Review of NYCB's opening night by Mary Cargill is up on DanceView Times. Photos of Kyra Nichols in "Walpurgisnacht," and Dupont and Legris in "Sonatine."
Étoiles, imported and homegrown
French night opened the New York City Ballet’s Spring Season, with French music, French guests, a welcoming speech by the French cultural attaché, and Balanchine choreography. There was a gala air for the whole evening, with warm and welcoming applause for all the dancers.
The guest stars, Aurélie Dupont and Manuel Legris from the Paris Opera Ballet, danced Balanchine’s 1975 piano ballet Sonatine, to Ravel. The piece (made for Violette Verdy and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux) is all perfume—a couple stands listening to the music and then begin to dance, seemingly improvising, stopping and starting, playing with various movements, repeating them, leaving the stage, returning, and then finally just spinning off. In lesser hands it could look under-choreographed, and, with its occasional mazurka outbursts, it did look a bit like pieces left over from Dances at a Gathering, but the dancers made it a private, spontaneous reverie, with random thoughts and feelings the audience was privileged to share.