New York City Ballet
(New York City Ballet Website)
Short Ride on a Fast Machine
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
The David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 19, 2013
(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).
Conductor: Andrews Sill
Short Ride on a Fast Machine (Fanfare for Orchestra): Music by John Adams, Performed by New York City Ballet Orchestra. As City Ballet Orchestra rose in its fantastic pit in motion, Andrews Sill greeted the Fall Gala guests and treated us to John Adams’ “Fanfare for Orchestra”. It had elements of Bernstein, underlying atonalities, and a compelling melody. A wood block added syncopated rhythms, and Copland came to mind.
Capricious Maneuvers (World Premiere): Music by Lukas Foss, Choreography by Justin Peck, Costumes by Prabal Garung, Costumes Supervised by Marc Happel, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Cello: Fred Zlotkin, Piano: Alan Moverman, Performed by Ashly Isaacs, Brittany Pollack, Kristen Segin, Taylor Stanley, Andrew Veyette.
A nice addition tonight was the use of introductory videos for the three premieres, with bits of rehearsals, artist comments, and costume design previews. Justin Peck, a go-to choreographer of late, also a Soloist at City Ballet, created Capricious Maneuvers. Costumes are by Prabal Garung, with women in brief white, black, or red silky costumes. This work needs to be seen again, as it’s fleeting and effervescent. Lukas Foss’ Capriccio was fanciful, like the title. The choreography is playful, as well, with women sliding through piano legs, and couples falling, spinning, and separating. The youthful vibrancy of the work was a well planned introduction to an evening of eclectic new works. Brittany Pollack and Taylor Stanley caught my eye.
Neverwhere (World Premiere): Music by Nico Muhly, Choreography by Benjamin Millepied, Costumes by Iris Van Herpen, Costumes supervised by Marc Happel, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Viola: Maureen Gallagher, Piano: Nancy McDill, Performed by Emilie Gerrity, Sterling Hyltin, Lauren Lovette, Joseph Gordon, Tyler Angle, Craig Hall.
The second premiere, choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, former Principal with City Ballet and the newly appointed Director of Dance at the Paris Opera Ballet, was Neverwhere. Nico Muhly’s Drones and Viola brought out Nancy McDill on piano and Maureen Gallagher on viola. Dancers spun in hand-held circles, dancers in shadows emerged in spotlights, partners shifted, and so on. Sterling Hyltin and Tyler Angle danced about in amazing centers of space, evocative of Parsons’ Caught. But, for me, the high point of this work was not the surreal Muhly score or the lively choreography, but Iris Van Herpen’s shiny woven, plasticized, black costumes. They were futuristic, dazzling, and magnetic. Women were en pointe in boots with flat toes. This seemed the unique, creative moment of the Gala. The lighting, by Mark Stanley, had a moving pyramid backdrop that enhanced the stage design. Craig Hall and Lauren Lovette caught my eye.
Spectral Evidence (World Premiere): Music by John Cage, Choreography by Angelin Preljocaj, Costumes by Oliver Theyskens, Costumes Supervised by Marc Happel, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Megan Fairchild, Georgina Pazcoguin, Gretchen Smith, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Chase Finlay, Amar Ramasar. The final premiere, choreographed by Angelin Preljocaj, references the Salem witch trials, with male dancers costumed as preachers in black and female dancers costumed with blood red patches on their white dresses. Olivier Theyskens designed costumes, with literary fascination.
The spartan set morphs in many ways to hide, support, and envelop men and women separately. Women appear and solemnly wrap their hands about the men’s faces. The set shifts as a walking ramp, with dancers miming the John Cage sound effects, like other-worldly vocals and more. Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck were strongly and handsomely featured, with ironic abandon, in a puritanical theme. In the ensemble casting, Georgina Pazcoguin, Amar Ramasar, and Adrian Danchig-Waring were particularly sharp and dramatic.
Western Symphony, Fourth Movement and Finale (1954):. Music by Hershy Kay, Choreography by George Balanchine, Scenery by John Boyt, Costumes by Karinska, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Conductor, Andrews Sill, Performed by Maria Kowroski, Zachary Catazaro, Ashley Laracey, Taylor Stanley, Brittany Pollack, Sean Suozzi, Lauren Lovette, Allen Peiffer, and the Company. Some of the American folk songs in this ballet are “Red River Valley”, “Good Night Ladies”, and “Rye Whiskey”. (NYCB Notes).
I heard loud sighs of relief when the predictably melodic and vivacious Western Symphony, a Balanchine favorite, appeared, although for only the fourth movement and finale. The Rondo was danced by Maria Kowroski and Zachary Catazaro (a rising star). They spiked the air with flirtatious kicks and cowboy-showgirl antics. When Ms. Kowroski wants to heighten the mood (and none too soon for tonight), she puts extra pizzazz into her long limbs, and tonight was no exception. Taylor Stanley, Sean Suozzi, Lauren Lovette, and Brittany Pollack danced up a storm. The finale brings the curtain down while dancers are spinning like tops. The Gala audience was vocally enthused.
Brittany Pollack and Taylor Stanley
in Justin Peck's "Capricious Maneuvers"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik
Tyler Angle and Sterling Hyltin
in Benjamin Millepied's "Neverwhere"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik
The Company in
Angelin Preljocaj's "Spectral Evidence"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik