New York City Ballet's spring season at the New York State Theater opened like a piñata, with a shower of surprises. They ranged from the April 29 revival of Jerome Robbins's 1958 masterwork N.Y. Export: Opus Jazzto five world premieresone an ingenious transformation of the popular Gene Kelly film An American in Paris, to the beloved Gershwin scoreby NYCB alumni and current dancers, launched at a May 4 gala and playing through May 21.
photo: Paul Kolnik
Maria Kowroski and Ask la Cour in Benjamin Millepied's Double Aria
Founding ballet master George Balanchine died 22 years ago; his successor, Peter Martins, grooms new choreographers to provide worthy material for the company's peerless performers. Creators of the pieces represented here include an Englishman (Christopher Wheeldon), an African American (Albert Evans), a Frenchman (Benjamin Millepied), a Dane (Martins), and quintessential New Yorker Robbinsa pillar of NYCB from its founding until his death in 1998.