Because City Center was supposed to be undergoing major revamping (it didn’t happen), ABT switched its fall season to an unlikely venue: Avery Fisher Hall. It has no front curtain, no wings, no rake and no way to hang scenery, and the balcony is a zillion miles from the stage.
The season was also Read More
This year, City Center’s tantalizing annual dance smorgasbord (mishmash?) played it safe. It had a respectable theme—celebrating, along with everyone else, the 100th anniversary of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes’ history-changing descent on Paris—and it anchored its five (not its usual six) programs with proven crowd- pleasers. What, for instance, is there left to say about the Read More
In 1954, Balanchine created a ballet, Opus 34, which he set to Schoenberg’s Accompaniment-Music for a Motion Picture – played twice without interruption. It was actually two completely different ballets, with completely different casts and completely different effects. (The second scene ended with fierce klieg lights turned mercilessly on the audience.) This past week, as Read More
Empire Garden, one of Mark Morris’ two new pieces just seen at the Lincoln Center Summer Festival but caught by me a few weeks ago at Tanglewood, is the first work of his in all too many years that I’ve come close to loving. It’s ragged, sometimes it’s opaque, but it rises to a big Read More
It was in 1909 that Sergei Diaghilev stunned Paris with the first performances of his Ballets Russes, and today the dance world is celebrating the centenary of this crucial turning point in the history of ballet. Diaghilev—a prodigious musician, authority on art, administrator—inspired not only a great artistic venture but a revolutionary aesthetic. To him, Read More
If ever we needed proof that the gods giveth even as they taketh away, it was to be found at ABT this season, when on successive evenings the company presented in the role of Giselle first Nina Ananiashvili, the greatly admired ballerina on the verge of retirement, then the very young and much heralded Bolshoi Read More
It was a disappointing spring at City Ballet. Part of the problem was no one’s fault: Two of the company’s crucial dancers were out for almost the entire time. The absence of Ashley Bouder, the strongest and most brilliant of the younger women, and of the always interesting Sara Mearns meant that the rest of Read More
Like City Ballet two weeks ago, ABT has come forward with a pair of new ballets to activate its spring season. Well, James Kudelka’s Désir is only new to New York: It was made in 1991 and has been performed in Canada, Mexico, Geneva, Stuttgart—in enough places, that is, to have alerted ABT that it’s Read More
How do you explain the extraordinary abundance of Paul Taylor’s art? At 78, he’s still producing dances of the highest caliber—each new piece the distinctive creation of a consummate master.
He (and we) can thank his good genes, his great talent and an uncompromising attitude to his work that has focused his energies in the Read More
Why do so many of us still go obsessively to the New York City Ballet? Not, alas, to see Balanchine danced fully and expressively; it happens on occasion, but not nearly often enough. Not, certainly, for the procession of new works—“novelties,” as they’re called in the ballet business—that crop up every season and, with a Read More