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New York City Ballet: Concerto Barocco, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Fancy Free, Symphony in C
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New York City Ballet: Concerto Barocco, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Fancy Free, Symphony in C

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New York City Ballet
(New York City Ballet Website)

Concerto Barocco
Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux
Fancy Free
Symphony in C

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 1, 2012

(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

Concerto Barocco (1948): Music by John Sebastian Bach (Double Violin Concerto in D Minor), Choreography by George Balanchine, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Guest Conductor: Harrison Hollingsworth, 1st Violin: Arturo Delmoni, 2nd Violin: Nelly Kim, Performed by Teresa Reichlen, Abi Stafford, Ask la Cour, and the Company.

Tonight’s program brought out exactly three Conductors, a generous treat from City Ballet. Tonight’s Guest Conductor, Harrison Hollingsworth, led Arturo Delmoni and Nelly Kim in Bach’s Double Violin Concerto in D Minor with noticeable capability. Teresa Reichlen began her spotlighted dance with magnetic presence, but she even more came to life when the gallant Ask la Cour arrived, with regal and statuesque artistry. This is a partnership that should be seen often and more often. Ms. Reichlen and Mr. la Cour are of similar height, with angular necks and elongated limbs. They also both exude an unassuming professionalism, a sense of seriousness of purpose, and a respect for the choreography and each other. Abi Stafford, au contraire, was stiff and danced with a twitchy motion, with arms inappropriately reaching up and down without flow or beauty. In the female Corps of eight, Lauren King and Brittany Pollack caught my eye, with their elegant sweeps and balanced connection to the music.

Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux (1960): Music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky, Choreography by George Balanchine, Costumes by Karinska, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Conductor: Andrews Sill, Performed by Megan Fairchild and Joaquin De Luz. This music, not published with the original ballet score, was originally intended for the Act III Black Swan Pas de Deux, but was first found by the Tschaikovsky Foundation of New York and subsequently scored for this pas de deux by Balanchine in 1960. (NYCB Notes).

This Pas de Deux, not included in Petipa’s Swan Lake ballet, has levels of luxuriant lyricism and spirited sensationalism. The Karinska costumes give the brief ballet flair. Megan Fairchild and Joaquin De Luz, as always, played upon each other’s rapid fervor and daring friskiness. Mr. De Luz’ incomparable chivalry inspired Ms. Fairchild’s focused fouettés, spins, and leaps into his arms. Her peach Karinska tutu was incandescent, and both dancers illuminated from within. From without, Mark Stanley’s lighting design added glowing warmth. Andrews Sill conducted here with vibrancy that matched the feverish dance fireworks.

Fancy Free (1944): Music by Leonard Bernstein, Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Scenery by Oliver Smith, Costumes by Kermit Love, Lighting by Ronald Bates, Conductor: Clotilde Otranto, Performed by Andrew Veyette, Daniel Ulbricht, Robert Fairchild, as the Sailors, Amanda Hankes, Tiler Peck, Stephanie Chrosniak, as the Passers-by, and David Prottas as the Bartender.
One can see this 1944 Robbins ballet every single season and always find something new to notice, something nuanced to appreciate. Tonight’s Sailors were Andrew Veyette, Daniel Ulbricht, and Robert Fairchild. Mr. Fairchild had the rumba solo, wowing two of the female passersby, and Mr. Ulbricht had his iconic twitching-twirling solo, standing on the bar, swigging beers, and grandstanding for a date. Mr. Veyette had the first solo, with its virtuosic charm. Their cartwheels, theatrical pranks, barroom brawl, forced flirting, and vaudevillian vulnerability were convincing and impressive. Of the three Passersby, something new was Stephanie Chrosniak, a Corps dancer, who looked so film noir. Tiler Peck and Amanda Hankes are pros in the roles, and, as expected, did not disappoint, but it was Ms. Chrosniak who offered a retro touch. Clotilde Otranto conducted the Bernstein score for sassiness and blues.

Symphony in C (1948): Music by Georges Bizet, Choreography by George Balanchine, Costumes by Karinska, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Conductor: Andrews Sill, Performed by Ana Sophia Scheller, Chase Finlay, Maria Kowroski, Tyler Angle, Sterling Hyltin, Gonzalo Garcia, Erica Pereira, Sean Suozzi, and the Company.

It had been quite some time since I saw Balanchine’s Symphony in C, choreographed to Bizet’s whirling, irresistible score, with its urgent, repetitive refrains. New costumes were on view by Marc Happel, with Swarovski splashes of glistening crystals, chiaroscuro in shading, and they were truly stunning. I couldn’t help missing Jock Soto in this piece, the quintessential partner to Darci Kistler in the second movement “Adagio”, a few years ago. Mr. Soto is one of those stars who seized a role and owned it. Yet, Tyler Angle, partnering Maria Kowroski, made a competitive bid for memorable excellence in the role. He will succeed, only when he exudes the intense persona so inherent in Mr. Soto’s tone. Ms. Kowroski, however, always exudes a magnetic omnipresence, and her winged-arm motion and wrist gestures were gripping.

Ana Sophia Scheller and Chase Finlay led the first movement “Allegro Vivo”. Ms. Scheller has seasoned talent and an easy camaraderie with the audience. Mr. Finlay, however, hopefully will grow into the role, as he has the swift steps and styling, but needs more mature ease of danseur level partnering. Sterling Hyltin and Gonzalo Garcia led the third movement “Allegro Vivace”, and it was apparent that Ms. Hyltin has mastered the art of stage affect. She was totally into the moment, playing off Mr. Garcia’s renowned enthusiasm, and, instead of her often perky demeanor, she was ardent and enthralled. Together they attacked the floor and space with stunning alacrity. Erica Pereira and Sean Suozzi, two Soloists who should be seen so much more, took the final “Allegro Vivace” to its spectacular finish. Ms. Pereira spun like a porcelain ballerina in a jewel box, and Mr. Suozzi was ever so refreshing in his spontaneity. Mr. Sill conducted to expand the Symphony to its glorious resonance. Kudos to Bizet.

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