Home & + | Search
Featured Categories: Special Focus | Performance Reviews | Previews | DanceSpots | Arts and Education | Press Releases
Join ExploreDance.com's email list | Mission Statement | Copyright notice | The Store | Calendar | User survey | Advertise
Click here to take the ExploreDance.com user survey.
Your anonymous feedback will help us continue to bring you coverage of more dance.
SPOTLIGHT:
PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
ExploreDance.com Kickstarter Campaign

The ExploreDance.com Kickstarter campaign is live! Please consider backing our campaign to help us expand our coverage of dance.
www.kickstarter.com/projects/1306220552/exploredancecom
ExploreDance.com (Magazine)
Web
Other Search Options
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
New York City Ballet (NYCB)
Performance Reviews
Ballet
Lincoln Center
New York City Ballet
USA
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ** **
exploredance.com

New York City Ballet: After the Rain, Orpheus, Who Cares?

by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 30, 2005
Lincoln Center
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.
140 West 65th Street
New York, NY 10023
212.875.5456

Featured Dance Company:

New York City Ballet
New York City Ballet (office)
New York State Theater
20 Lincoln Center
New York, NY 10023
212-870-5500
www.nycballet.com

About the Author:

New York City Ballet: After the Rain, Orpheus, Who Cares?

New York City Ballet
George Balanchine's
(NYC Ballet Website)

Founders, George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein
Ballet Master in Chief, Peter Martins
Ballet Mistress, Rosemary Dunleavy
Children's Ballet Mistress, Garielle Whittle
Orchestra, Music Director, Andrea Quinn
Marketing, Managing Director, Rob Daniels
Assoc. Director, Communications, Siobhan Burns

New York State Theater, Lincoln Center

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 30, 2005

After the Rain (Premiere): (See January 22, 2005 Review). Music by Arvo Pärt (Tabula Rasa (1977), for two violins, string orchestra, and prepared piano, and Spiegel im Spiegel (1978), for violin and piano), Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, Costumes by Holly Hynes, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Conductor: Andrea Quinn, Violins: Arturo Delmoni, Kurt Nikkanen, Jean Ingraham, Pianos: Alan Moverman and Richard Moredock, Performed by Wendy Whelan, Jock Soto, Sofiane Sylve, Edwaard Liang, Maria Kowroski, and Ask la Cour. Christopher Wheeldon is a former NYC Ballet soloist and is NYC Ballet's first Resident Choreographer. "After the Rain" is Mr. Wheeldon's eleventh ballet created for NYC Ballet. (Program Notes).

On second viewing, I realized that I made an error in my first review, from a different vantage point. Wendy Whelan was wearing a pink leotard, not a dress, and the second half of this work was even more exquisite and existential than I remembered. After the Rain is a work with contrasting moods and soulful sensuality. Jock Soto's impending retirement is almost too much to bear, as he dances with such superb partnering, poise, balance, power, and charisma. He appears to be a dancer who could continue forever, unlike so many who retire after their prime.

The ensemble of principals was enthusiastic and buoyant in the first half of the program, and the extended and uplifted leg motif, at the onset of this work, was dramatic and daring. Kudos to Christopher Wheeldon.


Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto in New York City Ballet's After The Rain
Photo courtesy of Paul Kolnik



Orpheus (1948): Music by Igor Stravinsky, Choreography by George Balanchine, Scenery and Costumes by Isamu Noguchi, Original Lighting by Ronald Bates, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Conductor: Andrea Quinn, Performed by Nilas Martins as Orpheus, Charles Askegard as Dark Angel, Darci Kistler as Eurydice, Jonathan Stafford as Apollo, Henry Seth as Pluto, Adam Hendrickson as Satyr, Ellen Bar as lead Bacchante, and the Company as Nature Spirits, Furies, Lost Souls, Bacchantes, and Friends of Orpheus, including Saskia Beskow (Danskin spokesperson). Stravinsky worked closely with Balanchine in the composition of this score. The musician-poet, Orpheus, struggles to rescue his wife, Eurydice, from Hades. (NYCB Notes).

The classic and close collaboration of Balanchine and Stravinsky was exemplified in Orpheus, with the score and the movement so intertwined. Costumes and scenery by Isamu Noguchi, Martha Graham's set designer, were surreal and mythological in form, and colors and globular shapes merged to enhance this wrenching myth. The costumes of Furies and Lost Souls with spiked tentacles and head coverings were brilliant. Nilas Martins, as Orpheus, was well cast for his statuesque presence and youthful characterization. Darci Kistler, as his deceased wife, Eurydice, exuded pain and passion, and their duets were mesmerizing.

Orpheus has persuaded Pluto (Henry Seth) into returning Eurydice to him from the Underground, but he must remain blindfolded until they arrive at the upper air. The uninformed Eurydice, however, persuades Orpheus to look at her, and she dies. Orpheus returns alone to be destroyed by the Bacchantes. Charles Askegard, as Dark Angel, is the figure that leads the forlorn Orpheus to the Underground, and his demeanor and dance were particularly theatrical. Jonathan Stafford, as Apollo, and Adam Hendrickson, as Satyr, completed the lead cast in an entertaining and energetic style.
Who Cares? (1970): (See January 29, 2005 Review). Music by George Gershwin, Adapted and Orchestrated by Hershy Kay, Choreography by George Balanchine, Scenery by Jo Mielziner, Costumes by Ben Benson, Lighting by Mark Stanley, Conductor: Andrea Quinn, Pianist: Nancy McDill, Performed by Sofiane Sylve, Jenifer Ringer, Ashley Bouder, Philip Neal, Dena Abergel, Saskia Beskow, Amanda Edge, Pauline Golbin, Sarah Ricard, Kyle Froman, Henry Seth, Jonathan Stafford, Sean Suozzi, Andrew Veyette, and the Company. "Who Cares?" is an old song written by George and Ira Gershwin in 1931 for Of Thee I Sing. Balanchine used a small part of the Gershwin repertoire for classic dances. (Program Notes).

In today's cast, Jenifer Ringer (Danskin spokesperson) and Ashley Bouder were sensational in their solos and duets. Fascinatin' Rhythm, Ms. Ringer's solo, had pizzazz, class, high kicks, and complicated turns. I'll Build a Staircase to Paradise, Ms. Bouder's solo, brought out her exceptional stage presence and upbeat energy, while Philip Neal's Liza allowed him to exhibit his signature self-assured campiness and over-acted body language to his delight. Amanda Edge, Saskia Beskow, and Henry Seth gave noteworthy performances in their respective turns.

ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
* **** ****


ExploreDance.com
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ******
exploredance.com


home || view our calendar || the store || copyright information || join our mailing list || mission statement
Search for articles by
Performance Reviews, Places to Dance, Fashion, Photography, Auditions, Politics, Health