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New York City Ballet: Donizetti Variations, 2&3 Part Inventions, Mercurial Manoeuvres
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New York City Ballet: Donizetti Variations, 2&3 Part Inventions, Mercurial Manoeuvres

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New York City Ballet
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Donizetti Variations
2&3 Part Inventions
Mercurial Manoeuvres

Founders, George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein
Founding Choreographers: George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins
Ballet Master in Chief, Peter Martins
Ballet Mistress, Rosemary Dunleavy
Children’s Ballet Master, Garielle Whittle
Orchestra, Music Director, Fayçal Karoui
Managing Dir. Communications & Special Projects, Robert Daniels
Manager, Media Relations, Katharina Plumb
Assoc., Communications &Special Projects, Caitlin Gillette
The David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 9, 2011

(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

Donizetti Variations (1960): Music by Gaetano Donizetti (from Don Sebastian), Choreography by George Balanchine, Costumes by Karinska, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Conductor: Clotilde Otranto, Performed by Ashley Bouder, Gonzalo Garcia, and the Company. Donizetti composed over 65 operas, plus chamber music, for some of the greatest singers of his time. Balanchine created this ballet for a "Salute to Italy". (NYCB Notes)

With immaculate styling and presence, Ashley Bouder, Gonzalo Garcia, and the Corps brought Donizetti’s music from Don Sebastian to life, employing swiveling hips, full reaching limbs, and mature, masterful presence. There was also an opportunity to finally showcase a Corps dynamo, Georgina Pazcoguin, who exuded charisma and depth, as well as tightly timed choreography. But, it was the duo of Ms. Bouder and Mr. Garcia, so splendid again (as they were in Rubies, a week earlier), so full of life, that captivated Koch Theater. Karinska’s pink-brown peasant tutu brought out the coy femininity of Ms. Bouder, who thinks nothing of quasi winking at her fans. Together with the gallant and spirited Mr. Garcia, in matching pink-brown, who’s slimmed down and muscled up, they owned the moment. In the Corps, I was also drawn to Daniel Applebaum and Vincent Paradiso.

2 & 3 Part Inventions (1995): Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Pianist: Nancy McDill, Performed by Lauren Lovette, Anthony Huxley, Erica Pereira, Allen Peiffer, Ashley Laracey, Daniel Applebaum, Brittany Pollack, Joshua Thew.

Jerome Robbins was a genius to draw so much joy from twelve simple Bach phrases, called “Inventions”, and pianist, Nancy McDill performed the music side stage with bright, lucent effects. This is a ballet for soloists and mostly corps, and it gives City Ballet fans a chance to see solo and duo interpretive dance by those usually dancing in groups. Lauren Lovette, a rising star, shone well past her partner, Anthony Huxley, who’s mastered the agility of the steps but not the magnetism of spirit. Ms. Lovette, au contraire, in her solo, created brisk leg extensions and smooth, fluid lines. Her affect was captivating. Daniel Applebaum showed refined lines in his posture and persona, and Joshua Thew was fascinating to watch. The effect of these “Inventions’ is ebullient spirit, and the youthfulness of these dancers maximized and expanded that intent. Bach never sounded or seemed so frolicsome.

Mercurial Manoeuvres (2000): Music by Dmitri Shostakovich, Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, Costumes by Carole Divet, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Conductor: Andrews Sill, Piano: Cameron Grant, Trumpet: Ray Mase, Performed by Jenifer Ringer, Jared Angle, Joaquin De Luz, Ashly Isaacs, Lauren Lovette, and the Company.

With instant spins, vibrant trumpet, and passionate piano, the music of Shostakovich generated, against transparent red and blue screens as backdrop, a brilliant ballet. Joaquin De Luz has extraordinary presence and verve, and he leaps with assuredness and elevation, thanks to his short, taut physique. Jenifer Ringer glows in any spotlight, and here, with such vibrant, bright color, she was radiant. Jared Angle, as well, exuded warmth and charm. The shifting pattern and vertical levels of dancers was reminiscent of Symphony in Three Movements. At times, the music was funereal and somber, and at times grandiose and uplifting.

According to NYCB Notes, this ballet, originally created for the 2000 Diamond Project, was Christopher Wheeldon’s last work for City Ballet while he was still dancing. This is a wild, although extremely classical ballet, with the trumpet solo announcing the motif. Mr. Wheeldon choreographed a kaleidoscope of color and motion, with the ever-changing, transparent screens (thanks to Mark Stanley) a visually exciting highlight. Cameron Grant, on piano, and Ray Mase, on featured trumpet, led City Ballet Orchestra with jazzy classicism. The dancers matched this rhythmic resonance with geometric lines of dance that intersect and move. Ashly Isaacs and Lauren Lovette, both artists to watch, danced solos and duos with Mr. De Luz. Both dancers are rising in the Corps. They were both visually poised and alluring. Kudos to Christopher Wheeldon.

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