New York City
'Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux,' 'Vespro' and 'Vienna Waltzes'
June 3, 2003 -- New
York State Theater, New York
On Tuesday night,
in a program that featured ballets by three different choreographers-
ballets that were modern and classical, that involved large casts and
small casts, and that used the talents of young dancers and ballet veterans-
the New York City Ballet once again demonstrated its astounding range
and talent base.
Opening the evening on a youthful note was Jerome Robbins' Interplay
, with an exuberant cast of Ashley Bouder, Glenn Keenan, Carrie Lee
Riggins, Carla Korbes, Antonio Carmena, Stephen Hanna, Adam Hendrickson
and Andrew Veyette. Robbins’ choreography mixes playful competition with
steps from social dance and traditional ballet, and the energetic dancers
seemed to revel in the free-spirited nature of the ballet. In the central,
slow pas de deux, Carla Korbes and Stephen Hanna mixed tenderness with
superb technique, never losing youthful feel that makes the ballet so
unique. Also of note was Antonio Carmena’s infectious enthusiasm and nicely
finished dancing. The final competition of double tours lost some of it’s
punch because not all of the men were able to do the right number of turns,
but the women picked up the slack with a barrage of crisp, fast pirouettes.
The appropriately simple and brightly colored costumes were by Santo Loquasto,
with Morton Gould’s giddy music, Elaine Chelton on the piano.
Switching from youth to mature experience, Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky
Pas de Deux was the next treat. Dancing together with the superb
technique and rapport that made their Swan Lake so breathtaking,
Wendy Whelan and Damien Woetzel offered up a memorable performance. Always
spectacular in bravura choreography, Woetzel was exceptional on this night
in his soaring assembles, which seemed to hover in midair and were landed
with a panther-like lightness. Whelan was elegant and fluid, and their
partnering was smooth especially in the breathtaking final passage of
syncopated leaps into fish dives.
Vespro , Mauro Bigonzetti’s contribution to the 2002 Diamond
Project, provided a dramatic leap from classical to modern, both in style
and music. Bruno Moretti, the composer of the commissioned score, was
the good natured pianist, the patient recipient of Benjamin Millepied’s
disharmonious intrusions onto the piano. Millepied, as the hyperkinetic
central figure, alternately watched and insinuated himself in the two
central pas de deuxs, danced by Maria Kowroski and Jason Fowler and Alexandra
Ansanelli and Sebastien Marcovici. The choreography is characterized by
frequent arm movements, with the outstretched arm of each woman silently
blocking her partner from approaching. Though the women are picked up
and contorted by the men, but they have the real power. Of particular
interest was the opportunity to see Jason Fowler in a central role. One
of the tallest men in the company, he is a solid partner and Bigonzetti’s
choreography highlights his flexibility and taut, powerful technique.
Among the small corps, the nuanced and powerful dancing of Craig Hall
stood out from the rest. The black, red and white skin tight costumes
were by Julius Lumsden.
Elegance ended the night, with the dancers swirling across the stage to
music of Johan Strauss II, Franz Lehar and Richard Strauss in Balanchine’s
Vienna Waltzes. In Karinska’s intricately detailed pale pink
ballgown, Rachel Rutherford was just stunning in the first movement. Gliding
across the stage, she radiated a perfect combination of maturity and youthful
joy. James Fayette was her gallant and tender partner. Miranda Weese and
Peter Boal ate up the air in the leaping Fruhlingsstimmen Waltz, their
partnership one of solid, mature technique. In a particularly energetic
and precise Explosions Polka, Aesha Ash and Arch Higgins were the bounding
leads Jennifer Ringer has yet to achieve the mysterious aura that befits
the leading lady in Gold Und Silber Waltz, but was properly elegant with
Charles Askegard. In the moving Der Rosenkavalier waltz, Darci Kistler
was smooth, but never really evoked the necessary poignancy. The high
swoops of her dress, which revealed leg all the way up to the leotard
underneath, seemed inappropriate to the dignified character of the waltz.
The final waltz, a symphony of dancers in black and white is a powerful
sight, a scene that leaves an indelible mark in one’s memory. Each couple
is different and unique, yet a part of a stunning whole. New York City
Ballet always is impressive in this finale, and it provided a wonderful
last impression to close out a lovely night of ballet.
Please join the discussion
in our forum.