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I saw Christopher Wheeldon's new duet w/Whelan + Soto at last weekend's premiere. I don't think anyone's mentioned it yet - sorry if I missed it - but I hope others do because it's tremendous.

Wheeldon has my admiration because he's not afraid to explore the neo-classical ideal to the fullest. I don't think any living ballet choreographer has his ear for music.

I was skeptical that Arvo Part's music could be used for dancing, but it can. Wheeldon claimed in the NY TIMES that he only uses music he likes: he must like this work for orchestra and solo violin a lot. Despite the title and the composer's established reputation for religious music, LITURGY is secular. A man & woman together, yet isolated. The repetitious, specific arm choreography reinforce a sense of loss.

Usually I find the "Jock and Wendy show" tiresome. (My single complaint about this ballet is that the costume makes her look more anemic than usual.) However, LITURGY is a flattering document of their collaboration w/Wheeldon. This time, Whelan and Soto are dancing AND communicating. There is great lyricism despite the (still...) numerous displays of Ms. Whelan's enviable flexiblity.

I need to take another look but after this 1st viewing, I think LITURGY has an excellent chance of staying in the repertory. There's no reason why other dancers, including those outside of NYCB, cannot perform it as convincingly as the original pair. Also, I think it LITURGY would make an excellent teaching ballet to demonstrate the art of partering.

Here's a nice picture from the NYCB website:


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To see Wheeldon in anything he has done,is like looking into the future and knowing we needn't worry about where ballet is going.

Not that he needs it but he has my sincere admiration and good wishes for a long life of making dances' sing. Liturgy joins a famous company.

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Haven't seen it yet, I expect to next Saturday.

I'll admit I'm going in skeptical, not because of the choreography or the choreographer, but because I feel the music is seriously overused. In the 80s-90s, you couldn't escape Fratres, and choreographers tended to let the very powerful music do all the heavy lifting.

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I usually dont post reviews, but I have to for this one! When it comes to NYCB I tend to be slightly skeptical about some of the newer works. I went to the theatre expecting to be interested, but probably slightly bored. But to my surprise, I was totally enthralled by this piece. By the end, I was clapping begging for what was to be three bows in front of the curtain. The piece was incredible, the flow, the movement, everything about it. Definitely go see it if you get a chance!

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