NYCB GALA PROGRAM
October 17, 2022
New choreography gets a glamorous springboard during NYC Ballet's Fall Gala program. That program was repeated again during the season retaining that special, opening night enthusiasm.
By far the most thrilling part of the evening was witnessing a youthful, racially mixed crowd. Decked in fine evening wear, the Promenade staircase became the backdrop for countless photographs of women in filmy tutu-like dresses, men in kilts, suits and kaleidoscopic hair.
A young and very promising choreographer, Gianna Reisen Play Time to music by the popular, multi-faceted Solange Knowles with costumes by Alejandro Gomez Palomo for Palomo Spain.
Sparkly, geometrically constructed pieces including skirts shaped like rectangular light shades, and futuristic tops shifted the shapes of nine featured dancers. Quick transfers of weight side to side and precise footwork stoked the chamber piece allowing all the dancers to shine. Like previous works, Play Time pointed to a skillfully crafted work.
Solo by Justin Peck, Resident Choreographer, surrounded principal dancer Sara Mearns, whimsically outfitted by Raf Simons, in a solo to the deeply poignant "Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber. Singularly capable of immersing herself inside a musical stream, she extended her limbs into the space cushioned by the music.
Becoming an audience favorite, Kyle Abraham's
Love Letter (on shuffle) embraced 15 company members in work that tapped the isolations and oozy steps borne of club dance stirred into modern and ballet. Set to a score by the British musician and producer James Blake to feathery and colorful outfits by Giles Deacon, Love LetterLove Letter spoke clearest through Jonathan Fahoury's riveting solos and duets.
However, Dan Scully's atmospheric lighting cast a foggy darkness over the stage. It strained the eyes, and lessened the choreographic impact. Clearly, the dancers were enthralled by the funky freedom and kinetic colloquialism.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis