Best Choreographic Glut (2011)

Alexei Ratmansky

It's not as though his products were unfamiliar to New Yorkers before. Ever since Peter Martins first imported one in 2006, they've been the must-haves of their kind. It was big news when Martins failed to hire the maker himself, and Kevin McKenzie nabbed him instead. More pieces followed, more successes. But this is the year it really got out of hand. In the winter, American Ballet Theatre gave us a new Nutcracker—from the maddeningly prodigious Alexei Ratmansky. In the spring, the company premiered a smart Stravinsky by him and extended his contract through 2023. Then came the New York debut of The Bright Stream, the charming update of a Soviet "tractor ballet" that Ratmansky had created for his former employer, the Bolshoi. When that troupe's rival, the Mariinsky, arrived at Lincoln Center in July, it brought almost nothing but Ratmansky ballets. One of the older ones wasn't very good. Finally. The Russian-turned-New-Yorker has publicly expressed concern that he's wearing out his welcome. But the amazingly consistent high standard of his work and the surprises he keeps springing should allay such worries. It would be prudent to give the guy a break once and while, but otherwise: More, please.


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