Peter Martins’ Swan Lake does its job—it gets people into the theater (all Swan Lakes get people into the theater), and then it gets them out of the theater in only two and a half hours. In other words, it’s efficient, and if efficiency is what you look for in ballet, this is the production Read More
On Sept. 30, powerful socialite and benefactress Anne Bass ended one of the city cultural elite’s oldest pas de deux when she resigned from the board of the School of American Ballet after 25 years.
The school, founded by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein to train Americans in Balanchine’s muscular, daring and revolutionary form of Read More
You’ve heard of feast or famine? City Ballet’s Spring Gala gave us feast and famine. Five courses were dished up, and in a curious order: first, a heavy entrée; then, three hors d’oeuvres; finally, a fallen soufflé. You were left stuffed and stupefied-and hungry.
The program was a statement: The company’s future lies in The Read More
Boris Eifman’s Musagète may not be the worst ballet ever put on by New York City Ballet-the last 20 years have offered it lots of competition-but its premiere last Friday was without question the lowest point in the history of the company (and I’ve been following its fortunes since the beginning, in 1948). Forget the Read More
The Tchaikovsky-Petipa Sleeping Beauty is the jewel of classical ballet. It was the ballet that awoke in Pavlova the desire to be a dancer. It was the first ballet that Balanchine appeared in, aged 10, awakening him, too, to the glory of the art-until then, he had only performed his classroom exercises mechanically and with Read More
I celebrated the centenary of George Balanchine’s birth on January 22 by staying at home and reading and thinking about him. The disparity between all the hoopla and the disastrous casting of Balanchine’s own muse-Terpsichore, the Muse of Dance-in the key ballet of his career, Apollo , was too much for my gorge. Even at Read More
When December comes, can The Nutcracker be far behind? No, it can’t-not in America, anyway. And certainly not at the State Theater, where Balanchine’s wonderful version is happily in residence until Jan. 4. But how does a critic justify returning to it again and again-that is, a critic whose children are too old for it Read More
Ballet-at least, New York City Ballet-is woman; so George Balanchine pronounced, and so it has always been, despite the male stars on whom he made great roles and those first-rate dancers who have held down the male repertory in the 20 years since his death. But since it was Woman above all who inspired him, Read More
Tolstoy may be right about happy and unhappy families, but in ballet it works the opposite way: All good ballets are different from each other and all bad ones are alike, at least in one crucial respect-they’re all empty. We’ve had more than enough proof of that these past weeks as American Ballet Theatre and Read More
What’s wrong? Why do Balanchine’s ballets grow fainter by the season? Why aren’t City Ballet’s dancers more expressive? Is this an American failing? With the exception of Ethan Stiefel, those terrific A.B.T. boys are all either Latino or Russian, and Mr. Stiefel himself isn’t particularly expressive, he’s just phenomenal. Or is the failure specific to Read More