BWW Review: Expanding the Range of Ballet with NEW YORK CITY BALLET

BWW Review: Expanding the Range of Ballet with NEW YORK CITY BALLET

As part of their spring NYC season, New York City Ballet (NYCB) presents the Here/Now Festival featuring ten specially curated programs. This is an opportunity for audiences to see the breadth, quality, and range of works that have been developed over the past three decades. On the evening of May 3, 2017, I had the opportunity to see program number 3- dedicated to the repertory of Resident Choreographer, Justin Peck.

The evening opened with In Creases, set to Phillip Glass' "Four Movements for Two Pianos." This was Mr. Peck's first work he created for NYCB that had its world premiere in July 2012 during the company's annual summer residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. It was an interesting play with the idea of "folding" and "unfolding" within the choreography and how many ways that can be done. This theme was seen in the way the dancers moved, whether it was "folding" and "unfolding" different body parts (arms, legs) or in the spatial patterns on the stage in both curvy and zigzag pathways as they formed complex geometric shapes and patterns. It was very beautiful. My favorite parts occurred when the dancers were in the straight vertical line as each had a different sequence of arms- switching from straight, angular, and curved movements.

The program continued with a lovely duet exploring the notions of interconnectivity and hope in the piece The Dreamers. I loved the way Peck integrated the characteristics of the music set to Bohuslav Martinu into the choreography. When the music was sharp and fast, so were the movements. I very much appreciated the parts where the music would crescendo, and the choreography would build up with it. The partner work was very nice- it definitely required a lot of hand, arm, and foot coordination. It was all very mesmerizing.

The piece New Blood features 13 dancers in a series of duets. It was really exciting to watch this dance as each duet displays a number of overlapping exits that is marked by the entrance of another dancer. As each duet changed, the costumes (designed by Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony and Kenzo) also changed. There was a gradual shift in the colors of the costumes. It was subtle at first until later, when I noticed the shades of color were slowly changing. I thought it was very clever!

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Caryn Cooper Caryn Cooper is an arts administrator, educator and performer. She began her dance training at a young age studying ballet in the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) technique for eight years and has trained in other dance forms such as tap, jazz, hip hop and West African where she has had the opportunity to perform at various venues in the Greater New York City Area including, The Wild Project, Frederick Loewe Theatre, 92 Y, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Tilles Center for the Performing Arts and Radio City Music Hall. Administratively, she has worked for a number of arts organizations including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ballet Hispanico and the New York City Center. She is currently pursuing her certification to become a Moving for Life instructor under the direction of Dr. Martha Eddy using dance to help breast cancer recovery patients and those with physical disabilities. Caryn holds a BFA in Arts Management from LIU Post, a MA in Dance Education from NYU, and is a member of the dance/NYC Junior Committee.