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NYCB at KenCen 3/1-3/6


lmspear

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$35 ticket offer for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/event/BQBSG?promotionno=222387

Good news!

The Kennedy Center is offering $35 discounted orchestra tickets to New York City Ballet on Tues., Wed., and Thurs. evening this week. You can click the link below and your discount will appear automatically. If you call or stop by the Box office, please be sure to mention Offer Number "222387 See you at the Kennedy Center!

NEW YORK CITY BALLET

New York City Ballet: 2 programs (Works by Balanchine, Martins, Peck, & Wheeldon; Bournonville's La Sylphide)

Tuesday, March 01, 2016 - Sunday, March 06, 2016

The company's pioneering style is on full display with two exciting programs of narrative ballet: Peter Martins's new staging of La Sylphide and a thrilling new ballet by rising star Justin Peck.

About

NEW YORK CITY BALLET

Peter Martins, Ballet Master in Chief

NEW WORKS AND COMPANY FAVORITES!

PRINCIPAL CASTING (subject to change)

WORKS BY BALANCHINE, MARTINS, PECK, & WHEELDON (Tue., Wed., & Fri.)

[Program Timing: Approximately 3 hours]

Ash (Torke/Martins) [16 min., followed by a 3 min. pause]

Isaacs, Stanley (Tue. & Fri. eve.)

Laracey, Catazaro (Wed. eve.)

After the Rain Pas de Deux (Pärt/Wheeldon) [12 min., followed by a 3 min. pause]

T. Peck, J. Angle (Tue. & Wed. eve.)

Mearns, la Cour (Fri. eve.)

The Infernal Machine (Rouse/Martins) [7 min., followed by a 20 min. intermission]

Laracey, Ramasar (Tue. & Fri. eve.)

Phelan, Chamblee (Wed. eve.)

Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 (Tchaikovsky/Balanchine) [40 min., followed by a 20 min. intermission]

Reichlen, T. Angle, Scheller, Alberda, Applebaum, Villwock, Segin (Tue. & Fri. eve.)

Mearns, la Cour, Lowery, Dieck, Scordato, Villwock, Segin (Wed. eve.)

The Most Incredible Thing (Dessner/Peck) [45 min.]

Stanley, Hyltin, Veyette, la Cour, Janzen, T. Peck

BOURNONVILLE'S LA SYLPHIDE (Thu., Sat., & Sun.)

[Program Timing: Approximately 2-1/4 hours]

Bournonville Divertissements (E. Helsted, Paulli/Bournonville) [41 min.; 25-min. intermission]

Pereira, Schumacher, Mearns, T. Angle, Adams, LeCrone, Woodward, King, Janzen, Scordato, Huxley (Thu. & Sat. eve)

Pazcoguin, Stanley, Reichlen, la Cour, Gerrity, Pollack, Mann, Isaacs, Walker, Sanz, Gordon (Sat. & Sun. mat.)

La Sylphide (Løvenskjold/Bournonville, staged by Martins) [62 min.]

Hyltin, De Luz, Pollack, Ulbricht, Pazcoguin, Muller (Thu. eve. & Sun. mat.)

Woodward, Veyette, King, Schumacher, Anderson, Muller (Sat. mat.)

T. Peck, Garcia, King, Schumacher, Anderson, Muller (Sat. eve.)

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After a week of "Mariinsky Overload" in two cities, I almost forgot about NYCB's visit. Yikes! Looking forward to attending one each of the mixed bill and the Bournonvilles. Thanks for posting the casting, Imspear. So many ballets, so many great stars over the course of just two programs!

I don't think I've seen "After the Rain" performed by anyone *but* Wendy Whelan, who seemed so perfect in her role. Looking forward to seeing what a new ballerina may offer...and there will be no entrechats or sautées or changements to compare. Hoorah!!! At least not in "After the Rain."

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After a week of "Mariinsky Overload" in two cities, I almost forgot about NYCB's visit. Yikes! Looking forward to attending one each of the mixed bill and the Bournonvilles. Thanks for posting the casting, Imspear. So many ballets, so many great stars over the course of just two programs!

I don't think I've seen "After the Rain" performed by anyone *but* Wendy Whelan, who seemed so perfect in her role. Looking forward to seeing what a new ballerina may offer...and there will be no entrechats or sautées or changements to compare. Hoorah!!! At least not in "After the Rain."

