Everywhere He Goes

On May 8, New York City Ballet  held its spring gala, marking fifty years since the opening of the State Theatre. Along with a toast, a short film, and a song from “Carousel,” the evening included two ballets: Balanchine’s whirling “Allegro Brillante” and the première of Justin Peck’s new “Everywhere We Go.”

Here‘s my review, for DanceTabs:

And a short excerpt:

“Peck has the mind of a mathematician; he finds ways to subdivide the stage and keep the eye continually guessing. Shapes appear momentarily and dissolve, only to reappear again somewhere else. Soloists weave in and out of the ensemble. The body is also subdivided in surprising ways: sometimes only the arms move, in complex phrases combining staccato and stretched combinations; other times, just the torso, or just legs.”

 

Two Young Choreographers on the Move: Justin Peck and Troy Schumacher

Last week I attended lecture-dems showcasing the work of two young choreographers, both of whom are also members of New York City Ballet. I wonder what they’re putting in the rosin over there at the StateTheatre, because there really seems to be an upsurge in creativity in the ranks. (But why, still, no women choreographers?) The notion that ballet is a languishing form flies out of the window when one sees their work and hears them talk.

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Works & Process talk at the Guggenheim: Ellen Barr, Justin Peck, Michael P. Atkinson, Sufjan Stevens and Karl Jensen. Photo by Jacklyn Meduga for Works & Process at the Guggenheim.

You’ll find a discussion of the two events here, for DanceTabs. And a short excerpt:

“It has now become clear that ballet is undergoing an important evolution, and I’m not referring to the overwrought, effect-laden mannerisms of much of what is referred to as “contemporary ballet.” This is a change that is blossoming within ballet’s own idiom, using the specific skill-set of ballet dancers: jumping, turning, balancing, sliding, skittering on pointe, flickering the legs at warp speed, tipping and extending hyper-articulate bodies.”

Justin Peck Redux

Sterling Hyltin and Amar Ramasar in Paz de la Jolla. Photo by Paul Kolnik.
Sterling Hyltin and Amar Ramasar in Paz de la Jolla. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

Here’s a link to my latest post for DanceTabs, a review of a triple bill at New York City Ballet that included Justin Peck’s smashing new ballet, Paz de la Jolla, as well as Balanchine’s rarely performed surrealist experiment Variations pour une Porte et un Soupir and Alexei Ratmansky’s rollicking Concerto DSCH (still one of his best works).

A short excerpt:

“With Paz de la Jolla Peck demonstrates that he’s no mere flash in the pan. Last season’s Year of the Rabbit, which also returned to the stage earlier this week, is fresh, overflowing with ideas, breathless, complicated. But Paz de la Jolla reveals an even rarer quality: the ability to make a ballet on command, quickly, and to make something significant out of it. The commission was a last-minute stop-gap for another ballet (by Peter Martins) that had to be postponed because of a delay in the composition of the score. Peck rather bravely took the leap. Yes, he had a piece of music in mind, an exuberant work for piano and chamber orchestra by Martinu, Sinfonietta La Jolla, inspired by the Southern California coastline. It just so happens that Peck is from the area.”

And here’s a link to an interview I did with Peck last year.

Comments are welcome! I’d love to hear what you all thought of the ballets, etc.

A New Ballet from Justin Peck for NYCB (DanceTabs).

Peck’s Year of the Rabbit had its première on Oct. 5, and seems to have had a wide success. It’s delightfully complex piece, with lots of moving parts. The corps is the star. Here‘s my review for DanceTabs.

And a short excerpt:

“What struck me most about the ballet was its sense of freedom. This was the opening salvo of an imagination unleashed. Compared with the ballet that preceded it, for example (Benjamin Millepied’s Two Hearts), it felt pleasingly uncalculated, like a voyage of discovery. At a time when young choreographers seem overly concerned with appearing weighty and stylishly relevant, Peck appears to be mainly interested in exploring the form.”