Raimund Hoghe, Faustin Linyekula, and the New York City Ballet Help Open the Season

Curious stones and Balanchine at DTW and Lincoln Center

The program that began with Danses Concertanteswas an exhilarating all-Balanchine, mostly-Stravinsky evening. The two lovely, spare, practice-clothes ballets, Monumentum Pro Gesualdo (1960) and Movements for Piano and Orchestra(1963), were performed, as usual, by the same ballerina and with only a short pause between. In the first, she has an entourage of 12 in addition to a partner—appropriate for the patterned court dances of that 16th-century composer (and criminal) Don Carlo Gesualdo, whose music and formations Stravinsky and Balanchine channeled into contemporaneity. In the second, only one helpful man and six women attend her as she negotiates the asymmetrical intricacies that Balanchine matched to Stravinsky’s spiky five-section foray into 12-tone music. Movements was created to feature the 18-year-old Suzanne Farrell, and another big, limber beauty, Maria Kowroski, fills out the steps with aplomb.

Faustin Linyekula and Raimund Hoghe in Hoghe’s "Sans-titre."
Yi-Chun Wu
Faustin Linyekula and Raimund Hoghe in Hoghe’s "Sans-titre."
New York City Ballet in George Balanchine’s "Danses Concertantes," Megan Fairchild and Andrew Veyette center
Paul Kolnik
New York City Ballet in George Balanchine’s "Danses Concertantes," Megan Fairchild and Andrew Veyette center

Details

Raimund Hoghe with Faustin Linyekula
Dance Theater Workshop
September 16 through 18

New York City Ballet
David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center
September 6 through October 10

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The evening ended with the Balanchine’s crowd-pleasing Who Cares?, an orgy of carefree dancing and wonderful Gershwin songs, arranged for orchestra by Hershy Kay. I like just about everything, but I’m partial to the smart little duets for a savvy bunch of guys (Sean Suozzi is especially terrific in this divertissement) and the five lively red-garbed women they vie for. This is a ballet in which the principals don’t strut their stuff until the evening is almost over. One man, three beautiful women, three duets, solos all around. Some dessert! Balanchine’s ingenuity and musicality never flags. Sterling Hylton creates a tempest with her solo. Amar Ramasar has grown increasingly assured in the male role—courteous, but with a glint in his eye, bold in his jumps and easy in his jazzy sauntering. The most memorable dancing of the entire evening came from Tyler Peck, both in her duet with Ramasar to “The Man I Love” and her solo to “Fascinatin’ Rhythm.” She is indeed fascinating—embedded in the music and in the moment, alive to every nuance. It’s difficult to define great performing, but you recognize it all right. The minute you see it.

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