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New York City Ballet: Jeu de Cartes, Moves, Symphony in C

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New York City Ballet
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Jeu de Cartes
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 2, 2012

(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

Conductor: Andrews Sill

Jeu de Cartes (1992): Music by Igor Stravinsky, Choreography by Peter Martins, Scenery and Costumes by Ian Falconer, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Tiler Peck, Joaquin De Luz, Taylor Stanley, Andrew Veyette, and the Company. Stravinsky composed this score for the first Stravinsky Festival at the Met Opera, organized by Balanchine. Dancers represented the four card suits, and the joker led the dance. (NYCB Notes).

One of the pleasures of City Ballet’s Spring Season is seeing one work twice in a week with two different casts. Tonight I saw Tiler Peck featured in Peter Martins’ Jeu de Cartes, accompanied by Joaquin De Luz, Taylor Stanley, and Andrew Veyette. An immediate discovery was watching the way Mr. Stanley opened up with more affect and warmth than last season, and his role debut showcased a seamless flow in his choreographic interpretation. The piece was replete with ebullience and flair, arms widely reaching in entrances and exits. Ms. Peck tightly spun into the wings, while Mr. De Luz executed multiple fouettés with one leg straight out. Mr. Veyette was emotionally charged, dancing with bravura breeziness. Ian Falconer’s red-white-black costumes were vibrant, having been recreated in 2002, and City Ballet Orchestra was in fine shape, under Mr. Sill’s baton.

Moves, A Ballet in Silence (1984): Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Performed by Rebecca Krohn, Jared Angle, Savannah Lowery, Brittany Pollack, Gretchen Smith, Lydia Wellington, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Taylor Stanley, Sean Suozzi, Christian Tworzyanski, Justin Peck, and Emile Gerrity.

It takes particular skill for the Company to dance in solid silence, and even greater skill for the audience to absorb it, with a level of comfort. There was much squirming throughout my row. As each dancer makes a move, the next solo or pas de deux is signaled. The first Pas de Deux featured Rebecca Krohn and Jared Angle, while a Dance for Men featured the five-man male cast, minus Mr. Angle. The Dance for Women featured Rebecca Krohn, Savannah Lowery, Brittany Pollack, and Gretchen Smith. The entire mood and motif is casual, with implied spontaneity and serendipity of action. These twelve dancers could be walking on an avenue, through a train, down dance studio hallways, or into a shop. But, for this viewer there was too much distance in the expansive Koch Theater for such a work. Rather, Moves would be magnetic on a small intimate stage, surrounded by a fraction of tonight’s audience. Then, silence would be palpable.

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

Just as seeing one ballet twice in one week, with two different casts, brings out visual surprises and refreshing nuances, seeing one ballet twice in two nights, with the same cast, offers the viewer a full encore, to reflect on tone, musicality, interplay of the four movements, and partnering particulars. Tonight, the Bizet score, in its welcome thematic rewind, was even more opulent and posh, with the Adagio especially exotic and the fourth movement Allegro Vivace especially vivid and melodramatic. In fact, Ms. Pereira and Mr. Suozzi led their twelve-person Corps with decisive dash in the fourth movement Allegro Vivace. Ms. Scheller and Mr. Finlay seemed more relaxed in their stage chemistry in the Allegro Vivo, Ms. Kowroski and Mr. Angle seemed more improvisational and theatrical in the Adagio, and Ms. Hyltin and Mr. Garcia seemed more high-spirited and frothy in the third movement Allegro Vivace. Kudos to Balanchine.

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