The first time the scope of Balanchine’s Stravinsky Festival hit me, it was physical; I recognized it in my dancing body. I was learning the finale of “Divertimento from ‘Le Baiser de la Fée,’” an infrequently performed work I had never seen, and, as if by fairy-kiss magic, I already knew many of the steps. Sweaty and panting on a five, I asked Rosemary Dunleavy, the senior repertory director who was teaching the ballet, why there were so many of the same steps—but out of order—from the Five Couples' dances in “Symphony in Three Movements” (which we performed frequently). She laughed and said, “because they were choreographed the same week! He was running out of time and recycling!” This incident made me realize the whirlwind accomplishments of the 1972 Stravinsky Festival, which premiered twenty new ballets in one week. The New York City Ballet is celebrating the 50th anniversary of that event this season with four different programs honoring the composer. I caught the fourth and final tribute program.
Sterling Hyltin and Andrew Veyette in “Rubies” 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.Continue Reading
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading