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New York City Ballet: Albert Evans Farewell: La Source, Herman Schmerman Pas de Deux, The Lady with the Little Dog, The Four Temperaments
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New York City Ballet: Albert Evans Farewell: La Source, Herman Schmerman Pas de Deux, The Lady with the Little Dog, The Four Temperaments

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New York City Ballet
(New York City Ballet Website)

Albert Evans Farewell
La Source
Herman Schmerman Pas de Deux
The Lady with the Little Dog
The Four Temperaments

Founders, George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein
Founding Choreographers: George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins
Ballet Master in Chief: Peter Martins
Ballet Mistress: Rosemary Dunleavy
Assistant to the Ballet Master in Chief: Sean Lavery
Guest Teacher: Merrill Ashley
Children’s Ballet Master: Garielle Whittle
Orchestra, Music Director: Fayçal Karoui
Chairman of the Board: John L. Vogelstein
Managing Dir. Communications and Special Projects: Robert Daniels
Manager, Media Relations: Katharina Plumb
Assoc., Communications and Special Projects, Caitlin Gillette
The David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 20, 2010

(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

Conductor: Andrews Sill

La Source (1968): Music by Leo Delibes, Choreography by George Balanchine, Costumes by Karinska, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Megan Fairchild, Joaquin De Luz, Lauren King, and the Company. "La Source" uses music from Delibes' ballets, "Naila" and" Sylvia". Delibes also composed the music for the ballet, "Coppélia". (NYCB Notes).

Once again, it’s Sunday and another Principal Farewell. Today was Albert Evans’ farewell performance, and what a different mood. Mr. Evans is an imposing and outsized presence, and today’s event had moments of explosive fun.

But first, La Source, with Megan Fairchild and Joaquin De Luz, a perpetual duo, dancing to Delibes ballet music, opened the matinee. Mr. De Luz is one of the most dependable, male classical partners in City Ballet. His regality and reverence are palpable. When Ms. Fairchild leaped fully into Mr. De Luz’ arms, she was immediately elegant and virtuosic. They compliment each other in daring dynamism. Ms. Fairchild shifted from dainty, detailed steps to a floating position on Mr. De Luz’ shoulders. The imagery was enchanting.

Herman Schmerman Pas de Deux (1992): Music by Thom Williams, Choreography by William Forsythe, Production design by William Forsythe, Costumes by Gianni Versace, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Wendy Whelan and Albert Evans. It was here that Albert Evans, the star of the day, appeared, to loud shouts of recognition. This rare Forsythe work was vibrant and appealing, just like Mr. Evans. In the first segment, he and Ms. Whelan, who partnered Mr. Evans today, appear in diagonal corners of the stage. He wears black pants, and she wears a white skirt. This campy, contemporary, and charming ballet soon brings Mr. Evans back in a look-alike white skirt, and the audience roared. That’s the surprise advantage of a “rare” work. The recorded Thom Willems score is propulsive and percussive, and Ms. Whelan and Mr. Evans moved in vivacious gravitational spins and lunges, relating in close, wound-up physicality. I couldn’t imagine this ballet succeeding with any other duo.

The Lady with the Little Dog (2010): Music by Rodion Shchedrin, Choreography by Alexey Miroshnichenko, Costumes by Tatiana Noginova, Scenery by Philipp Dontsov, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Sterling Hyltin, Andrew Veyette, Troy Schumacher, Giovanni Villalobos, and members of the Corps.

This recent Miroshnichenko ballet, performed today with its original cast, exuded just the right level of glamour that filled the afternoon. On this viewing, I did relate to its poignancy, somewhat more than during its debut. The Lady with the Little Dog is dedicated to Maya Plisetskaya for her 85th birthday, and her husband composed the 1985 score. Flooring, that’s pushed and pulled by “Angels’, from wide black rubber rolls, divides and opens the stage, as Sterling Hyltin, as Anna Sergeevna, and Andrew Veyette, as Dmitri Dmitrievitch, meet, connect, separate, and so on. Yet, the work has an immediate “forgettable” quality, in its shallow, distant choreography. The action and theatricality are not intense enough for the body language of ballet. Its film noir dimension was enhanced by the old Hollywood-styled score. But, film noir gets a big screen. From my orchestra seat, the stage was not close enough to feel the narrative. However, from a purely visual perspective, there was aesthetic appeal. And, the dog was cute.

The Four Temperaments (1946): Music by Paul Hindemith, Choreography by George Balanchine, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Piano Solo: Susan Walters, Performed by Faye Arthurs, Christian Tworzyanski, Lauren King, Allen Peiffer, Rebecca Krohn, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Sébastien Marcovici, Jennie Somogyi, Jared Angle, Albert Evans, Teresa Reichlen, and the Company. The score (solo piano and strings) was commissioned by George Balanchine from Paul Hindemith in 1940. This ballet appeared at the opening program of Ballet Society, now City Ballet. (NYCB Notes).

This was today’s Farewell finale, and Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments brought out Mr. Evans, solo, in the Third, “Phlegmatic” Variation. The stage was all his, this last time, and he seized it. Mr. Evans used every muscle and attitude he could muster, in his fascinating, charismatic interpretation. Mr. Evans used his spotlight for a sincere, profound performance. Susan Walters played the piano solos in this 1946 commissioned Hindemith score. The Theme was danced by an ensemble of six soloists and corps, and Rebecca Krohn and Adrian Danchig-Waring created intense, riveting imagery. Sébastien Marcovici, in the First “Melancholic” Variation, was equally impassioned and dignified. Jennie Somogyi and Jared Angle, in the Second “Sanguinic” Variation, were powerful, primal, and pronounced. The Fourth “Choleric” Variation was danced by the ever-engaging Teresa Reichlen, plus ensemble, and, as always, she captivated the imagination. For the corps, Mr. Evans’ ensemble of Marika Anderson, Kaitlyn Gilliland, Dara Johnson, and Gwyneth Muller was exceptional.

The usual floral presentation bouquets, streamers, and confetti rained sideways and down from the rafters, and Peter Martins, as always, was fully in charge. He noticeably alerts his assistants just when to have the guests stream onstage with flowers and hugs, just when to let loose the confetti, and just when to have the farewell star of the day stand alone, center stage. This is a commendable level of involvement and makes City Ballet seem like a large, celebratory family. Today was special, as Mr. Evans danced some swing moves with each flower-bearing guest, and he even kicked off his slippers and did a little jig. The Company and the audience loved every moment. No fadeout here.

Wendy Whelan and Albert Evans
in William Forsythe's "Herman Schmerman"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik

Albert Evans Farewell
Bravura Bows, Bouquets, Confetti
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik

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