While very different from Liam Scarlett’s Viscera, the other world premiere MCB commissioned and presented this season, Symphonic Dances shares two attributes with that work. One is the sheer speed and density of the choreography — call it classical ballet 3.0. The other is the way Ratmansky brings out new facets of the company, whether from individual dancers — particularly striking in lead performances by two young Brazilians, a powerful, liberated Kleber Rebello and an impish, dynamic Nathalia Arja — or in the free-flowing physicality and emotion expressed by the company as a whole. That’s one of the almost incalculable benefits of having a ballet made for your company: You don’t need to fit into the dance; the dance fits you.
Jeff Haller's review for ConcertoNet.com.
Ratmansky gives us three separate narrative ballets. The first and third seem to have common themes and characters; the second has a more traditionally romantic story. Upon first viewing it doesn’t seem altogether clear how they are related. But the choreography is very fluid and will strike most as traditionally classical. Like Liam Scarlett’s Viscera which premiered in January, Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances will have a long life. It was clear that the audience’s enthusiastic response was genuine. This is a work that aims high; there is tremendous beauty but it is the cerebral exercise that keeps us engrossed. Ratmansky encourages us to use our imaginations.