If you go to Friday's show, it might be "After the Snow". It's unfortunate that the KC crammed their 4 major ballet programs into a 7-week period. I skipped tonight's opener because after going to shows Wednesday through Sunday evenings I just couldn't work up the energy to sit through a 3-hour show.

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I don't know how I made it through last night's VERY L-O-N-G opener, YouOverThere! Had I known just how horrible was the last ballet (Peck's over-hyped novelty, THE MOST INCREDIBLE THING), I would have bailed-out at the 2nd intermission, following a sublime rendering of TCHAIKOVSKY PIANO CONCERTO NO 2! The three short ballets that opened the night were also quite good, especially Martins' ASH with Ashley Laracey subbing for the indisposed Ashly Isaacs. Smooth sailing by the NYCB until the storm of the final crap (with tiny exceptions).

The evening began with three brief works, performed in sequence with only brief pauses in between.

ASH (Martins/Torke) This energetic piece for leading pair and four demi-solo couples was THE surprise "second highlight" of the evening for me, beside the Balanchine. In retrospect, ASH provided me with the spiritual energy to make it through the night. What high-voltage raw fun! A little slip in the Playbill not that one Ashley (Laracey) was replacing another (Isaacs) as the leading ballerina...and what a revelation is Ms Laracey, whose gamine countenance and long limbs brought to mind one Tanaquil Leclerq! She may have been a substitute but she could do no wrong with her verb, attack and strong technique, including a series of double pirouettes in attitude, as she was whirled by her partner. He is my hero of the night, Taylor Stanley, whose fleet-footed flights and showmanship almost makes us forget the others on stage. (Alas, he wasn't served quite as well in the final ballet of the night.)

As fine as were Laracey and Stanley, this ballet also provided ample opportunity to admire the demi-corps artists, via an exciting sequence of mini solos. I hope that I've properly matched NYCB website portraits (faces) to dancers...one dark-haired gent with a resemblance to Damian Woetzel - Spartak Hoxha, I believe - fired an extraordinary series of high pas de chats with high-kicking leg that drew gasps from the audience! And Unity Phelan impressed with a particularly carefree and open dance style. Each and every one of the eight demis could eventually become soloists, at least, they are that impressive!

AFTER THE RAIN PDD (Wheeldon/Part) in marked contrast to ASH, came this gem of a dreamy modern pdd, of a couple seeming to float through the aftermath of trauma, clinging to one another for strength. This lovely little masterpiece to a haunting legato tune for violin and piano is so close associated with the ultra-willowy Wendy Whelan and Craig Hall (for me) that it is a little jarring to see the more "earthy" and "grounded" Tiler Peck and Jared Angle in their places...a very different but still-lovely impression.

THE INFERNAL MACHINE (Martins/Rouse) and this is where the evening soured for me a tad. Horrible pounding music, unflattering costumes, poor lighting, creepy choreography. Amar Ramasar and Ms Laracey - this time in a role for which she was originally cast - made the most of the warped gymnastics assigned. I'm just happy that this ballet was not my only view of Laracey tonight.

- intermission 1 -

TCHAIKOVSKY PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2 (Balanchine) Ah, leave it to Balanchine and Tchaikovsky to set things straight and spread the gift of beauty to an audience! With this viewing, I can positively report that the NYCB corps is on an upswing and better than ever! What synchronicity and mastery of technique, as a whole, we saw last night! Incredible. Every leg and arm in place...those majestic giant circles of bourreeing girls....or 29 dancing souls (including soloists) performing perfect "full flickering" ENTRECHATS QUATRES (tee hee) near the finale, making my heart almost explode with joy! Dang, that's why I attend the ballet!!!!

Oh, did I mention that the soloists were great? Teresa Reichlen was a Tsarina of Dance throughout, from the opening sequence of double pirouettes, stopping each on a dime, one with the piano...to her heartbreaking "Odette"-like adagio with "Siegfried" Tyler Angle...to the presto glories of the 3rd movement. Reichlen has raised the bar and set, for me, a new standard of performance and lithe looks (slender aristocrat!) that spell PERFECTION.

Also very impressive were zippy and neat Ana Sophia Scheller as the Soloist Girl and her cohorts, demi soloists Kristen Segin with Devin Alberda, and Sarah Villwock with Daniel Applebaum...all masters of allegro technique.

Truly a performance for the ages!

- intermission. 2 - ...and then came...

THE MOST INCREDIBLE THING (Peck/Dessner) ... and it's hard to keep from laughing as I type the title.

The usually-fabulous Justin Peck's first narrative ballet to a little-known H. C. Andersen tale (and we now know why it's "little" known...BO-RING!). Lots of money spent on commissioned score, designs (including a Diaghilev-style front curtain), use of LOTS of dancers, including kids. Tons of hype.

I rarely feel like I want a ballet to end five minutes into the work. This was serious torture. At one point, I was wishing for THE INFERNAL MACHINE as balm.

Mostly-hideous costumes. I hope that Tiler Peck is receiving bonus pay for the humiliation of wearing that feathery "fat tutu" with capelet. Cone-headed dervishes. What was that mumu on poor Danny Ulbricht? Penitents in high KKK peaked hats. At least the swirly patterned b&w tutus were snazzy on the nine muses and I loved the cute balloon outfits for the 11 kids.

There were spots of nice dancing by Taylor Stanley as the hero ("Creator") and ever-lovely Sterling Hyltin as his Princess. Even with the mumu, Ulbricht showed a bit of his amazingly quick and centered turns. Peck managed nice jetes as the chubby little Cuckoo Bird. The brief adagio of Rebecca Krohn and Adrian Danchig-Waring as Adam and Eve left me wanting more. Andrew Veyette, as "The Destroyer," barely danced but got to wield a big silver phallic bat. In general, what a collective waste of phenomenal dancing talents!

The choreographer's little homages to Loie Fuller's "fire dance" (Gwyneth Muller as "Spring Bird") and to the muses in Balanchine's APOLLO (the pose with progressively-higher arabesques, here with nine, rather than three, muses), were nice touches. But...this ballet offered a depressing end to what could have been a magnificent evening. Going home, I regained my spirit remembering the best, ASH and the Balanchine.

- Natalia Nabatova

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I have a less harsh view on The Most Incredible Thing. Sure, it's a lightweight piece, probably most appropriate as a season-ender (as, for example, the Colorado Ballet has used Celts). I thought that it was fun, even if the choreography wasn't at the elite level. And after the costumes that ABT showed up with for Sleeping Beauty, I probably will never find any other costumes to be a turn-off. The biggest problem that I had is that without reading the program I would have had no idea of what was going on. Was the pair of dancers who were wearing matching halves of a costume supposed to be the king?

Tchiakovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 is my current favorite Balanchine dance. Good riffs for the corps as well as the soloists. There were a couple of bobbles in Wednesday's performance, which proves that everyone is human.

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I have a less harsh view on The Most Incredible Thing. Sure, it's a lightweight piece, probably most appropriate as a season-ender (as, for example, the Colorado Ballet has used Celts). I thought that it was fun, even if the choreography wasn't at the elite level. And after the costumes that ABT showed up with for Sleeping Beauty, I probably will never find any other costumes to be a turn-off. The biggest problem that I had is that without reading the program I would have had no idea of what was going on. Was the pair of dancers who were wearing matching halves of a costume supposed to be the king?

Tchiakovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 is my current favorite Balanchine dance. Good riffs for the corps as well as the soloists. There were a couple of bobbles in Wednesday's performance, which proves that everyone is human.

Agreed. I was expecting completely horrible things based on reviews, but I was definitely entertained! IMO, the costumes were only garish when the entire cast was on stage at the same time. The music was nice...if anything the PDDs could have been beefed up a bit -- it really felt like a very lightweight Nutcracker Act II missing the substantial sections (Waltz of the Flowers, Sugarplum PDD). Loved Infernal Machine with Laracey & Ramasar (I thought she was significantly stronger here than in Ash). Loved the Balanchine (though I wish Scheller would loosen her upper body).

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I'm a little surprised to see that there are LOTS of tickets available for all the remaining performances. All of the performances have more than a quarter of the seats left. I'll hopefully get to the Friday evening and both weekend matinee performances.

It was interesting to see Andrew Litton conducting the orchestra. How often does a visiting ballet company have a better conductor than the resident symphony orchestra?

