Balanchine invites you to a ball

Dance · Music
What a dream is the performance (video below) of a duet from George Balanchine’s “Vienna Waltzes” sublimely danced by Karin von Aroldingen and Peter Martins. “Vienna Waltzes” had its premiere at New York City Ballet on June 23, 1977. Original cast: Karin von Aroldingen, Sean Lavery, Patricia McBride, Helgi Tomasson, Sara Leland, Bart Cook, Kay ...

Edward Villella talks

Dance

Balanchine’s “Symphony in Three Movements,” from 1972, to Stravinsky

Dance · Music
Alastair Macaulay, in the New York Times, reviews the work in 2008, performed by NYCB, Macaulay at his most inspired: I marvel in particular to watch and hear the many strangenesses with which Balanchine answers Stravinsky’s “Symphony in Three Movements.” He makes you hear the music better, and yet he often does so by springing ...

Quiz: Pick the ballet you want to see, just by the costume!

Dance · Fashion
This is a test. It’s easy, it’s straight-forward. It’s a test of which ballet you would like to see, all by New York City Ballet, just based upon the costume. Good luck! (Hint: there are two correct answers and one wrong answer.) La Valse (1951), chor Balanchine, costume Karinska, portrait of Tanaquil LeClercq Ocean’s Kingdom ...

More aching ballet-world news: Edward Villella to retire from his great achievement, Miami City Ballet, after next season 2

Dance
Just as we digest the news that ABT’s young prince, David Hallberg, will dance only part of his season in the U.S. and spend the preponderant part in Moscow, along comes a startling piece of dance news, an announcement from Miami. Another prince of ballet, this one a veteran, Edward Villella, will retire at the ...

Serenade: C’est un ballet abstrait.

Dance · Language & ideas
Everything sounds better in French. That’s a given. But beyond sounding beautiful, the lovely and poetic program note posted below tackles the hard job of putting the ephemeral into words. What’s the subject? “Serenade,” a ballet that in its making, and in the viewing of it, touches God. C’est un ballet abstrait. C’est- á-dire, sans intention ...

America’s greatest immigrant: the Georgian, Giorgi Melitonovitch Balanchivadze 1

Dance
What a man, what an artist! It’s not a glower, it’s not a gloat; what on earth is that expression? [click on photo for better view.] It’s brains, bearing, and class. It’s the look of pure culture. But whatever was going through his mind, there stood Balanchine, majestic Georgian gentleman that he was, photo courtesy ...

Carmageddon & ABT’s communist caper-ballet 5

Dance · Reviews
Despite best efforts, California authorities (the people who brought you Ronald “Tear down this wall, Mr. Gorbachev!” Reagan) could not put the kibosh on American Ballet Theatre’s “The Bright Stream,” choreographed by their new in-house guy, Alexei Ratmansky. Clearly controlled by Soviet agents, ABT foisted a clever piece of communist propaganda on our sunny climes. ...

Lorenz Hart taught Balanchine English 1

Dance · Language & ideas · Music
Chatting by phone with George Balanchine’s longtime assistant, Barbara Horgan, I learned an amusing story about the great expatriate choreographer. “Balanchine was rather reserved,” noted Horgan. “But he adored Lorenz Hart [the brilliant but troubled lyricist of Rodgers & Hart songwriting team]. “Balanchine always used to say that ‘Larry taught me how to speak English.'” ...

Polina Semionova, one of seven powerful female dancers of “Reflections” 1

Dance · Reviews
Just back from “Reflections” at Orange County’s Segerstrom Center, a beautifully performed showcase for the spectacular skills of seven Bolshoi Academy-trained ballerinas and four of their male counterparts. Lots of vibrant creativity on display here — in a regrettably overly long program. (I never thought I’d write the words, ‘Cut the Balanchine,’ but here they ...