NYCB Spring Diaries - A New Era
|Tanowitz's Bartok Ballet, photo @ Andrea Mohin|
First of all, as you all might know, I've been writing more for bachtrack, and so two of the performances I attended this spring at NYCB are at bachtrack. One is the opening night performance of Pictures at an Exhibition/Oltremare/Rodeo. Review can be found here. The other is my review of the Spring Gala which had a Justin Peck premiere (the six minute, pleasant, and forgettable Bright), a Pam Tanowitz premiere, and the classic Tschaikovsky Suite #3. Review can be found here. However my review was extensively edited and they took out my favorite line about the disappointing Pam Tanowitz piece, so I'll quote it here:
Bartók Ballet reminded me of why I rarely enjoy Asian fusion restaurants. To me Asian fusion restaurants don't satisfy the appetites of those who want authentic Chinese food, authentic Japanese food, etc. By trying to be everything, it ends up being nothing. Tanowitz's Bartók Ballet tries to fuse modern dance with contemporary ballet and the hybrid was just confusing.
|Suzanne Farrell coaches Kowroski and Angle, photo @ Rachel Papo|
I saw both couples she coached -- Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle, and Sara Mearns and Russell Janzen. Whatever happened in the studio with Maria Kowroski and Suzanne worked because Kowroski danced a breathtakingly beautiful and technically secure Diamonds. In the past she often seemed overly reliant on Tyler Angle's support in the pas de deux. In the performance I saw for the first time she often danced farther away from him, giving a more queenly, regal impression. Her Scherzo was had an energy and attack that was not always present in prior performances. She even ended her variation with a grande jeté, a step I quite frankly thought she was incapable of doing as I've not seen her jump in so long.
|Mearns and Farrell, photo @ Rachel Papo|
|Woodward in Valse Fantaisie, photo @ Erin Baiano|
Here is a clip of Pereira in this delightful gem:
|McGill, Hyltin, Huxley|
|Mejia in Western Symphony|
Teresa Reichlen and Roman Mejia brought out the big guns during their fiery performance of the campy Balanchine classic Western Symphony last night.— New York City Ballet (@nycballet) May 10, 2019
See the wild ballet on the Classic NYCB I program MAY 11 mat, 12: https://t.co/P1KaDfmnrC pic.twitter.com/PjF72nBNMg
- Megan Fairchild might have seemed slightly overparted in Theme and Variations but she and Taylor Stanley were delightful in the lovely Sonatine. It was a real conversation between the two dancers and the pianist. They also don't do this ballet nearly enough.
|Stanley and Fairchild, photo from Fairchild's IG|
- Stravinsky Violin Concerto has truth be told never been one of my favorites but a relatively new cast of Lauren Lovette, Joseph Gordon, Sara Mearns and Aaron Sanz were undeniably awesome, as was the amazingly energetic corps in the background. This is one ballet where Mearns' sheer strength is a bonus -- in the first duet was so refreshing to see a ballerina not need any assistance with those backwards walkovers. The playful Lovette and Gordon (making his debut) were the perfect foil for the powerhouse couple of Mearns/Sanz. The two couples as well as the corps crisply all articulated the strange shapes Balanchine created onstage. There was simply no fuzzy stuff to this performance -- it was so clean and sharp.
|Mearns as the stripper, photo @ Paul Kolnik|
And now here's a brief video to give you an idea of what the Tanowitz piece is like: