Alston’s many buoyant or skimming steps mate with linear patterns that break apart and reassemble. Again, unison rules, and it’s a sudden pleasure when, in “Changing Opinion” (the section led by Hannah Kidd and Parsons), dancers erupt into individual bursts of movement for a few seconds. The performers are splendid. Sonja Peedo and Andres de Blust-Mommaerts stand out in the first section, and Tapon in the third. In that last part, Binder, Charlotte Eatock, and Genevieve Watson form a lively trio to driving music, encircling de Blust-Mommaerts as he jumps amid them.

The musicality and well-wrought designs of the choreography, as well as the verve and the unaffected manners of the dancers, make Alston a master in his native land. His work is a welcome relief here from some of the sex-charged violence on view these days, and I’m happy watching his dances. Only occasionally do I mutter under my breath, “Let the patterns splinter!” “Let the dancers break out!” “Make the stage a less tidy world just for a moment.” “Go ahead, break my heart.”

The New York City Ballet in Peter Martins’s "Naïve and Sentimental Music."
Paul Kolnik
The New York City Ballet in Peter Martins’s "Naïve and Sentimental Music."
Amie Brown and Pierre Tappon in Richard Alston’s "Shuffle It Right"
Hugo Glendinning
Amie Brown and Pierre Tappon in Richard Alston’s "Shuffle It Right"

Details

New York City Ballet
David B. Koch Theater
January 5 through February 28

Richard Alston Dance Company
Joyce Theater
January 4 through 10

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