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New York City Ballet: Glass Pieces, Moves, The Concert
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New York City Ballet: Glass Pieces, Moves, The Concert

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New York City Ballet
(New York City Ballet Website)

Glass Pieces
The Concert

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, Music Director: Andrew Litton
Resident Choreographer: Justin Peck
Managing Dir. Communications & Special Projects: Robert Daniels
Associate Dir. Communications: Katharina Plumb
Communications Associate: Kina Poon
The David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 21, 2017

(Read More NYC Ballet Reviews).

See Images Below from New York City Ballet’s Winter Art Series by Santtu Mustonen, Mixed Media: Projections and C-Prints on Aluminum.

Glass Pieces (1983): Music by Philip Glass, Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Production Design by Jerome Robbins and Ronald Bates, Costumes by Ben Benson, Lighting by Ronald Bates, Guest Conductor: Harrison Hollingsworth, Performed by Ashley Hod, Joseph Gordon, Meagan Mann, Peter Walker, Lydia Wellington, Cameron Dieck, Maria Kowroski, Russell Janzen and the Corps de Ballet.

Philip Glass' music, in 3/6 measures of repetitive music, was celebrated again tonight in Rubric, Facades, and Akhnaten excerpts. The Rubric movement is set against a rubric-designed backdrop in cream and black, and it leads the repetitive motion that matches the music in colorful, pulsating imagery. Especially noteworthy performances here were from the duo, Lydia Wellington and Cameron Dieck. I’ve seen this Robbins work season after season, and it always unfolds with something new to explore. Tonight, I focused on the timing of Rubric, as the three pairs of dancers in matching unitards pause, as the corps disappears, then each pair sequentially dances with the music, before the corps returns, after another pause, and so on. In addition to Ms. Wellington and Mr. Dieck, Meagan Mann with Peter Walker and Ashley Hod with Joseph Gordon all added to the seamless, spellbinding momentum. Their miraculously muscular tone in the pastel unitards made the glowing visuals captivating. They all had the ability to extend their limbs and torsos for maximum visual spotlights.

In Facades, Maria Kowroski and Russell Janzen were stunning in their taut angular motion, arms up, with the corps in shadowy silhouette. Their arms extend with bent elbows like the wings of hawks. The corps walks in sharp pulsating steps. Akhnaten brings drums with accentuated, driven tempos, as the male corps makes the most of the throbbing beat. Soon the full corps, in brightly lit unitards fills the stage with hypnotic motion to this most gripping score. Kudos to Jerome Robbins, and kudos to Philip Glass.

Moves, A Ballet in Silence (1984): Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Performed by Taylor Stanley, Brittany Pollack, and a Corps ensemble.

Jerome Robbins’ Moves, an abstract ballet set to absolute silence, is one that grows, year to year, on the viewer. It becomes more absorbing, as one dancer, then another, activates a series of random, partnered vignettes or solos. Taylor Stanley, the lone Principal, is joined by Soloists and Corps, in rehearsal leotards, who perform together incredibly well, given the lack of rhythmic or instrumental cues, in an effort to "sever that guidance and permit the audience to respond solely to the action of the dance…" (Jerome Robbins, NYCB Notes) . Robbins is the quintessential choreographer, and Moves includes quintessential choreographic design. The leg-slapping motif returns here for occasional, audible rhythm. The walks toward and away from stage front were dramatic, and particularly interesting imagery was enhanced by Mr. Stanley, Joseph Gordon, Daniel Applebaum, and Claire Kretzschmar. The dancers made the most of this challenging work.

The Concert [Or the Perils of Everybody] A Charade in One Act (1956): Music by Frédéric Chopin, Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Décor by Saul Steinberg, Costumes by Irene Sharaff, Lighting by Ronald Bates, Conductor: Daniel Capps, Pianist: Elaine Chelton, Performed by Sterling Hyltin, Andrew Veyette, Lydia Wellington, Daniel Applebaum, Cameron Dieck, Lars Nelson, Troy Schumacher, Mary Elizabeth Sell, Emilie Gerrity, Gretchen Smith, and the Company.

Elaine Chelton, the pianist in Robbins’ The Concert, is a cross between Borge and Harpo, as she exudes charm and charisma in full pantomime persona. She chased the dancers with a butterfly net, hopping about, glancing at the crowd. Her musicality in the Chopin score is unparalleled. Sterling Hyltin danced the role of the ingénue in the staged audience, the one the husband flirts with. Andrew Veyette was that cigar-chomping double-timer. He walks toward his wife in Sherlock Holmes era fashion, dagger held straight, in tights and bowler hat. Lydia Wellington played the rejected, almost stabbed wife to the burlesquean hilt. The audience was vocally adoring every moment. In the ensemble, Emilie Gerrity and Gretchen Smith were outstanding, filled with dramatic humor and balancing skill. At one point, the men carry the women upside down and lay them on the floor in lopsided positions, with silent film, Chopin-esque phrasing. At another point, the dancers are rain-soaked pedestrians with umbrellas, or an intense concert audience, leaning forward on chairs that fold and fall, or winged butterflies, escaping Ms. Chelton’s net. This is a ballet that shifts in entertainment with each shift in cast. Kudos to all.

New York City Ballet in Robbins' "Moves"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik

Sterling Hyltin in Robbins' "The Concert"
Courtesy of Paul Kolnik

Santtu Mustonen Mixed Media Installation
"Cross Pollination": Projections and C-Prints on Aluminum
On The Prominade at Koch Theater
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Santtu Mustonen Mixed Media Installation
"Cross Pollination": Projections and C-Prints on Aluminum
On The Prominade at Koch Theater

Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Santtu Mustonen Mixed Media Installation
"Cross Pollination": Projections and C-Prints on Aluminum
On The Prominade at Koch Theater

Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Santtu Mustonen Mixed Media Installation
"Cross Pollination": Projections and C-Prints on Aluminum
On The Prominade at Koch Theater

Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

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