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New York City Ballet: Concerto DSCH, Paz de La Jolla, N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz

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New York City Ballet
(New York City Ballet Website)

Concerto DSCH
Paz de La Jolla
N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz

Founders, George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein
Founding Choreographers: George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins
Ballet Master in Chief, Peter Martins
Ballet Mistress, Rosemary Dunleavy
Childrenís 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
February 6, 2013

(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

Concerto DSCH (2008): Music by Dmitri Shostakovich, Choreography by Alexei Ratmansky, Costumes by Holly Hynes, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Conductor: Andrews Sill, Piano: Cameron Grant, Performed by Janie Taylor, Ashley Bouder, Tyler Angle, Joaquin De Luz, Gonzalo Garcia, and the Company.

On second viewing in one week, Concerto DSCH reveals new imagery, new color schemes, new connections, new tableaus. Joaquin De Luz enhances his presentation on each performance, and Iíve been experiencing his prowess for many years. He exudes theatricality with his talent. The Company as a whole performed with new levels of propulsion, spinning in individual dances, with a burst of Holly Hynesí orange, red, and green costumes. Tyler Angle and Janie Taylor were placed in the center of one grouping, with the Company stretching out from them like a flower. Toward the finale, Mr. De Luz jumped onto menís shoulders and backs, in the midst of a mountain of hormones, spinning wildly to piano refrains. Ashley Bouder and Gonzalo Garcia, individually, kept the momentum dizzying and dervish. Andrews Sill conducted to maximize the percussive aspects of this tumultuous piano concerto. In the Corps, Justin Peck and Gretchen Smith caught my eye.

Paz de la Jolla (2013): Music by Bohuslav Martinů, Choreography by Justin Peck, Costumes by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung, Costumes Supervised by Marc Happel, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Conductor: Andrews Sill, Performed by Sterling Hyltin, Tiler Peck, Amar Ramasar, and the Company.

Tiler Peck, part muse, part one-woman Greek Chorus, amuses the audience and Corps dancers, while Amar Ramasar and Sterling Hyltin warm up to each other in dance dramatics, as they develop their romantic scenario. In the search segment, as Mr. Ramasar loses sight of Ms. Hyltin, amidst the beach-going bathers, thereís a sense of longing and yearning, even more tonight than in the Premiere. When the Corps morphs into waves of blue, an ocean of dancers, rolling and tossing, there was a gorgeous sense of summery serenity, tinged with mystery and moment. Ms. Hyltin wades in, falls, is lifted, then returned to her partner. Thereís a sleeping scene, clapping to wake the duo, and much lighthearted pleasure. This new piece by Justin Peck, Corps dancer, will surely fit into future repertory.

N. Y. Export: Opus Jazz (1958): Music by Robert Prince, Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Costumes by Florence Klotz, Scenery by Ben Shahn, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Conductor: Daniel Capps, Performed by Georgina Pazcoguin, Justin Peck, Zachary Catazaro, Allen Peiffer, Taylor Stanley, Giovanni Villalobos, and the Company. This work was first performed in Spoleto, Italy, in June, 1958, by Jerome Robbins' Ballets. The choreography is illustrative of "the drives and coolness' of jazz steps". Robert Prince wrote music for Robbins and for Broadway. (NYCB Notes).

This work so prominently displays the Corps, a wonderful vehicle designed by Jerome Robbins, that one sees the Corps as stars, as equals onstage, as a true ensemble. Daniel Capps conducted this piece with pizzazz, as Robert Princeís music is so urban, so youthful, so midnight. Ben Shahnís backdrops are contemporary, jazzy art, hovering over the Corps in Florence Klotzí costumes of brightly hued sweaters and sneakers, and matching black tights. Robert Prince's cool, cool music enhances the look, as do the female dancersí long ponytails and bouncy motion. Each Shahn backdrop brought a new page to the score, a new dynamic of music and motion, a new choreographic twist. This ballet is so evocative of West Side Story Suite, with signature Robbins finger-snapping, jumping, bent-low footwork, and ensembles of teens and twenty-somethings, merging and separating in "gangs" of moving shapes and colors.

A high point was Statics, with Georgina Pazcoguin and Justin Peck leading four males in a smooth, sexy sequence. Ashley Laracey and Chase Finlay, in Passage for Two, had just the right element of detached self-involvement and attached mutual attraction to make this motif work. The Entrance: Group Dance, Improvisation, and Theme, Variations, and Fugue all brought this Corps ensemble into colorful, then white-black contrasts in rhythm, mood, and imagery. Jennifer Tiptonís lighting was warm and vibrant. Kudos to Jerome Robbins.

Justin Peck and the Cast of
Robbins' "N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik

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