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 Post subject: New York City Ballet - Spring 2010
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:23 pm 
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Though I think it's shame that the talents of Salonen and Josefowicz will be wasted on a Martins ballet, the rest of the line-up is very impressive... Wheeldon, McGregor, Ratmansky, Millepied, Bigonzetti....


New York City Ballet Announces 2010 Spring Season Featuring Architecture of Dance New Choreography and Music Festival

Architecture of Dance to Celebrate the Company’s Extraordinary Commitment to New Work With Seven World Premiere Ballets, Four Commissioned Scores, and Scenic Designs by Acclaimed Architect Santiago Calatrava

Choreographers Creating New Ballets Include Melissa Barak, Mauro Bigonzetti, Peter Martins, Wayne McGregor, Benjamin Millepied, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon
With Commissioned Scores by Thierry Escaich, Jay Greenberg, Bruno Moretti, and Esa-Pekka Salonen

Season Will Also Include Farewell Performances for Long-Time Principal Dancers Yvonne Borree, Albert Evans, Darci Kistler, and Philip Neal, and NYCB Principal Conductor Maurice Kaplow

New York City Ballet announced today that the Company’s 2010 Spring Season will begin on Thursday, April 29, with a one-time only gala evening celebrating Architecture of Dance – New Choreography and Music Festival, NYCB’s spring season celebration of new work, featuring seven world premiere ballets, and four commissioned scores. Santiago Calatrava, one of the world’s most acclaimed architects, will be creating scenic designs for five of the season’s world premieres, marking the first time that he has created theatrical designs. Calatrava and his wife, Robertina, will also serve as the honorary chairs of the April 29 gala evening. The gala program will be announced at a later date.

The 2010 Spring Season will continue through Sunday, June 27, and will feature performances of more than 40 ballets, including 29 by NYCB’s Founding Choreographers, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.

The Architecture of Dance festival, which has been designed to honor of the 50th anniversary of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, will feature seven world premiere ballets by an international array of choreographers: Melissa Barak, Mauro Bigonzetti, Peter Martins, Wayne McGregor, Benjamin Millepied, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon. Renowned for its commitment to new work, NYCB has premiered more than 300 original works since relocating to Lincoln Center in 1964.

Four scores have also been commissioned for the festival from Bruno Moretti, who will work with Bigonzetti, his long-time collaborator; French composer Thierry Escaich, who will work with Millepied; young American composer Jay Greenberg, who will create the score for the Barak ballet; and Esa-Pekka Salonen, who composed a violin concerto for Martins’ world premiere.

The Salonen score is a co-commission of NYCB, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where it premiered in April. Salonen will conduct the NYCB Orchestra for all performances of the new Martins ballet, which will also feature the acclaimed Canadian violinist Leila Josefowicz, for whom the concerto was written.

For the four ballets set to commissioned scores – Bigonzetti/Moretti, Barak/Greenberg, Martins/Salonen, Millepied/Escaich – and for the new ballet by Wheeldon, the scenic design will be by Calatrava. One of the world’s leading architects, Calatrava is best known for his dazzling public projects, such as bridges, stadiums and train stations, in various cities around the world. Calatrava is currently designing the new transit hub at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan.

In addition to the new ballets being created for the Architecture of Dance festival, NYCB’s 2010 Spring Season will also feature performances of 22 works by George Balanchine, and 7 by Jerome Robbins, as well as additional works by Martins, Wheeldon, and Alexey Miroshnichenko.

A special highlight of the season will be a revival of Balanchine’s Danses Concertantes, which will return to the repertory for the first time since 1999 with funding from American Express. Originally created in 1944 for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Balanchine later rechoreographed the work for NYCB’s 1972 Stravinsky Festival. Please see season calendar for complete program information.

Farewell Programs
The 2010 Spring Season will also feature farewell programs for four of NYCB’s long-time principal dancers: Yvonne Borree, Sunday, June 6 at 3 p.m.; Philip Neal, Sunday, June 13 at 3 p.m.; Albert Evans, Sunday, June 20 at 3 p.m.; and Darci Kistler, Sunday, June 27 at 3 p.m., the final day of the 2010 Spring Season.

Kistler, who joined NYCB in 1980, is the only dancer still performing who was trained, hired and promoted to principal dancer by Balanchine. Neal joined NYCB in 1987, with both Borree and Evans joining a year later in 1988.

For her final performance, Borree will dance Balanchine’s Duo Concertant and the third movement from Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet. For their final performances, Neal will dance Balanchine’s Serenade and Who Cares?, and Evans will dance the pas de deux from William Forsythe’s Herman Schmerman, and Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. Kistler’s farewell will include excerpts from Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Martins’ Swan Lake.

