BWW Reviews: Boston Ballet's Lincoln Center Debut
Boston Ballet's fiftieth anniversary tour culminated in an in-your-face Lincoln Center season. Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen took risks - a victory lap outside of the company's home city on the home stage of hallmark American ballet companies - but he looked pretty pleased as he strode up the aisles of the David H. Koch Theater on the June 29th matinee. Rightly so, since his company delivered three New York premieres in Program One with William Forsythe's The Second Detail, Jose Martinez' Resonance, and Alexander Ekman's Cacti for a full throttle experience.
I saw the company's premiere of Forsythe's work in 2011 and appreciated their growth in the work. This performance attacked the inane sensibilities with abandon. Bo Busby and Isaac Akiba exhibited a refined performance aesthetic indicative of their progress in the company. Striding back and forth, dancers leapt into ever-shifting groupings. Forsythe's movement split the body vertically. Each dancing body appeared as two half-bodies with a tug of war over the torso. The pelvis became the locus of control and pulled the body into action. In this jumbling of limbs, the dancers slid on to relevé, tossed their heads side to side, and whipped through Forsythe's every turn and leap. Periodically they crashed to the ground, lying supine. The "details" created a circus with Thom Willems' clanging score, the manic rush of bodies, facial animations, and dancers periodically observing the mayhem from seats placed upstage.
A melancholy turn, Resonance, began with the tour de force that is Lia Cirio, walking backwards along a large gray wall. Joined by other female dancers, Cirio continued her uncertain quest, her path unravelling when the wall joined the dance. First, a small opening appeared in the wall; it expanded to reveal a second pianist; and, for the duration of the piece, remained in motion to conceal and reveal dancer from dancer(s). Eventually the walls rotated to expose male dancers soberly manipulating them. Cirio and Lasha Khozashvili's pas de deux occurred in shifting passageways, her legs slicing through the air as he lifted her. Dusty Button and Alejandro Virelles whisked through the shadows for a pas de deux that juxtaposed strength and devotion into Cirio and Khozashvili's dark nostalgia. Resonance ambiguously left Cirio alone in the shadows again at the end.