NYC Ballet Gala and Fall Season
October 1, 2018
It’s been a difficult fall season for NYC Ballet but the dancers are performing with an assured commitment and graceful determination. Sadly, this season is the last for Joquim DeLuz. Technically brilliant and genially theatrical, DeLuz’s abundance of spirit will be missed.
Over the space of four weeks, the programs were studded with classic Balanchine works, repertory honoring Jerome Robbins’ 100th anniversary and new works by younger choreographers.
Balanchine’s “Jewels” allowed company members to display their romantic, athletic and classical roots. Performed with clarity, a couple of standouts in “Emeralds” included Unity Phelan and Taylor Stanley who partnered the always-striking Tyler Peck. “Rubies” originally choreographed for the indefatigable Edward Villella and Patricia McBride saw a little more muted performance by Sterling Hyltin and Andrew Veyette. In the grand finale, the romantic Sarah Mearns unloosed her seductive port de bras in a performance heighted by the rousing performance by the up-and-coming Joseph Gordon.
New choreography appeared during the Fall Gala entitled “Choreography & Couture.” Drawing a well-groomed crowd, the intermissionless evening was outfitted with three ballets strutting costumes by fashion designers.
When the curtain rose, members of NYC Ballet stretched across the stage while Teresa Reichlin read a deeply felt tribute to the love dancers feel for dance, for NYC Ballet, and for each other. A perfect nod to the storm waves washing up on NYC Ballet’s stage, the dancers projected an assured hope.
Similarly, the program underscored ballet’s developing future. A well versed choreographer who founded Ballet X and serves as Pennsylvania Ballet’s “choreographer-in-residence,” Matthew Neenan debuted “The Exchange” to music by Antonin Dvorak. Blood red and black costumes popped when Tyler Peck and Joseph Gordon engaged in a twisty, fast paced duet that filtered through the onrush of criss-crossing movement patterns.
Someone who’s being closely watched, Gianna Reisen partnered with Alberta Ferretti for her new work “Judah” to a score by the contemporary composer John Adams. An intuitive choreographer, Reisen takes good advantage of her six lead dancers in flowy, draped pastel tunics for women and leotards and tights for men. With a nod to Balanchine’s Apollo, the women assumed sculptural poses between two short, white staircases suggesting ancient Greek muses beguiling men. Lauren Lovette and Preston Chamblee embraced the floor and air when they danced a duet with purity and verve framed by two short, white staircases on either side of the stage.
The noted modern dance choreographer Kyle Abraham knocked out his premiere “The Runway” to a music collage edited by Abraham mixing Nico mulhy, Kanye West, Jay-Z, and James Blake and audience cheers. Designer Giles Deacon pricked the drama quotient with his outlandish costumes—perfect for a drag ball runway --with one huge difference: the dancing was uniformly divine. In particular, Taylor Stanley glided backwards, torqued and snapped his body into familiar street dance forms enhanced through ballet technique and charisma. An apparent hit, there’s no doubt the ballet will return attracting a young, animated audience members.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis