Saturday, 11 June 2011

NYCB Triple

Divertimento No. 15/ 2 & 3 Part Inventions/ Mercurial Manoeuvres, New York City Ballet, Lincoln Centre – reviewed on 1st June

New York City Ballet’s triple bill of abstract works showed superb technique but lacked vivacity.

In Jerome Robbins’ 2 & 3 Part Inventions, dancers performed in simple practice clothes, their movements following the moods of the music from quiet and reflective to playful and energetic. Originally created for students of the School of American Ballet, the piece was simply choreographed, and lacked the dynamism of a professional company work. Robbins’ style felt formulaic – using very classical movements with occasional modern adjustments (like rotating the back or walking on pointe with bent knees). Typical ballet plus a couple of contemporary twists equals, in this case, a pleasant but hardly thrilling ballet.

Mercurial Manoeuvres, Christopher Wheeldon’s 2000 work, was equally unremarkable. Dressed like air hostesses, women twirled, unfolded and weaved. Men, in all-in-one red bodysuits leapt and spun. A nice ballet performed with technical excellence, but nothing extraordinary.

Fortunately, George Balanchine's Divertimento No. 15 was much more entertaining. Six lead females performed in blue, sparkly tutus and each showed a technically-proficient solo of typical Balanchine-style rapid changes of position and direction. Andrew Veyette danced elegantly with impressive elevation in his fiendishly difficult jumps. Megan Fairchild performed exceptionally, making her movements look light and effortless. In her tiny beats and lightning-quick steps, she found moments of breath and stillness. The rest of the cast was satisfactory and technically adept, but it was only Fairchild who managed to express the fun and sentiment of Balanchine’s choreography.

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