New York City Ballet’s spring season featured a new work by Justin Peck as well as Pam Tanowitz’s company debut. Two other recent repertory additions—Matthew Neenan’s “The Exchange” and Gianna Reisen’s “Judah”—were also revived along with company staples and a few rarities. Of the new set I enjoyed Peck’s short, springy “Bright” the most. The stellar coupling of Sara Mearns and Russell Janzen in an airy heaven-scape was fleetingly dreamy. The ballet read as a brief glimpse through the clouds into Elysian fields, and was stunningly god-lit by Brandon Stirling Baker. Mark Dancigers’s score was anthemic yet flowery—with bells and chimes accentuating the religious vibe of the piece. The rippling white costumes by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung were tinged with pastels—floaty and lovely. Peck employed a pretty motif of slow-growing, partnered arabesques, with the ladies reaching skyward to coincide with the apogees of their legs’ trajectories. “Bright” had sweep and feeling and it didn’t overstay it’s welcome.
New York City Ballet in Justin Peck's “Bright.” Photograph by Erin Baiano
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