In Midsummer Night’s Dream, Balanchine does what he does best: tells a story, then gives us its abstract expression. See my review of New York City Ballet’s final performances here, at DanceTabs.
There were three débuts at New York City Ballet on May 5: Zachary Catazaro in Apollo, Russell Janzen in Duo Concertant, and Lauren King in Symphony in Three Movements. There were some nerves on display, particularly in Apollo.You can read my review for DanceTabs here.
Word came this week of Russell Janzen’s promotion to soloist at New York City Ballet. This dancer, who joined the company in 2008, has suddenly emerged as a new force in the company, a natural actor with a commanding presence onstage as welll as an expressive, assured partner. I missed his début in Balanchine’s Davidsbündlertänze last season, but by all accounts it was extraordinary for its depth and sensitivity. More recently, he infused the opening section of Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3—one of those ballets you simply want to get to the end of—with new urgency. Suddenly, it mattered. In Chaconne, he manages to be both regal and light, and a great foil for the blazing Sara Mearns. He hasn’t done much, but somehow you just know he’s got a lot to give.
Here’s my review of the Saturday matinee at New York City Ballet, including débuts by Sara Mearns and Russell Janzen in Balanchine’s Chaconne and my second look at Justin Peck’s Everywhere We Go, from last season.
And a short excerpt: “[Everywhere We Go] begins well, with a striking duet for two men, or rather for a man and his shadow. This shadowing theme suffuses the rest of the ballet, particularly the complicated relationship between principals and corps. Peck constantly subverts the hierarchies of lead dancers and ensemble. Dancers melt in and out of larger formations; at times the shadow figures become the main event. Peck’s configurations for the ensemble are often asymmetrical, non-frontal, kaleidoscopic, but never less than clear.”
The company ended its season in the key of Balanchine, with a strong program of black-and-white ballets: Concerto Barocco, The Four Temperaments, and Stravinsky Violin Concerto. All in all, it was a smashing performance, with the usual highs and lows. Right now, Violin Concerto is in the best shape of the three, with dancing so sharp it made me laugh with glee more than once. Here’s my review, for DanceTabs.