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New York City Ballet: Symphonic Balanchine
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New York City Ballet: Symphonic Balanchine

- Onstage with the Dancers

Studio 57 Fine Arts

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211 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019

Mon. - Sat. 10 AM - 8 PM
Sun. 12 Noon - 6 PM
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New York City Ballet
Symphonic Balanchine
(NYC Ballet Website)

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 Mistress, Garielle Whittle
Orchestra, Music Director, Fayçal Karoui
Managing Director, Communications, Robert Daniels
Assoc. Director, Communications, Siobhan Burns
Manager, Press Relations, Joe Guttridge
New York State Theater, Lincoln Center

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 13, 2008

(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).
Conductor: Fayçal Karoui

Symphony in C (1948): Music by Georges Bizet, Choreography by George Balanchine, Costumes by Karinska, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Ana Sophia Scheller, Jared Angle, Wendy Whelan, Philip Neal, Megan Fairchild, Benjamin Millepied, Tiler Peck, Tyler Angle, and the Company.

Symphony in C has an infectious, even rhythm and musical momentum that grabs the imagination and propels the dancers. In tonight’s all-Balanchine symphonic program, it was this first piece that set the stage for rousing, symmetrical kinetics. In “Allegro Vivo”, Ana Sophia Scheller was polished and possessed, using small steps to dash back and forth. The buoyant Jared Angle could still work on elevation of his rear legs for a more finished effect. In “Adagio”, Philip Neal ably partnered and carried the charismatic Wendy Whelan with suave and nurturing attention. Ms. Whelan’s solo en pointe was eloquent, with every muscle aligned to the mood. In “Allegro Vivace”, to a Scottish dirge, Megan Fairchild was a bit too impish, over-emphasizing the sprite effect. Yet, she met the rhythms head on, spinning and joining Mr. Millepied with alacrity.

The final “Allegro Vivace” movement brought Tiler Peck and Tyler Angle together, but with Ms. Peck sometimes overwhelming Mr. Angle with her sheer athleticism. Both dancers are fast developing stylistic personalities with bravura potential. The Company added pizzazz and pulse.

Symphony in Three Movements (1972): Music by Igor Stravinsky, Choreography by George Balanchine, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by the Company. Symphony in Three Movements, so symbolic of Stravinsky, from the opening moment of a line of dancers, arms up-stretched, was enhanced by performances of Sterling Hyltin, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Abi Stafford, and Amar Ramasar. Ms. Hyltin dances with seamless strength and stamina, never hesitating, and her affect is joyful, yet demure. Mr. Danchig-Waring has a seriousness about his dance that lends a princely quality to even the most contemporary motif, while Amar Ramasar has grown in balance and bravura partnering technique. The perky, petite Abi Stafford, now promoted to principal, who grows each season in persuasive stage presence, could release more passion in the Second Movement. Mr. Ramasar was engaging in this role once danced by Jock Soto, with the wing-like arm extensions. He might work on lifting his torso in the iconic images. In the Company, Kathryn Morgan, Erica Pereira, Kaitlyn Gilliland, and Rachel Piskin caught my eye.

Western Symphony (1954): Music by Hershy Kay, Choreography by George Balanchine, Scenery by John Boyt, Costumes by Karinska, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Performed by Jennifer Tinsley-Williams, Jonathan Stafford, Kathryn Morgan, Albert Evans, Teresa Reichlen, Damian Woetzel, Glenn Keenan, Justin Peck, and the Company. Some of the American folk songs in this ballet are "Red River Valley", "Good Night Ladies", and "Rye Whiskey". (NYCB Notes).

Once again, the soon to retire (June 18, 2008) Damian Woetzel fueled the stage with virility and vigor in the “Rondo”, partnering the sensual and ever-magnetic Teresa Reichlen. Jonathan Stafford and Jennifer Tinsley-Williams led the “Allegro”, with flair, but Albert Evans and Kathryn Morgan were exceptional, leading the “Adagio”, with the horse-drawn carriage innuendo. Mr. Evans tosses the ropes to drive his chorus-girl horses into the wings. He’s always charming and dazzling in this witty segment. Ms. Morgan’s tiny backward steps, part of the flirtatious back and forth here, were tight and impressive. Justin Peck and Glenn Keenan rounded out the “Rondo” with Mr. Woetzel and Ms. Reichlen. The Company, as cowboys and show-girls, got a huge ovation.

Kudos to George Balanchine.

George Balanchine's "Symphony in Three Movements"
CREDIT: Paul Kolnik

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