Review: At City Ballet, Returning To Show New Work, Live

The New York City Ballet performance on Wednesday night was not its first in its Lincoln Center home theater after 18 months. This arri...


The New York City Ballet performance on Wednesday night was not its first in its Lincoln Center home theater after 18 months. This arrived the day before, with confetti and tears. But the excitement was still there on the second night. Even the welcome announcement and the reminder to wear masks were applauded.

And on Wednesday, the company didn’t just dust off its unprecedented repertoire further. He was getting back into the habit of the other half of his tenure, launching new works in front of a live audience. That too was exciting, even though the premiere, “Amaria” by Mauro Bigonzetti, turned out to be light and mediocre.

This is a short duet produced for Maria Kowroski, who will retire on October 17 after more than 25 years with the City Ballet. She was joined by Amar Ramasar, another of the six lead dancers with a farewell to the calendar (hers in May). The music is taken from two piano sonatas by Scarlatti, delicately performed on stage by Craig Baldwin.

The dancers begin in a ball together in a two-person fist, a shape which they resume at the end. In between, there are suggestions of interpersonal drama – his flight, grabbing him, or bowing in plea – but they spend most of the second half glued to each other. It’s still a pas de deux woman wrapped around a man.

“Amaria” is primarily an exhibition of Kowroski, in particular of her famous long legs, repeatedly split into 12 hour poses with her wrists tight around her high ankle. It’s a bit vulgar, but the more general flaw in the work is that the drama feels nailed down. The choreography is synchronized with the music without having much to do with it. Kowroski deserves better.

“Amaria” arrived in the middle of a 90-minute program with no intermission, a sandwich with meat on the outside. The opening was “Opus 19 / The Dreamer” by Jerome Robbins, with Gonzalo Garcia, which will be leaving in February. The work has long been a good vehicle for its gentle strength, its dreamlike atmosphere misting its beautiful blandness. Tiler Peck whirled in and out of his reverie with breathtaking speed and force, returning to the stage as brilliantly as ever.

The closest cast, “The Russian Seasons” by Alexei Ratmansky, shared that happy energy to be back: the spirit of City Ballet. Adrian Danchig-Waring, Megan Fairchild, Unity Phelan and the almost possessed Georgina Pazcoguin drew much of the color from this character work: its village life verve and playful rhythms, its weird and silly humor, its near sadness. of spring and its mystery ritual of death and renewal.

In “Opus 19” and “Russian Seasons” are moments when the dancers sit in wonder to watch other dancers. Coming back to this theater and company, I felt like they looked grateful that this dream had not ended.

New York Ballet

Until October 17, nycballet.com

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