“NYCB Classics II” program which the company performed during its spring season at David H. Koch Theater included four dances: George Balanchine’s “Serenade,” “Duo Concertant,” and “Western Symphony” as well as Peter Martins’ “Hallelujah Junction.” All these pieces, with their own strength and merits, are the company’s staples, loved by the audiences and performed with affection and competence by the dancers; yet, in my opinion, only “Serenade”—a ballet of unparalleled beauty and invention—can be rightfully regarded as a timeless classic. Given the selection of the works, “NYCB Favorites” would have made for a more appropriate name of this musically and stylistically diverse program that featured compositions of Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Hershy Kay and John Adams.
New York City Ballet in “Serenade” by George Balanchine. Photograph by Paul Kolnik
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Plus