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New York City Ballet: Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Fearful Symmetries, Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3
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New York City Ballet: Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Fearful Symmetries, Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3

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New York City Ballet
(New York City Ballet Website)

Stravinsky Violin Concerto
Fearful Symmetries
Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3

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
June 1, 2013

(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

Stravinsky Violin Concerto (1972): Music by Igor Stravinsky (Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major), Choreography by George Balanchine, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Guest Conductor: David Levi, Solo Violinist: Arturo Delmoni, Performed by Maria Kowroski, Sterling Hyltin, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Robert Fairchild, and the Company.

For tonight’s performance of the renowned Stravinsky Violin Concerto, David Levi was Guest Conductor, with Arturo Delmoni as Solo Violinist. The Orchestra sounded stark and searing, and the Company was in tightly synchronized imagery. Mr. Delmoni is a pro, with solos that must have reached the rafters. This particular ballet requires instantaneous shifts in arm and leg lifts, with alluring effects. Robert Fairchild and Sterling Hyltin danced “Aria II”, and Mr. Fairchild’s humility and charisma were striking. He danced with lightning speed and endearing persona. Ms. Hyltin created spider-like turns down on the stage, then wound herself in Mr. Fairchild’s arms, gazing out at the hall. With a simple blue backdrop and black tights, that extend below the slippers, Mr. Balanchine fashioned unembellished imagery for his four-movement work, re-choreographed for the 1972 City Ballet Stravinsky Festival. In the “Toccata”, Maria Kowroski and Adrian Danchig-Waring joined Mr. Fairchild and Ms. Hyltin in leading an ensemble of sixteen. This ballet is replete with dynamic propulsion and daring partnering, and tonight’s superb casting maximized its potential for surreal sublimity..

Fearful Symmetries (1990): Music by John Adams, Choreography by Peter Martins, Costumes by Steven Rubin, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Conductor: Clotilde Otranto, Performed by Sara Mearns, Taylor Stanley, Teresa Reichlen, Jonathan Stafford, Lauren King, Daniel Ulbricht, and the Company.

The John Adams score in Peter Martins’ Fearful Symmetries is evocative of Philip Glass, with its repetitive, building, hypnotic chords and never-ending pulse. Clotilde Otranto conducted the Orchestra to burst with vibrancy and brio. The three couples, plus three Corps males and a mixed male-female ensemble, bring life to the stage with perfect stretches, arms raised as in Balanchine’s Symphony in Three…, and shifting lines of dance direction. The colorful costumes by Steven Rubin highlight the fanciful motion.

Sara Mearns and Taylor Stanley were perfectly cast, outstanding in strength, and magnetic to the eye. Both dancers are aware of stage presence and throw themselves psychically as well as physically into the mood. With pinks, reds, and purples, the stage was fired up. In slower passages, Mr. Stanley took on the aura of Nijinsky, with angular gestures, crouching position, and primal animal intensity. Ms. Mearns was glowingly dynamic, while Daniel Ulbricht, partnering Lauren King, was all skill tonight, no grandstanding athletics. Yet, he was filled with battery-power electricity in an image of red. Ms. King was impressive in keeping pace with seamless ease. Teresa Reichlen, partnered by Jonathan Stafford, was cool as a cucumber, flawless, but Mr. Stafford seemed to be the lone lead dancer taxed by the speed and energy inherent in the piece. Au contraire, the youthful Corps was in its element, with Ralph Ippolito, Troy Schumacher, and Giovanni Villalobos featured in the ensemble. Kudos to Peter Martins.

Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 (1970): Music Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky, Choreography by George Balanchine, Scenery and Costumes by Nicolas Benois, Original Lighting by Ronald Bates, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Guest Conductor: David Levi, Performed by Rebecca Krohn, Ask la Cour, Abi Stafford, Jared Angle, Ana Sophia Scheller, Antonio Carmena, Megan Fairchild, Andrew Veyette, and the Company. In 1947, Balanchine produced “Theme and Variations” for Ballet Theater. Tschaikovsky composed Suite No. 3 in 1884, and it was premiered in 1885. Nicolas Benois, son of Diaghilev’s ballet designer, created scenery and costumes for Balanchine. (NYCB Notes).

This ballet is organized like a dream, with the female dancers in falling windswept hair and chiffony gowns, in the first three of four movements. The final movement is all formal, regal, en pointe, with virtuosic synchronicity. In the “Élégie”, Rebecca Krohn was partnered by Ask la Cour, a perfect match. Not only are they both long-limbed, but they’re both serene, unassuming, transparent, serious dancers. Nicolas Benois’ bucolic scenery magnifies the dreaminess of it all. Mr. la Cour’s role is somewhat of a romantic poet, who rushes to and fro to find the nymph woman among the Corps, all in the same chiffony gowns. Much of this 1970 Balanchine ballet is like his Serenade, especially the fantasy elements that transport the viewer. In the “Valse Mélancolique”, Abi Stafford and Jared Angle were less magnetic, cooler, more elusive. But, the chase and pas de deux were filled with spinning partnering. The “Scherzo” was led by Ana Sophia Scheller and Antonio Carmena, with even more detachment, but dervish-driven dance. Finally, “Tema con Variazioni”, featuring Megan Fairchild and Andrew Veyette, onstage and offstage partners, was filled with long-distance leaps into Mr. Veyette’s open arms, solo spins and long vaults about the stage, fouettés and feverish dashes. With a full Corps ensemble, this final movement proved why it’s performed in solo showcase so often, in repertory and galas.

Megan Fairchild in
George Balanchine's "Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik

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