In addition to the dancer farewells, the 2010 Spring Season will also include the final performance for Principal Conductor Maurice Kaplow, who will retire with a special performance on Thursday, June 24 at 8 p.m. Kaplow first conducted for NYCB as a guest in 1990, and joined the Company’s music staff one year later.

World Premieres Ballets

Alexei Ratmansky – Score by Edouard Lalo
World Premiere: Wednesday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Born in St. Petersburg Russia, and trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School, Ratmansky is currently the artist in residence at American Ballet Theatre, and is the former artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet. In addition to those two companies, as a choreographer he has also worked with the Maryinsky Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet, among others, and has previously created two works for NYCB – Russian Seasons (2006) and Concerto DSCH (2008). For NYCB’s 2010 Spring Season, Ratmansky will create a ballet to French composer Edouard Lalo’s Namouna.

Wayne McGregor – Score by Thomas Adès
World Premiere: Friday, May 14 at 8 p.m.

British choreographer McGregor was appointed resident choreographer of London’s Royal Ballet in December 2006, and is also the artistic director of Wayne McGregor/Random Dance, a resident company of London’s Sadler’s Wells Theater. This will be McGregor’s first work for NYCB, and will also mark the first time that he has created an original piece for an American company. He has also created works for the Paris Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, and Stuttgart Ballet, among others. The score for the new McGregor ballet will be acclaimed British composer Thomas Adès’ Violin Concerto (Concentric Paths), which was composed in 2005.

Benjamin Millepied – Commissioned score by Thierry Escaich
World Premiere: Saturday, May 22 at 2 p.m.

A native of Bordeaux, France, Millepied is a principal dancer with NYCB, as well as a choreographer who has created works for American Ballet Theatre, Paris Opera Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Grand Théâtre de Genéve, among others. This will be his second work for NYCB, and will be created to a commissioned score by the acclaimed French organist and composer Thierry Escaich, who is currently the composer in residence for the Orchestra National de Lyon. The new Millepied ballet will also feature scenic design by Calatrava.

Christopher Wheeldon – Score by Alberto Ginastera
World Premiere: Saturday, May 29 at 8 p.m.

British-born Wheeldon is currently the artistic director of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. He is a former dancer and resident choreographer for NYCB, and has created 16 previous works for the Company. Wheeldon has also created works for the Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet, among others. The music for the new Wheeldon ballet will be Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera’s 1941 ballet score, Estancia. The score was commissioned by NYCB co-founder Lincoln Kirstein, who had hoped to have Balanchine create a ballet to the score for American Ballet Caravan. The new Wheeldon ballet will also feature scenic design by Calatrava.

Melissa Barak – Commissioned score by Jay Greenberg
World Premiere: Saturday, June 5 at 8 p.m.

Currently a member of the Los Angeles Ballet, Barak is a former NYCB dancer, and has previously created If By Chance (2002) and A Simple Symphony (2009) for the Company. For her spring season world premiere Barak will create a ballet to a commissioned score by Jay Greenberg, the young American composer who has been compared to such musical prodigies as Mozart, Mendelssohn and Saint-Saëns. Still a teenager, Greenberg is the youngest composer ever signed to exclusive contracts with IMG and Sony Classical, and this will mark his first score composed for dance. The new Barak ballet will also feature scenic design by Calatrava, and costumes underwritten in part by Bergdorf Goodman and designed by acclaimed fashion designer, Gilles Mendel, of J. Mendel, marking his first designs for the stage.

Mauro Bigonzetti – Commissioned score by Bruno Moretti
World Premiere: Thursday, June 10 at 8 p.m.

The former Artistic Director of Italy’s Aterballeto where he is now principal choreographer, Bigonzetti has choreographed three works for NYCB -- Vespro (2002), In Vento (2006), and Oltremare (2008). For his new work, Bigonzetti will collaborate with Bruno Moretti who has been commissioned to create a new score for the ballet. Former colleagues at the Rome Opera Ballet, where Bigonzetti was a dancer and Moretti a pianist, they have worked together on numerous ballets, including all three of Bigonzetti’s previous works for NYCB. The new Bigonzetti ballet will also feature scenic design by Calatrava.

Peter Martins – Commissioned score by Esa-Pekka Salonen
World Premiere: Tuesday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m.