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A VERY impressive performance by Andrew Veyette (as James) in the Saturday matinee performance of La Sylphide!

Actually Anthony Huxley replaced Andrew Veyette in the Saturday matinee, and he was amazing! His ballon and the clearness of his beats were impressive. I could have wished for some more expressiveness in his acting, but overall he was a wonderful James. Indiana Woodward was lovely as well and has quite a bright future ahead of her. The supporting cast (Shumacher, King, and Muller) were superb as well!

I thought the Divertissements started off a little stiff among the corps, but overall ended on a positive note. I've always felt Flower Festival works best when the dancers are believable as young lovers. Teresa Reichlen did an excellent job in this aspect and in the dancing, but when looking at Ask La Cour, he clearly is a mature adult male on stage.

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Anthony Huxley's solo in Napoli pas de six was a highlight of Bournonville Diverts. On the other hand, Sara Mearns is so-not-right in Flower Festival pdd...totally wrong emploi (power glamazon, rather than shy ingenue). Indiana Woodward was territic in her Napoli pas de six solo (pale blue dress); sorry to have missed her Sylphide at the matinee. The joy of the closing Tarantella, with the full cast, was infectious.

Tiler Peck danced beautifully and acted compellingly in La Sylphide, although her overall style was more "of the earth" than a spirit, as I recall from Sterling Hyltin when I saw this in NY last spring. Garcia was fine as James but Schumacher was simply phenomenal as Gurn. The NYCB should crown it's own "Miss America" in Lauren King, possessor of the company's most beautiful smile and charisma to match (Effie in Sylphide and "lilac girl" in Napoli Six).

A delightful evening with Bournonville. Well done!

So ends my ballet-going for the season. Too bad that the Kennedy Center cannot "spread the classical ballet wealth" throughout the entire season but concentrates the best within a short month-and-a-half period in the dead of winter. The spring and summer look bleak for DC ballet lovers insofar as world-class companies are concerned, unless one counts three performances of ABT at Wolf Trap (R&J).

- Natalia Nabatova

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But thank goodness for Sterling Hyltin, saving the day with her lovely Sylph portrayal. I didn't get to see Woodward (because I stayed in Philly for DQ), but I liked Hyltin's portrayal better than Peck's. This seems like a taylor made role for Hyltin, with her lovely lyrical style and beautiful port de bras. I thought she was beautiful. Veyette and Ulbright were very good as well.

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I took in the Sunday matinee as well. I actually liked the Saturday pair better, not because they were necessarily technically more proficient, but because they just looked better as the characters. Woodward really seemed lighter than air and Huxley looked younger than Veyette (Huxley has phenomenally quick feet as well). Kind of the difference between A++ and A+.

I didn't go to the Saturday evening show because before I knew when the NYCB would be in town I had purchased a ticket to the Baltimore Symphony's performance of "Ein Deutsches Requiem". Kind of ironic.

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Comparing my cast leads in DC on Saturday night (Peck/Garcia) and a year ago in NYC (Hyltin/DeLuz), both couples are technically excellent but only Hyltin/DeLuz captured the poetry and airy manner that I recall from my best memories of seeing this work performed by Danish casts in Copenhagen & on tours.

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Peck is one of my favorite ballerinas of those currently dancing. I think there's an aura of "girl next door," America's Sweetheart, realness that shines through everything she does. She's one of those dancers who makes the phenomenal things she does seem normal.

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True, Imspear...but it's that "Howdy! Neighborhood Gal" air that works against her in ethereal poetic roles such as the Sylph or the "After the Rain" pdd. It's not about Peck's technique or musicality, which are beyond reproach.

By the way, as I review my notes, I must give a "shout out" to the tall handsome Spaniard, Aaron Sanz, who danced the 3rd male solo (red tie & sash) in NAPOLI with such gusto, replacing Scordato at the last moment. Despite a tiny off-balance moment in the middle (correction after a jump), I can tell that he is a future soloist or maybe even principal. It's hard to take one's eyes off this dancer. My new favorite corps guy to watch. Ole!

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True, Imspear...but it's that "Howdy! Neighborhood Gal" air that works against her in ethereal poetic roles such as the Sylph or the "After the Rain" pdd. It's not about Peck's technique or musicality, which are beyond reproach.

We are in total agreement. :-)

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