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New York City Ballet

'Apollo', 'Agon', 'Rubies'

by Colleen Boresta

October 14 (m), 2012 -- Koch Theatre, Lincoln Center, New York, NY

New York City Ballet ended its fall 2012 season on Sunday, October 14th, with three George Balanchine/Igor Stravinsky ballets. New York City Ballet has been highlighting the Balanchine/Stravinsky relationship this whole fall season. The works on Sunday afternoon were ‘Apollo’, ‘Agon’, and ‘Rubies’.

‘Apollo’ was choreographed by George Balanchine in 1928. It was Balanchine’s first major collaboration with Igor Stravinksy for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe. ‘Apollo’ has been streamlined by Balanchine over the years, but it is still an iconic work. On Sunday afternoon, Sebastien Marcovici is Apollo. I had hoped to see Robert Fairchild or Chase Finlay in the role, but Marcovici proves to be a surprisingly effective Apollo. Marcovici’s physique is leaner than the last time I saw him dance and his landings are less clunky than in the past. His muses are Sterling Hyltin as Tepischore, muse of dance, Tiler Peck as Polymnia, muse of mime and Ana Sophia Scheller as Calliope, muse of music. All three give vivid portrayals as they teach the young god how to come into his power and authority. It is wonderful to see that the first Balanchine/Stravinksy ballet in such great shape.

The next work is ‘Agon’, which was choreographed in 1957. ‘Agon’ is a ballet I have admired for a long time, but on Sunday, at the David Koch Theatre, the Balanchine/Stravinksy piece touched me emotionally. I was really swept away by the competitive push and pull of the movements. All the dancers are fantastic, creating dance shapes that are crisp and sharp. The highlight of the ballet for me is the pas de deux performed by Maria Kowroski and Amar Ramasar. The intensity of their partnership is palpable. ‘Agon’ is another Balanchine/Stravinsky masterpiece that New York City Ballet is performing at the very highest level.

The afternoon ends with ‘Rubies’, which was created by Balanchine as part of the three act ballet ‘Jewels’. It is often performed on its own, which is the case on Sunday afternoon.

‘Rubies’ is a jazzy, frolicsome work. As the main couple, Megan Fairchild and Gonzalo Garcia show amazing energy and wit. Fairchild’s quicksilver footwork is incredible to watch. Garcia’s whiplash turns are performed at the speed of sound.

As Balanchine’s “Tall Girl” in ‘Rubies’, Teresa Reichlen just about steals the show. Everything about her performance is colossal. Her astonishing extensions, (She has legs that go on forever) the power of her attack, her gorgeous arabesques – all are combined with an explosive stage presence that keeps the audience enthralled.

It was a fantastic afternoon at the ballet. I can’t wait for New York City Ballet to return to the David Koch Theatre.

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