Posts Tagged ‘New York City Ballet’

Fall for Dance, Indoors and Out

September 28, 2013

It’s hard to give focus to ensemble work.  City Center’s annual Fall for Dance series generally showcases newer work, but In the first two programs—one outdoors, one in—an older work showed us how it’s done. Indoors, it was the duets that focused our attention.

On Wednesday, September 25, in the first indoor program (repeated on the 26th), the duets—ballet and tango—were book-ended by two companies presenting very different modern-dance ensemble works—one, ballet-inflected, to ragtime; the other, old-fashioned, literal-minded romanticism.

Boys Playing Music_Luca Della Robbia_FlorenceLuca Della Robbia, Boys Playing Music

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Fashion Trumps Dance: NYC Ballet Fall Gala

September 22, 2013

There were two choreographers represented at New York City Ballet’s Fall Gala Thursday night: Justin Peck and George Balanchine. The rest was all smoke and mirrors—and fashion.

The intermissionless, hour-and-three-quarters program consisted of three premieres, by Peck, Benjamin Millepied and Angelin Preljocaj, followed by the last two sections of Balanchine’s Western Symphony, which premiered in 1954 and still has more to offer than the Preljocaj or Millepied. Only one of the premieres, the Preljocaj, will be seen again this season. Would that it were the Peck instead!l

Pas-de-QuatrePas-de-Quatre: Carlotta Grisi, Marie Taglioni, Lucile Grahn, Fanny Cerito

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NYCB Opening-Night Gala

December 14, 2008

Deep into “Nutcracker” month, I’m looking back at the New York City Ballet opening-night gala, which was held on Tuesday night, November 25 in what used to be the New York State Theater but which, as of opening night, has been renamed the David H. Koch Theater. More on that later.

First, the good news: although it was indeed a gala evening, it was still possible to get a 4th-ring seat for $15, provided you spent $20 to join the 4th Ring Society, which entitles you to $15 seats throughout the winter and spring seasons (the only exception, I think, is the retirement performance of a famous and well-loved dancer, which  guarantees a sold-out house—e.g., in the last two years, Peter Boal, Nikolai Hubbe and Damien Woetzel). Read on…

Blog Identity Crisis

November 16, 2008

I started Beyond the Zeitgeist as a New York City blog—random acts of culture from beyond the zeitgeist. “Culture” in the broadest sense, meaning just about anything out there that took my fancy. Certainly not myself.

It seems a little early for a blog to have an identity crisis. In fact, it’s the author who’s having the identity crisis—in a way, starting this blog has been part of it. It’s a beyond-the-zeitgeist crisis: I lost my very long-term freelance gig, I’ve already had a long and checkered career, and I have to decide whether to relaunch myself in New York City or retire to Mexico, where I can afford to live in moderate comfort without working.

Retiring to Mexico is both tempting and terrifying. On the one hand, it would be in a town—San Miguel de Allende—I’ve stayed in many times, where I have friends. It’s beautiful. I have the offer of a beautiful little house, a casita, on a friend’s property, at a very good rent.

The problem is, I’m a New Yorker. Not born, but bred. I’ve lived here for 43 years—virtually all of my adult life. The layout of Manhattan is part of my brain’s wiring. New York City Ballet seasons are not about “going to the ballet;” they’re part of my identity. Virtually every dancer I came up with has retired—Wendy Whelan is the the only one left—but there are some very interesting younger ones, like Ashley Bouder. Continue reading