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New York City Ballet: Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fée”, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Bal de Couture, Diamonds
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New York City Ballet: Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fée”, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Bal de Couture, Diamonds

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New York City Ballet
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Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fée”
Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux
Bal de Couture

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, Dena Abergel
Orchestra, Interim Music Director, Andrews Sill
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
January 26, 2013

(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fée” (1972): Music by Igor Stravinsky, Choreography by George Balanchine, Original Lighting by Ronald Bates, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Conductor: Andrews Sill, Performed by Megan Fairchild, Andrew Veyette, Erica Pereira, Mary Elizabeth Sell, and the Company. Stravinsky’s theme for this ballet was “The Ice Maiden”, and the music is a tribute to Tschaikovsky. The original ballet was choreographed by Bronislava Nijinska. (NYCB Notes.)

It’s always wonderful to watch real life partners dance as ballet partners, with all the inherent chemistry and intimacy. Here Megan Fairchild and Andrew Veyette were outstanding together in Le Baiser de la Fée , with its fascinating weaving of arm motions on several levels. The choreography occasionally evokes Rubies, in arm-rolling, running sequences, another Balanchine-Stravinsky collaboration. The ballet unfolded with subtlety, oozing with mutual chemistry and respect. The work is frothy and upbeat, with a very melodic and uncharacteristic score by Stravinsky. The four lead dancers visually excerpted a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, The Ice Maiden. Ms. Fairchild seemed not to touch the stage, as if she were in flight, a fairy on wings. Erica Pereira and Mary Elizabeth Sell exuded the dreamlike fantasy that is requisite to the fairy tale. In the Corps, Lydia Wellington caught my eye.

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 Tiler Peck 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).

In this almost-all Balanchine program, this virtuosic Pas de Deux, set to an excerpt of Tschaikovsky’s original score for Swan Lake, Tiler Peck and Joaquin De Luz lit up the stage with choreographed, with a touch of improvised, fireworks. Both dancers are spirited and undaunted in their leaps, spins, and jumps, especially when Ms. Peck throws herself en air into Mr. De Luz’ arms. Andrews Sill kept the pulse propulsive, and these two transcendent dancers illumined the moment with dazzling fervor and daring friskiness. Multiple fouettés, followed by chivalrous attention and focus, brought the audience to curtain-time cheers.

Bal de Couture (2012): Music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky, Choreography by Peter Martins, Costumes by Valentino, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Costume Supervision by Marc Happel, Conductor: Daniel Capps, Performed by Savannah Lowery, Jared Angle, Teresa Reichlen, Ask la Cour, Rebecca Krohn, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Ana Sophia Scheller, Andrew Veyette, Sterling Hyltin, Robert Fairchild, Abi Stafford, Amar Ramasar, Megan Fairchild, Joaquin De Luz, Tiler Peck, Chase Finlay, Ashley Bouder, Antonio Carmena, Janie Taylor, and Sébastien Marcovici.

This was my first viewing of Peter Martins’ new Bal de Couture, with comely and classy costumes by Valentino on City Ballet Principals, and one Soloist, as they walk down a ramp as if it’s Fashion Week. The deep pink, black, and white designs made the audience swoon. There’s a tiny drama, within the theatrics, with Janie Taylor conflicted between Sébastien Marcovici and Robert Fairchild. Ms. Taylor could make any costume dazzle like diamonds, as she’s so glamorous and porcelain in her demeanor. Some of the deep pink pointe shoes were reminiscent of The Red Shoes, a gorgeous romantic film of yore. This production, so eye-catching and imbued with retro romanticism, is evocative of Mr. Martins’ Thou Swell, which also has a ballroom motif in a nightclub, with stairs to make an entrance. The social mannerisms of this ballet were also evocative of Balanchine’s formal Liebesleider Walzer.

As for the choreography, it was secondary to the fashion showcase, which is perfectly fine, for a change, something new. Every ballet doesn’t have to have structured choreography, and more modern ballets have a wide variety of motifs. Mark Stanley’s lighting is key to this stunning showcase of fashion in a ballet. Some of the women’s costumes are designed for the long, ruffled gowns to be lifted to move, and a few were actually tutus that allowed for full motion. This is a ballet I would want to revisit.

Diamonds: From the ballet Jewels (1967), Music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky (from Symphony No. 3 in D Major), Choreography by George Balanchine, Scenery by Peter Harvey, Costumes by Karinska, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Conductor: Daniel Capps, Performed by Maria Kowroski, Tyler Angle, and the Company.

This was my seventh ballet today, including the matinee and evening productions, and Diamonds drew me in. Ordinarily seen in Balanchine’s 1967 full-length ballet, Jewels, Diamonds has the most gorgeous Tschaikovsky score, from Symphony No. 3 in D major, tonight heightened under Daniel Capps’ baton. Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle, who led the afternoon’s Mozartiana, here reappeared together for Diamonds with a refreshing burst of energy.

The Diamonds motif uses blues in the backdrop to offset the huge crystal white diamonds and pearls. Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle bring a sense of professional polish with serenity, focus, and skill. Mr. Angle was immersed and protective as a partner, moving Ms. Kowroski into the spotlight. There’s an exotic infusion in this segment, with subtle, urbane politesse. The excerpted Third Tschaikovsky Symphony is replete with poetic harmonies. In the Corps, my eye was drawn to Harrison Ball and Taylor Stanley. Kudos to Balanchine.

Tiler Peck, Theresa Reichlen, and
the Cast of Martins' "Bal de Couture"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik

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