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New York City Ballet: Serenade, Firebird, and DGV: Danse a Grande Vitesse PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   
New  York City Ballet - Tiler Peck and Andrew Veyette - Paul Kolnik photoThe New York City Ballet demonstrated their expertise as well as their versatility, with their commanding performances of three very distinctly different ballets, Serenade, Firebird, and DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse.

 

 

 

Serenade

On May 4, 2012, I went to see the New York City Ballet perform at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. It was memorable evening beginning with the first ballet, Serenade, which "is a milestone in the history of dance. It is the first original ballet Balanchine created in America and is one of the signature works of New York City Ballet's repertory."

Conducted by Clothilde Otranto, with Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky (Serenade for Strings), Choreography by George Balanchine, Costumes by Karinska, Original Lighting by Ronald Bates, and Lighting by Mark Stanley.

Janie Taylor Dancing in Serenade - photo by Paul Kolnik
Serenade

Serenade is a large ensemble ballet with the dancers dressed in simple pale blue leotards with long pale blue tutus dancing against a blue background, with the monochromatic look giving the ballet an almost dream-like quality.

"Originating as a lesson in stage technique, Balanchine worked unexpected rehearsal events into the choreography. When one student fell, he incorporated it. Another day, a student arrived late, and this too became part of the ballet. After its initial presentation, Serenade was reworked several times."

"In its present form there are four movements -- "Sonatina," "Waltz," "Russian Dance," and "Elegy." The last two movements reverse the order of Tchaikovsky's score, ending the ballet on a note of sadness."

Principal Dancers Megan Fairchild, Janie Taylor, Teresa Reichlen, Jared Angle, and Soloist Dancer Adrian Danchig-Waring, performed masterfully, as did the rest of the dancers, with the ballet ending in a triumph of multiple curtain calls.

Serenade Dancers

Megan Fairchild (Principal Dancer)
Janie Taylor (Principal Dancer)
Teresa Reichlen (Principal Dancer)
Jared Angle (Principal Dancer)
Adrian Danchig-Waring (Soloist)
Alina Dronova
Lauren King
Ashley Laracey
Georgina Pazcoquin
Sara Adams
Marika Anderson
Likolani Brown
Amanda Hankes
Megan LeCrone
Meagan Mann
Gwyneth Muller
Shoshana Rosenfield
Kristen Segin
Mary Elizabeth Sell
Gretchen Smith
Lydia Wellington
Stephanie Zungre
Joseph Gordon (Apprentice)
Russell Janzen
David Prottas
Peter Walker (Apprentice)

Firebird

Following Serenade and its minimalism of costumes and background, was the elaborate Firebird, one of George Balanchine's first creations for the New York City Ballet, which had its premiere performance on November 27, 1949.

It is a magnificent ballet with Music by Igor Stravinsky, Choreography by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, with stunning Scenery and Costumes designed by the artist Marc Chagall (1945), Scenery executed under the supervision of Volodia Odinokov, Firebird costume supervised by Dain Marcus, Original Lighting by Ronald Bates, and Lighting by Mark Stanley.

For his ballet, "Balanchine chose to use the orchestral suite rather than the complete three-act score, and simplified the story and emphasized the mythical elements of the Firebird's character."

New York City Ballet Firebird Finalle - photo by Paul Kolnik
Firebird

This wonderful ballet was like opening a book of fairytales, which has exquisite, colorful illustrations and watching the pages come to life with enormous Chagall paintings as the backdrop, and sumptuous costumes.

It is a story from Russian folklore, a story of fancy, a story of love, with a prince and a princess, a wizard, a monster, and a perfect, happily-ever-after ending, that was thoroughly delightful and enchanting.

Maria Kowroski gave an outstanding performance as the title character, Firebird, as did Danish dancer, Ask la Cour as Prince Ivan, Gwyneth Muller as his beautiful bride, and I loved the wizard, and of course, the monster, who with the maidens, youths, and the wizard's subjects rounded out this delectable large ensemble piece.