NYCB’s Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins will create a new work to a violin concerto by Esa-Pekka Salonen, which was co-commissioned by NYCB, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where the score premiered in April 2009. Salonen wrote the score for the acclaimed Canadian violinist Leila Josefowicz, who will perform the concerto for all performances of the ballet. The Finnish-born Salonen is one of the music world’s most acclaimed conductors and composers, and was most recently the Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Salonen will conduct the NYCB Orchestra for all performances of the ballet. The new Martins ballet will also feature scenic design by Calatrava.


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Spring 2010
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:05 pm 
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In the New York Times, Julie Bloom reports that Patti LuPone will play the singer in "The Seven Deadly Sins" during the 2010 Spring Season.

NY Times


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Spring 2010
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:35 pm 
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In the New York Times, Claudia La Rocco previews the "Architecture of Dance" festival, which opens with a Spring Gala on Thursday, April 29. New works by Alexei Ratmansky and Benjamin Millepied will be on that program.

NY Times


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Spring 2010
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 8:23 pm 
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Alastair Macaulay reviews the April 29 Spring Gala performance in the New York Times.

NY Times

Robert Johnson in the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

NJ Star-Ledger

Leigh Witchel in the New York Post.

NY Post


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Spring 2010
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 12:28 am 
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Alastair Macaulay reviews the Sunday, May 2, 2010 performance, including "Concerto Barocco," "The Four Temperaments" and "Symphony in Three Movements" in the New York Times.

NY Times

Apollinaire Scherr reviews the same program in the Financial Times.

Financial Times


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Spring 2010
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 2:39 pm 
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Deborah Jowitt reviews the new Millepied and Ratmansky ballets in the Village Voice. Note that the review is two pages long.

Village Voice

Robert Greskovic reviews the Millepied and Ratmansky ballets in the Wall Street Journal.

Wall Street Journal


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Spring 2010
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 2:12 pm 
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Tobi Tobias reviews the April 29, 2010 Gala program in her blog on ArtsJournal.

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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Spring 2010
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 12:18 pm 
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Apollinaire Scherr reviews Alexei Ratmansky's "Namouna" in the Financial Times.

Financial Times


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Spring 2010
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 2:45 pm 
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In the New York Times, Roslyn Sulcas reviews an all Robbins program -- "2 & 3 Part Inventions," "Opus 19/The Dreamer" and "I'm Old Fashioned" -- performed on Friday, May 7, 2010.

NY Times

Leigh Witchel reviews the all Robbins program in the New York Post.

NY Post


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Spring 2010
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 8:56 pm 
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I haven't read any reviews of Ratmansky's new ballet yet - I wanted to wait until I saw it. My review is below. Now I'm curious to see what others have had to say about it.

New York City Ballet
May 9, 2010
David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center
New York, New York
“Namouna, A Grand Divertissement”; "I’m Old Fashioned"

Although it labels its spring season as a “New Choreography and Music Festival,” the overall umbrella catch-phrase promoted by the New York City Ballet is “The Architecture of Dance.” Presumably intended to emphasize that a dance performance is a structure of component parts, which it undoubtedly is, the use of the word “architecture” seems more an effort to penetrate into public consciousness the fact that a renowned architect was selected as the scenic designer for five of the seven new works.

With respect to the first of the new ballets, however, the phrase “The Architecture of Dance” conveys an unintended irony. While the dancing is brilliant, the choreography at times riveting, and individual scenes either recklessly daring or exquisitely beautiful or both, as a whole the new dance creation by Alexei Ratmansky, “Namouna, A Grand Divertissement,” appears on first viewing to be an overly ornate building in dire need of a architect to prevent it from collapsing of its own weight.

Perhaps multiple viewings will change my opinion – there’s a lot to like in “Namouna,” and eventually I may revise my initial sense that the whole is less than the sum of its parts. But my first impression is one of choreographic excess, an at-times incomprehensible conglomeration of scenes and vignettes and ghosts of ballets past that moves with dizzying speed yet takes forever to get wherever it is that it’s going.

Based on my internet sources, “Namouna” originated as an exotic story ballet choreographed by Lucien Petipa (Marius Petipa’s brother) to a score by the 19th Century French composer Edouard Lalo, the score on which Ratmansky has constructed this piece. Set on the island of Corfu, the ballet tells the story of Lord Adriani, who loses his favorite slave-girl in a bet, and spends the next few hours – or however long the ballet took – to search for and find her. The ballet premiered at the Paris Opera in 1882. Everything old, it seems, is new again.

No program notes were provided, but a ‘conversation’ with Ratmansky that was included in the Playbill indicates that Ratmansky’s intention was to use the clichés of ballets of the past – mime, character dances, solos – and place them in a more abstract context. That is indeed a fair description of what Ratmansky did, but the result is a potpourri of clichés in search of a purpose.

