New York City Ballet Carries on the Message of the Master
Ballet troupes have their ups and downs and dancers come and go, but the New York City Ballet soars high and steady because of a dance style and repertory that remains unprecedented in its nearly seven decades of existence. And, of course, because founding director George Balanchine’s genius is constantly self-renewing.
Now under the direction of Peter Martins, NYCB performs two programs, the first with old-fashioned showy ballets, the second, a glimpse at the latest works from two of the hottest choreographers around. Both shows are currently being danced at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House now through tomorrow Sunday, April 8th
While the master may be dead, his masterpieces remain intact. Balanchine’s 1970 “Who Cares?” kicked off the too short engagement last Tuesday evening with sleek dancing and a salute to bygone days of dashing men partnering glamourous girls a la Fred Astaire and Ginger. Set against a backdrop of New York City, “Who Cares?” showcases Balanchine’s leggy ballerinas – he loved showgirls – and a new crop of male danseurs, a few shorter than the ballerinas but who still managed to lift the girls high above their heads. Principal dancer Tiler Peck gave us those flirty moments so popular with early Balanchine works while her dreamy partner, Robert Fairchild, dazzled with multiple pirouettes and gliding steps across the stage. Gershwin’s tunes kept the dancers moving at a brisk pace, especially the romantic pas de deux, set to “The Man I Love.”
One to watch is Maryland’s own sweetheart ballerina, Dana Jacobson, the tallest corps dancer in “Who Cares?” She stands a stunning 5 feet 10 inches tall, with arms and legs that go on forever. When she dances, she stretchers her arabesques and lengthens her high-flying leaps to look even taller, at least 7 feet from the tips of her toes to the top of her long blond hair.
As part of the Kennedy Center’s ongoing education program, “Performance Plus,” there will be a free post-performance discussion with members of NYCB following the matinee performance today, Saturday, April 7th.
Watch video highlights of The New York Cuty Ballet’s 2012 Spring Season.