Firebird Dancers

Firebird:
Maria Kowroski (Principal Dancer, joined the NYC Ballet in 1995)
   
Prince Ivan:
Ask la Cour (Soloist, joined the NYC Ballet in 2002, from Denmark)
   
Prince's Bride:
Gwyneth Muller (Corps de Ballet, joined the NYC Ballet in 2000)
   
Maidens:
Marika Anderson
Faye Arthurs
Likolani Brown
Amanda Hankes
Lauren King
Ashley Laracey
Megan Le Crone
Meagan Mann
Georgina Pazcoquin
Brittany Pollack
Gretchen Smith
Lydia Welllington
   
Youths:
Devin Alberda
Daniel Applebaum
Cameron Dieck
Spartak Hoxha
Ralph Ippolito
Austin Laurent
Vincent Paradiso
David Prottas
Troy Schumacher
Joshua Thew
Christian Tworzyanski
Giovanni Villalobos
   
Kastechei the Wizard and his subjects:
Zachary Catazaro
Sara Adams
Callie Bachman
Harrison Ball (Apprentice)
Stephanie Chrosniak
Meaghan Dutton-O'Hara (Apprentice)
Emilie Gerrity
Joseph Gordon (Apprentice)
Sam Greenberg
Brittany Hillyer
Ralph Ippolito
Ashly Isaacs
Dana Jocobsen
Russell Janzen
Megan Johnson
Emily Kikta
Claire Kretzschmar
Lauren Lovette
Jenelle Manzi
Lars Nelson
Shoshana Rosenfield
Aaron Sanz (Apprentice)
Kristen Segin
Mary Elizabeth Sell
Taylor Stanley
Joshua Thew
Lara Tong
Sara Villwock
Peter Walker (Apprentice)

DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse (high speed dance)

The last ballet of the evening was DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse (high speed dance), created in 2006 for The Royal Ballet with music by Michael Nyman, whose score was commissioned to celebrate the 1993 inauguration of the North-European line of the French high-speed train, the TGV. The score's driving force and relentless speed suggest an ongoing journey."

The ballet has Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, Scenery and Costumes by Jean-Marc Puissant, Lighting by Jennifer Tipton, Lighting recreated by Jesse Belsky, and Staging by Jason Fowler.

It "features four principal couples and an ensemble of 18 dancers. Four pas de deux form the essence of this work. The movement in DGV reflects the rhythm of the musical score in its continuity, successive movements, and symmetries that evoke never-ending travel, even in moments of silence."

Tier Peck and Andrew Veyette - photo by Paul Kolnik
DGV: Dance à Grande Vitesse (high speed dance)

DVG: Danse à Grande Vitesse with its contemporary costumes and almost futuristic scenery, created a powerful and dramatic finale for the evening that displayed the extreme talent of the New York City Ballet company who hail from across the United States, Denmark, Puerto Rico, Spain, and The Netherlands.

The three ballets also showed the Company's adaptability as well as their versatility, whether they are performing classical or contemporary ballets. Bravo!

DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse (high speed dance) Principal Couples

Teresa Reichlen (Principal Dancer, joined the NYC Ballet in 2001)
Robert Fairchild (Principal Dancer, joined the NYC Ballet in 2006)
   
Ashley Bouder (Principal Dancer, joined the NYC Ballet in 2000)
Joaquin De Luz (Principal Dancer, joined the NYC Ballet in 2003)
   
Wendy Whelan (Principal Dancer, joined the NYC Ballet in 1986)
Craig Hall (Soloist, joined the NYC Ballet in 2000)
   
Tiler Peck (Principal Dancer. joined the NYC Ballet in 2005)
Andrew Veyette (Principal Dancer, joined the NYC Ballet in 2000)

DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse (high speed dance) Female Dancers

Sara Adams 
Amanda Hankes 
Emily Kikl 
Lauren King 
Lauren Lovette 
Georgina Pazcoquin 
Brittany Pollack 
Gretchen Smith 

DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse (high speed dance) Male Dancers

Daniel Applebaum 
Sam Greenberg 
Russell Janzen 
David Prottas
Andrew Scordato 
Taylor Stanley 
Christian Tworzyanski 
Giovanni Villalobos 

Regarding attending an upcoming performance of the New York City Ballet in New York City or during the summer months when they perform in Saratoga, New York, please visit the New York City Ballet website: www.NYCBallet.com. 

New York City Ballet

New York City Ballet
David H. Koch Theater
20 Lincoln Center
New York, New York 10023
United States
Box Office:      +1-212-870-5570
Website:          www.NYCBallet.com

© May 2012. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved. 

 
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