harlequinade, 1965. Photo credit: Photofest
Edward Villella and Patricia McBride in Harlequinade, 1965. Photo credit: Photofest

 

This week, NYCB is bringing back “Harlequinade,” Balanchine’s 1965 remake of the Petipa ballet “Les Millions d’Arlequin,” with Joaquín de Luz in the title role. Like his “Nutcracker” and “Coppélia,” “Harlequinade” is a nostalgic look at another age, the cozy world of 19th century fantasy ballets. And like those other works, it’s full of children. See my review of last night’s performance here.

Ethan Stiefel Moves Ahead

Ethan Stiefel as Albrecth in Giselle, 2001. Photo by Rosalie O'Connor.
Ethan Stiefel as Albrecth in Giselle, 2001. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor.

I sat down with Ethan Stiefel a few weeks after his return to New York from New Zealand where, for three years, he was the artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. We talked about his time there, his transition from dancer to director, his choreographic aspirations, and his plans (and non-plans) for the future. You can find the interview here, at DanceTabs.

So many ballets, so many dresses…

New York City Ballet put on its fall gala on Tuesday, with three new works by Liam Scarlett, Justin Peck, and Troy Schumacher (this was Schumacher’s first for the company.) I reviewed the program for DanceTabs, here.

Here’s a short excerpt:

“It’s as pointless to complain about ballet galas as it is to grumble about the weather. They serve a purpose – replenishing the cash drawer – and they keep the plutocrats happy. For the rest of us, there are the new works to look forward to, often unveiled en masse at the opening of the season….As in previous seasons, fashion was the [gala’s] subtext. Each choreographer was paired with a designer whose eye, at least in principle, was called upon to enhance the work. That these designs also create buzz in fashionable circles just adds to their appeal.

A few shots of those dresses:

Justin Peck's Belles-Lettres with designs by Mary Katrantzou. Photo credit Paul Kolnik
Justin Peck’s Belles-Lettres with designs by Mary Katrantzou. Photo credit Paul Kolnik

 

ler Peck and Robert Fairchild in Liam Scarlett's Funérailles, with designs by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Photo credit Paul Kolnik
Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild in Liam Scarlett’s Funérailles, with designs by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Photo credit Paul Kolnik

 

Sara Mearns and Ask la Cour in Peter Martins' Morgen, with designs by Carolina Herrera. Photo by Paul Kolnik.
Sara Mearns and Ask la Cour in Peter Martins’ Morgen, with designs by Carolina Herrera. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

Jewels, Jewels, Jewels

As the Pennsylvania Ballet performs Rubies from Balanchine’s evening-length Jewels at the Vail International Dance Festival, here’s a little essay I wrote for the Vail program:

Jewel Tones

George Balanchine, Mimi Paul, Violette Verdy, Patricia McBride, and Suzanne Farrell, circa 1967. Photo by Edward Pfizenmaier.
George Balanchine, Mimi Paul, Violette Verdy, Patricia McBride, and Suzanne Farrell, circa 1967. Photo by Edward Pfizenmaier.

 

 

Anne Teresa de Keermaeker’s Mean Girls

The Lincoln Center Festival is presenting a retrospective of the Belgian choreographer’s early works. Last night, I saw her Rosas Danst Rosas, a dance that has been canonized as one of the milestones of contemporary choreography. The film version, by Thierry de Mey, has been viewed and imitated thousands of times, including, most recently, by  Beyoncé. To me, the dance has a distinctly “mean girls” vibe—four adolescents, stuck in a kind of  study-hall purgatory.  Here’s my review of the piece, for DanceTabs.

 

Photo by Herman Sorgeloos
Photo by Herman Sorgeloos

Coming Soon to NYCB

A revival of Balanchine’s moving meditation on Schuman, Davidsbündleränze. Incredibly, there is a video of the original cast on YouTube. And what a cast: Karin von Aroldingen, Suzanne Farrell, Kay Mazzo, Heather Watts, Adam Lüders, Jacques d’Amboise, Ib Andersen, and Peter Martins. It is worth sitting down and watching all forty minutes of it.