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New York City Ballet: Interplay, Fancy Free, I’m Old Fashioned

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New York City Ballet
(New York City Ballet Website)

Fancy Free
I’m Old Fashioned

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
May 9, 2013

(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

Conductor: Daniel Capps

Interplay (1952): Music by Morton Gould, Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Costumes by Santo Loquasto, Lighting by Ronald Bates, Piano Solo: Susan Walters, Performed by Sara Adams, Brittany Pollack, Kristen Segin, Indiana Woodward, Harrison Ball, Joseph Gordon, Spartak Hoxha, and Peter Walker. The original title for this music was “American Concertette” (1945). Gould’s Ballet works generally drew on American subject matter. Gould received a Grammy in 1965 for his recording of music by Charles Ives. Gould was a composer, arranger, and conductor and wrote in many genres. He conducted for New York City Ballet at the 1988 American Music Festival. He orchestrated “Fall River Legend” (Choreographed by the great Agnes de Mille) and “Interplay”. He also composed for Broadway, television and film. (NYCB Notes).

Jerome Robbins choreographed this work for a Corps showcase, and the effect is splendid. Brittany Pollack, actually a newly promoted Soloist, was joyous in pink, dancing with coolness in the third movement “Byplay”, along with her vigorous partner, Peter Walker. Their physical interconnections were stunning. “Free Play”, led by Joseph Gordon, “Horseplay”, and “Teamplay” were more rambunctious, with personality, muscularity, and gravity-defying leaps and cartwheels, a kaleidoscope of charged athletics. Harrison Ball was super battery-driven in his “Horseplay” solo, with buoyant jumps and poise.

Fancy Free (1944): Music by Leonard Bernstein, Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Scenery by Oliver Smith, Costumes by Kermit Love, Lighting by Ronald Bates, Performed by Andrew Veyette, Daniel Ulbricht, Tyler Angle, as the Sailors, Gretchen Smith, Sterling Hyltin, and Stephanie Chrosniak, as the Passers-by, and David Prottas as the Bartender.

Most balletomanes can close their eyes and stage this entire ballet in their minds, as it’s seen so often on both sides of the Plaza. However, each re-creation has at least one new surprise, and it’s so much fun to watch. With Daniel Capps conducting the Leonard Bernstein score, it seemed more jazz-driven, even filmatic, too. Andrew Veyette, Daniel Ulbricht, and Tyler Angle are all old-hats in these sailor roles, and their antics in the bar, as they woo the female passers-by, were hilarious and impressive, as always. Mr. Ulbricht flexes his muscles, keeping his arm wound up to absorb all the beer, before he leaps off the upper bar and lands onstage with aplomb. Mr. Veyette danced the multiple spins, and Mr. Angle did the rumba. Sterling Hyltin was sultry and sassy, while Gretchen Smith and Stephanie Chrosniak were silky and confident, as the three Passers-by..

I'm Old Fashioned (1983): Music by Morton Gould (based on music by Jerome Kern), Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Costumes by Florence Klotz, Lighting by Ronald Bates, Performed by Emilie Gerrity, Sara Mearns, Jenifer Ringer, Justin Peck, Jonathan Stafford, Tyler Angle, and the Company. Film sequence from You Were Never Lovelier, starring Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth.

I have already advance-recorded this 1942 film, as it’s so iconic in this Robbins ballet. Tonight was an all-Robbins program, filled with filmatic and Broadway-styled entertainment. I’m Old Fashioned has clips from an actual Astaire-Hayworth film, with Latin-Swing fused dance, swirling imagery in formal attire, a French door on film, through which the retro stars disappear, and a balletic homage to the flashy duo. The cast danced steps somewhat approximate to the filmed sequence, then, in the finale, it’s an exact choreographic replica, totally enthralling. Emile Gerrity, a Corps dancer, was spotlighted tonight, with her partner, new Soloist, Justin Peck. Ms. Gerrity is a dancer I look forward to seeing again soon, who exudes rapture and fascination. Mr. Peck attentively squired her about the stage. Sara Mearns is always eye-catching, but her less than charismatic partner, Jonathan Stafford, was overshadowed. Jenifer Ringer and Tyler Angle were well-matched, with Ms. Ringer, of late, turning on her exuberance and coyness. In the Corps, I watched Gretchen Smith and Daniel Applebaum.

The Company in
Jerome Robbins' "Interplay"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik

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