Without knowing the work’s roots, Ratmansky’s “Namouna” looks like a high-class staged production from a depression-era movie musical. After an introductory promenade of women with hair helmets that made each of them resemble Louise Brooks (which is really quite lovely to watch), Ratmansky alternates dizzying rapid-fire movement with intricate corps patterns with wonderful character dances with comic vignettes with quirky scenes that make no thematic sense (Bacall exhaling cigarette smoke at Bogart?), and through it all mining one choreographic source after another. Just as you recognize a quote from one ballet, Ratmansky moves on to another. I saw samplings from 19th Century ballets (Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Giselle, Raymonda) interspersed with references to Balanchine, Robbins, Ashton.…and Busby Berkeley. And then, for no apparent reason, the corps and lead women trade their short black hair for short pale wavy plastered locks that make them look like moving statuary. Including brief descriptive summaries of the scenes in the program listing, or at least scene change headings, might have facilitated deciphering Ratmansky's intent. Then again, even a step-by-step analysis may not have helped.

If the piece overall was not successful, it was not for lack of effort. “Namouna” is worth seeing for the exhilarating performances alone. Wendy Whelan, Jenifer Ringer, Sara Mearns, and Robert Fairchild (looking like a cross between Gene Kelly and Indiana Jones)were the movie-star leads; Megan Fairchild and Abi Stafford were a perfectly matched pair of cygnet-like celestial orbs, and the remarkable Daniel Ulbricht was a Puck from another planet.

“Namouna” was followed in the program by Robbins’s “I’m Old Fashioned.” Though they’re completely different ballets with completely different reasons for being, “I’m Old Fashioned” is proof that less is more. Not one step too many, not one loss of focus, not one emotional trigger left unpulled.

Led by deliciously romantic portrayals by Rebecca Krohn (who seems to grow more confident as a dancer and a stage personality each time I see her), Ms. Ringer (back-to-back beautiful performances), and Maria Kowroski, and their respective partners Adrian Danchig-Waring, Tyler Angle, and Philip Neal, “I’m Old Fashioned” is more than a paean to Fred Astaire and mid-Twentieth Century sensibility. It is a tribute to the art of dance creation, execution, and presentation -- the architecture of dance -- and is as classy a work as was the movie persona of the artist to whom it is dedicated.


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Spring 2010
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 10:15 pm 
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New York City Ballet
David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center
New York, New York

May 14, 2010
“Serenade”, “Outlier”, “Cortege Hongrois”

Remember when you were a kid, you used to play with a ‘Slinky’ toy? For the deprived, a Slinky toy is a helical metal spring (now also offered in plastic, unfortunately) that could be stretched and bounced up-and-down. Most famously, the Slinky could climb down stairs end-over-end, expanding and contracting, seeming to move its steel skeleton wavelike as it did. What seemed to distinguish the Slinky toy from an ordinary coiled spring was its fluidity of motion, combined with a crisp edge that would allow it to change direction or velocity in an instant depending on the force applied. As a child, you could be absorbed in it for hours, watching the Slinky stretch its form in seemingly myriad ways, and then return to its original shape.

I thought of the Slinky toy as I watched the movement of the dancers in Wayne McGregor’s world premiere performance of “Outlier,” one of the seven new dances being presented by NYCB at this season’s “New Choreography and Music Festival.” “Outlier” clearly is a work of creative intelligence, though equally clearly it is a work of a different kind of creative intelligence than New York ballet-going audiences are used to seeing.

McGregor is no novice – he founded his own company, Wayne McGregor|Random Dance in 1992, when he was 22. To say he’s taken the dance world by storm is an understatement. He has an astounding creative output consisting – based on one internet source – of some 93 dance performances, as well as theatre, opera, film and television. He has choreographed pieces not only for his own company, but also for The Stuttgart Ballet, the Australian Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, the English National Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theatre, and San Francisco Ballet. Since 2006, he has been Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet, and his 2007 piece for the Royal, “Chroma,” won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production, and the Critics Circle National Dance Award.

McGregor, physically, is tall, thin and, based on the descriptions of others, unusually flexible. His style has been described as a combination of angularity, speed, and fluidity, which fittingly, if narrowly, described the movement in "Outliers.". Without the fluidity, what one sees is not unlike much other European-based post-modern choreography. With the fluidity, however, it’s a different choreographic animal.

“Outlier,” is choreographed to “Concerto for Violin – Concentric Paths” by Thomas Ades. The concerto is an austere work, but not monochromatic, giving a sense of otherworldly serenity periodically punctuated by jagged musical edges. It pulsates, as if driven in different directions by different energy forces.

