May 21, 2012
New York City Ballet's program opened with the charming
and high-flying cast of Jerome Robbins's "In G Major." This seaside romp with costumes
and sets by Erté, and music by Maurice Ravel allowed the talented corps de
ballet to shine in energetic leaps and playful turns. Maria Kowrowski, with jazzy hips
and sinuous developés, and Tyler Angle, all smooth masculinity and easy pirouettes,
danced an expressive duet which is the jewel at the center of this ballet. In an otherwise
bright dance performance the orchestra sounded muddy, but the playful insouciance of the
entire cast prevailed.
"Leibeslieder Walzer" displays Balanchine's masterful choreography, allowing four
couples to venture into an elegant ballroom from another time. Johannes Brahms'
piano duet and vocal quartet are set to poetry by Friedrich Daumer and Goethe. Each
couple,wearing Karinska's mid-century Viennese costumes, waltzed around the drawing room.
Fairchild, partnered by a passionately ardent Chase Finley, used her upper body to nice
effect, while Tiler Peck and Justin Peck were paired in a wonderfully musical series of
pas de deuxs. Ms. Peck seems to grow and develop with each performance, embodying
the music with just the right temperament. She is able to show the details while never
forgetting to be in the moment. Jonathan Stafford cut a dashing figure as he pursued
Maria Kowroski. Her radiant beauty and exquisite line was on display as Mr. Stafford
whisked her through each promenade.
Sterling Hyltin and Robbie Fairchild appeared
gloriously entranced by each other, making every moment intensely romantic. His handsome
bearing and subtle gestures allowed the delicate Ms. Hyltin to melt into his arms and
become lost in his gaze. There was a moment when their fingertips breathtakingly
reached to form a circular port de bras, yet didn't touch. It must be noted that the cast
also danced with intimacy and a sense of community which will only deepen as they
continue to dance together.
Christopher Wheeldon's "Les Carillons was a buoyant closing ballet. Danced to the
enchanting music of George Bizet, the choreography was inventive and pushed the
skills of balletic partnering to new heights. Taylor Stanley, Lauren Lovette, and Russell
Janzen partnering the lush Teresa Reichlen, stood out for clear, musical dancing. Ana
Sophia Scheller was especially vivacious in her dramatic and folk inspired solos while
Ms. Hyltin and Mr. Stafford had more than enough energy as they flew through their
challenges. Ashley Issacs, Andrew Veyette, and Adrian Danchig-Waring, completed the
lively cast, joyously dancing Wheeldon's vibrant choreography.
EYE ON THE ARTS< NY -- Deborah Wingert