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New York City Ballet: Carousel (A Dance), Who Cares?, West Side Story Suite
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New York City Ballet: Carousel (A Dance), Who Cares?, West Side Story Suite

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New York City Ballet
(New York City Ballet Website)

Carousel (A Dance)
Who Cares?
West Side Story Suite

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
www.lincolncenter.org


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 25, 2013


(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

Conductor: Clotilde Otranto

Carousel (A Dance) (2002): Music by Richard Rodgers, Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, Arranged and Orchestrated by William David Brohn, Costumes by Holly Hynes, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Lauren Lovette, Robert Fairchild, Sara Adams, Devin Alberda, Kristen Segin, Christian Tworzyanski, and the Company.

On second viewing this month of this romantic, rapturous Wheeldon work, from 2002, a new couple has taken the stage, Robert Fairchild and Lauren Lovette. In contrast to Andrew Veyette and Tiler Peck, two seasoned pros with outsized exuberance and energy, the work took on a softer side, with grandeur and glow. Ms. Lovette, a rising star, is a Soloist, and Mr. Fairchild, a Principal, has a Broadway bounce and savoir faire in his passionate presence. Mr. Fairchild exuded devotion and daring in his partnering, seeming to be literally swept off his feet. Ms. Lovette could be seen in tiny runs en pointe, to and fro, with lush landings in Mr. Fairchild’s arms. She danced with ingénue exhilaration.

The cartwheel motif was even more pronounced, with men entering in this turning motion, then holding women in repetitions. Maestro Otranto kept the sweeping score sumptuous; Rodgers’ “If I Loved You” never sounded better.


Who Cares? (1970): Music by George Gershwin, Adapted and Orchestrated by Hershy Kay, Choreography by George Balanchine, Scenery by Jo Mielziner, Costumes by Santo Loquasto, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Pianist: Cameron Grant, Performed by Ashley Bouder, Teresa Reichlen, Sterling Hyltin, Amar Ramasar, and the Company.

Tonight’s program, a tribute to Broadway, continued with the Gershwin genre and Balanchine’s “Who Cares?”. Cameron Grant was piano soloist, and he brought the music to life. Each song was more compelling, with the ballet opening with “Strike Up the Band” and closing with “I Got Rhythm”. Leading tonight’s cast were Ashley Bouder, Sterling Hyltin, Teresa Reichlen, and Amar Ramasar. Ms. Bouder was featured in a solo, “I’ll Build a Staircase to Paradise”, danced with spirited zest. Ms. Hyltin’s solo was “Fascinatin’ Rhythm”, a showcase for her endearing personality and speed. Ms. Reichlen’s solo was “My One and Only”, music that’s evocative of a breezy tugging of the heart strings. Ms. Reichlen gazes into the audience and draws everyone in, as she struts. Amar Ramasar was spectacular in “Liza”, his solo, with a huge smile framing his fantastic twirls and twists, as he flirted with the crowd. In the Corps, Lauren King and Daniel Applebaum danced a fine duo to “Oh, Lady Be Good”, while Sara Adams and Joseph Gordon were impressive in “S’ Wonderful”.


West Side Story Suite (1995): Music by Leonard Bernstein, Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Scenery by Oliver Smith, Costumes by Irene Sharaff, Original Book by Arthur Laurents, Co-Choreographer: Peter Gennaro, Guest Singers: Rob Lorey, Lara Marie Hirner, Jane Brockman, Julie Price, Whitney Webster, Performed by Chase Finlay as Tony, Andrew Veyette as Riff, Justin Peck as Bernardo, Georgina Pazcoguin as Anita, Faye Arthurs as Maria, Gretchen Smith as Rosalia, and the Company as The Jets, Their Girls, and The Sharks, Their Girls. Jerome Robbins updated Romeo and Juliet to a New York time and venue, and brought in Bernstein, Laurents, and Sondheim as collaborators. (NYCB Notes).

This was my second viewing of Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite this season, and tonight’s changes were Justin Peck in the role of Bernardo, Leader of the Sharks, Andrew Veyette as Riff, Leader of the Jets, and Georgina Pazcoguin as Anita, Bernardo’s girlfriend. Chase Finlay reprised the role of Tony, Faye Arthurs was Maria again, and Gretchen Smith was Rosalia again, Anita’s friend. The shifts in interpretation included Mr. Peck’s more menacing, muscular take on Bernardo (in contrast to Amar Ramasar), more of his Tybalt personality and demeanor, a role he dances in the Company’s Romeo + Juliet. Additionally, Ms. Pazcoguin is pluckier, with more edge (in contrast to Jenifer Ringer) as Anita, practically spitting and hissing her way through “America”. Andrew Veyette, like Mr. Peck, is sharper and chillier as Riff (in contrast to Robert Fairchild), and his vocals, in “Cool” ran deeper and darker.

Irene Sharaff’s costumes are iconic and eye-catching, with Anita’s nylons showing a black rear seam straight up, in retro perfection. The colorful ruffled dresses in the “America” song have a special liveliness, and attitude. The “Dance at the Gym” brings in the pastel oranges and blues for the Jets, compared to the black, red, pink, purple costumes for the Sharks. Kudos to Jerome Robbins.



Sterling Hyltin and Amar Ramasar
in George Balanchine's "Who Cares?"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik



For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net