“Outlier” is also driven by energy forces. In near-constant motion, the bodies move through space while seemingly being controlled by forces both external and internal, but the space through which the bodies move seems to be some sort of magnetic field that surrounds and inhabits each of them. The bodies interact, mostly in pairs, sometimes with each other, sometimes pushing and pulling each other, sometimes enveloping each other, and in the process provide a glimmer of emotional undercurrent amid the sense of intense austerity that permeates the piece.

But in a sense the bodies also move against each other and separate from each other– outside each other body’s universe. Considered in that respect, "Outlier," which in a general sense means something that exists away from a main body or expected place, is an appropriate title for the piece. ["Outlier" also has a mathematical connotation, relating to numbers in a sequence that do not fit the pattern of other numbers in the sequence. It would not surprise me, given McGregor's well-known interest in science, that there is a mathematical component to the title that is reflected in the positioning of the bodies in relationship to each other, but I cannot say that I saw that on first viewing.]

But although McGregor’s piece was intellectually interesting, the bodies that provided the structures on which McGregor's fluid angularity found expression delivered the excitement. Each of the eleven dancers in the piece (Ashley Bouder, Sterling Hyltin, Maria Kowroski, Tiler Peck, Wendy Whelan, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Joaquin De Luz, Robert Fairchild, Gonzalo Garcia, Craig Hall, and Amar Ramasar) was a virtuoso of movement. With the seemingly ultra-thin leotard costomes that looked like tissue-paper on the women and coverings on the men that looked either like briefs or clingy pajama bottoms adding emphasis to the physicality, one rarely sees the concept of a body as an instrument executed as clearly, or as successfully. And because the dancers are each exceptional ballet dancers, they (particularly Ms. Korowroski and Ms. Hyltin) bring a sense of lightness and airiness to choreography that otherwise seems pulled inward as if by gravity.

All this is not to say that I loved the piece. Linear works – and even plotless works can have a linear quality – are like comfort food. “Outlier” is not a comfort ballet. Befitting the music, McGregor’s piece is circular, and it doesn’t seem to end as much as stop moving. And although it is not ‘euro-angst,’ it still appears relatively ‘cold’ – particularly compared to the Balanchine pieces that bracketed it. It is an easy work to appreciate (seeing bodies move like choreographed slinkys is, in a way, a treat), but it’s not an easy work to like.

On the other hand, the balance of the program displayed ballets that are easy to like.

Balanchine created “Serenade” in 1935 (it had its NYCB premiere in 1948). It is as fresh today as it ever was.. I never tire of it; it is comfort food for a ballet-lover’s soul. But seeing it invigorated by fresh faces gave it a fresh glow. It came as no surprise to me that Megan Fairchild and Jenifer Ringer were both superb successors to dancers I’ve seen in those roles before. But Kaitlyn Gilliland was extraordinary. It is simply remarkable for someone so young (she’s still in the corps – and has only been a corps member since 2006) to have such presence and command. [I know she doesn’t look at all like either of them, but watching her from the back of the orchestra, I kept thinking of a cross between Darci Kistler and Maria Calegari.]

The evening concluded with a scorching performance of Balanchine’s “Cortege Hongrois”. I’ve seen “Cortege Hongrois,” as well as “Raymonda,” the 1898 Petipa ballet from which "Cortege Hongrois" is derived, done by-the-numbers. Space and time prevent a more thorough discussion, but the company did the passion as well as the steps. Sara Mearns devoured the ballerina role, and Rebecca Krohn danced a most sensuous Czardas, both of them bringing what I often see performed as a museum piece to wonderful life.


Last edited by balletomaniac on Tue May 18, 2010 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Spring 2010
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 7:22 pm 
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Here is Alastair Macaulay's New York Times review of the Friday, May 14 premier of Wayne McGregor's "Outlier," along with Balanchine's "Serenade" and "Cortege Hongrois."

NY Times


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Spring 2010
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 7:29 pm 
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Roslyn Sulcas reviews Wayne McGregor's "Outlier" and Alexei Ratmansky's "Namouna" in The Arts Desk.

The Arts Desk


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Spring 2010
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 7:43 pm 
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In the Wall Street Journal, Pia Catton previews a panel discussion with soon to retire dancers Yvonne Borree, Albert Evans, Darci Kistler and Philip Neal, to be held at the David Koch Theatre on Monday, May 17, 2010.

Wall Street Journal


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 Post subject: Re: New York City Ballet - Spring 2010
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 12:19 pm 
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Leigh Witchel reviews Wayne McGregor's "Outlier" in the New York Post.

NY Post


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