And, as Millepied’s title promises, not everything happens at once, although the images that stay with me are of people rushing into action, dodging in and out of formations, forming aisles for others to travel down, marching and sashaying and strutting in lines and circles, pulling unison into counterpoint. Consider Millepied as a witty, well-organized drill sergeant. You can almost imagine him as a virtual presence calling out orders for his attractive, dedicated, and energetic platoon. I enjoy watching the ballet’s combination of order and shot-from-guns exuberance; it just doesn’t give me a lot to chew on afterward.

Danil Simkin and the men of American Ballet Theatre in Benjamin Millepied’s "Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once"
Gene Schiavone
Danil Simkin and the men of American Ballet Theatre in Benjamin Millepied’s "Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once"

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American Ballet Theatre
Avery Fisher Hall
October 7 through 11

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A bonus on this evening of premieres: Jerome Robbins’s gently rapturous and charmingly playful Other Dances, created in 1976 for two good-friend Russian émigrés, Natalia Makarova and Mikail Baryshnikov. Gillian Murphy and David Hallberg, coached by Isabelle Guerin, who performed the duet in the Paris Opera Ballet’s staging, are gorgeous dancers and they’re sensitive to the flow of Chopin mazurkas (plus one waltz), beautifully played by pianist David LaMarche. Murphy is very occasionally a tiny bit guarded, and Hallberg can’t make his moment of simulated dizziness after a spate of spinning into the little joke it is. But they’re ravishing to watch—so sweetly attentive to each other that you believe them as comrades, lovers, what you will, dancing together in this bower that Robbins created.

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