Looks like I have some catching up to do…

Let’s recap 🙂

Since my last post (of Jan. 20), New York City Ballet has reached the midpoint of its winter season. Here are a few glimpses of what’s gone on so far.

On Jan. 22, I reviewed two mixed bills, one including Liebeslieder Walzer and Glass Pieces, the other Ballo della Regina (a not very inspiring performance), Kammermusik No. 2, And Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3. You can can read my review, for DanceTabs, here.

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Then, on Jan. 27, I reviewed a wonderful all-Balanchine program: Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Sonatine (jazzily danced by Tiler Peck), a luminous Mozartiana, and a pretty good Symphony in C. The review is here.

Sterling Hyltin in Mozartiana. © Paul Kolnik.
Sterling Hyltin in Mozartiana.
© Paul Kolnik.

While I was down in Sarasota, I watched rehearsals for Miro Magloire’s new ballet for Aida. It was fascinating to see him navigate the challenges of choreographing for opera: restricted space, weird footwear, fabric, tempo. I wrote about it here, for DanceTabs.

Sarasota Opera rehearsing Aida. © Sam Lowry and Sarasota Opera.
Sarasota Opera rehearsing Aida.
© Sam Lowry and Sarasota Opera.

The Trisha Brown Dance Company is completing its three-year Proscenium Works Tour, after which the company will transform itself into a smaller, more nimble entity. Brown’s large pieces will likely never be performed by her company again. An important, and moment of transition for the company. Her dancers came to BAM one last time at the end of January, where they performed Set and Reset, Present Tense, and Newark (Niweweorce). My review for DanceTabs is here.

Trisha Brown Dance Company in Present Tense. © Nan Melville.
Trisha Brown Dance Company in Present Tense.
© Nan Melville.

The Baroque-Burlesque company Company XIV, which created a very effective Nutcracker a few years ago, is back with a new decadent evening, a naughty version of Snow White. Decadent it is, an sumptuous to look at, but unfortunately, not tight enough to hold my interest for two hours. Here’s my review, for DanceTabs.

Lea Helle in Snow White. © Mark Shelby Perry.
Lea Helle in Snow White.
© Mark Shelby Perry.

Gemma Bond, a dancer with ABT, produced her first full evening of works, danced by a group of her friends (all wonderful dancers). The evening was a bit of a throwback, with much loveliness all around. My review is here.

Unspecified work in Gemma Bond’s Harvest bill. © Kathryn Wirsing.
Unspecified work in Gemma Bond’s Harvest bill.
© Kathryn Wirsing.

Paloma in BA

A few weeks ago, Paloma Herrera and I sat down to talk about her training and career, about moving back to Buenos Aires, and about what she thinks has changed in the world of ballet and in the wider culture. Our chat is now up on the DanceTabs website.

Paloma Herrera outside of the Museo de Arte Decorativo. (photo by me)
Paloma Herrera outside of the Museo de Arte Decorativo. (photo by me)

 

 

 

Balanchine x 6

Here’s my review of the Jan. 20 and Jan. 22 programs at New York City Ballet, which included six works by Balanchine: Serenade, Agon, Symphony in C, Donizetti Variations, La Valse, and Chaconne. Not bad for two nights at the ballet.

A little excerpt:

“These Balanchine evenings quickly establish the company’s core values: musicality, speed, lightness of touch, spaciousness, style. They also impress upon the audience the vast range of balletic modes in which the choreographer worked…. The ballets are not only worlds in themselves but, taken as a group, they seem to encompass most of ballet.”

Teresa Reichlen in Serenade. Photo by Paul Kolnik.
Teresa Reichlen in Serenade. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

The continues through March 1.

In the French Manner

Janie Taylor and Sébastien Marcovici in "La Valse." Both will retire at the end of the season. Photo by Paul Kolnik.
Janie Taylor and Sébastien Marcovici in “La Valse.” Both will retire at the end of the season. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

New York City Ballet is performing an all-French program this week, with ballets by Liam Scarlett (Acheron), Jerome Robbins (Aftenoon of a Faun), and Balanchine (Walpurgisnacht Ballet and La Valse). Here’s my review for DanceTabs.

And a short excerpt: “Two of the works on the program (Afternoon of a Faun and La Valse) were created for the ballerina Tanaquil LeClercq, Balanchine’s third wife, struck with Polio at the age of twenty-seven, and now the subject of a moving documentary, Afternoon of a Faun. LeClercq’s dramatic intelligence, sense of chic, and air of knowingness – she was half-French, born in Paris – hover over the evening.”

About a Boy—a new ballet for New York City Ballet by Liam Scarlett

On Friday, New York City Ballet unveiled its first ballet by the young Briton Liam Scarlett, who, at 27, is considered one of the most promising new voices in ballet. The work is entitled “Acheron”—the name of a river in Greek mythology— and set to Poulenc’s Concerto in G for Organ, Strings, and Tympani, the same piece Glen Tetley used for his1973 ballet Voluntaries. You can read my review for DanceTabs here.

And here’s a short excerpt:

“The première of Acheron…revealed a choreographer of prodigious imagination and compositional craft, adept at building an atmosphere and suffusing it with traces of meaning. Though the ballet is abstract, without characters or a plot, an underlying theme coalesces by the end. With this deeper understanding, everything that comes before is bathed in a different hue. I’m eager to see it again, armed with this knowledge.”
I’d love to hear comments and thoughts from others who saw the ballet.

Enjoy your sunday—I hear Renée Fleming will be singing somewhere in Jersey tonight…

Ojai Dispatch No. 2

Jenn Weddel and Spencer Ramirez in "Jenn and Spencer" at Ojai. Photo by Timothy Norris.
Jenn Weddel and Spencer Ramirez in “Jenn and Spencer” at Ojai. Photo by Timothy Norris.

…In which the Mark Morris Dance Group steals the show…

The company performed two programs, separated by a concert for toy piano (at dusk). It was an exciting evening of dance. Here’s a link to my review, for DanceTabs.

And here is a short excerpt:

“As always, Morris’s ability to shape the sounds coming from the pit through a combined language of gesture and seemingly simple movement is a constant source of surprise and almost primal satisfaction. Why does the swishing of a hand set to a two-note figure in the strings or a carving of the air to a line of melody feel so right? Who knows.”

Ashton in Love: “A Month in the Country” at ABT (for DanceTabs)

Hee Seo and David Hallberg in Ashton's "A Month in the Country." Photo by Marty Sol.
Hee Seo and David Hallberg in Ashton’s “A Month in the Country.” Photo by Marty Sohl.

This week, between Cranko’s “Onegin” and the rip-roaring “Don Quixote,” American Ballet Theatre performed a triple bill including Ashton’s late ballet “A Month in the Country.”  I saw two casts, with Julie Kent and Roberto Bolle in one, and Hee Seo and David Hallberg in the other. Here’s a link to my review for DanceTabs .

And a short excerpt:

“In forty-five minutes and with the assistance of Chopin (and, indirectly, of Mozart), Ashton has taken the heart of the Turgenev play and turned it into a series of tender miniatures. With great skill, wit, and love, he sews them together (with ribbons) into a portrait of a sentimental married woman experiencing pangs of longing for a young man, but also of her comfortable little world and the emotions that turn it topsy turvy. Russia, by way of the Cotswolds.”