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BWW Review: BROOKLYN BALLET Celebrates The Holidays Like No Other In The Brooklyn Nutcracker
by Caryn Cooper - December 12, 2016

December 7, 2016 kicked off the premiere of Brooklyn Ballet's The Brooklyn Nutcracker at the Brooklyn Museum. In this re-imagined holiday classic, the Brooklyn Ballet fuses ballet and hip hop along with an array of world dance genres to create a new tradition for today's audiences. In this celebration, The Brooklyn Nutcracker, also integrates ground-breaking technology of lights, motion-responsive costumes, and a digital set, inviting audiences of all ages to this 'Brooklyn-ized holiday' program.
BWW Dance Review: Pushing the Boundaries of Ballet with AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE
by Caryn Cooper - October 25, 2016

For a limited two week engagement at the David H. Koch Theater, the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) kicked off its fall season with spectacular pieces that truly push the boundaries traditionally found in classical ballet. On the evening of October 21st, the program featured Twyla Tharp's audience favorite The Brahms-Haydn Variations, the world premiere of Her Notes by the acclaimed Jessica Lang, and the company premiere of Daphnis and Chloe with choreography by Benjamin Millepied.
BWW Dance Review: Pushing the Envelope Forward with NEW CHAMBER BALLET
by Caryn Cooper - September 21, 2016

On September 16, 2016, Artistic Director, Miro Magloire, and company New Chamber Ballet, kicked off its' 2016-17 season with an exciting mix of old and new works at the City Center Studios. With this not being my first time seeing the troupe perform, I was curious what to expect since I saw them last year. But I must say, I was not disappointed before, and I was not disappointed this time either!
BWW Review: DANCES PATRELLE Opens Its 26th Repertory Season with Macbeth
by Sondra Forsyth - September 19, 2016

Francis Patrelle, who is (remarkably!) celebrating his 45th year as a sought-after dance teacher in New York City, explains in a program note that he decided to bring back his 1995 balletic rendering of Shakespeare's Macbeth because 'the story has a lot to tell us about our own times; deep themes of power, corruption and the futility of man which continue to illuminate our existence.'
BWW Review: BALLETX, Philly's Groundbreaking Contemporary Company, Offers Three NYC Premieres at the Joyce
by Sondra Forsyth - August 18, 2016

On August 16th 2016, opening night of a six-day run at the Joyce, BalletX did not disappoint dancegoers anticipating a taste of the quirky fare for which the troupe has become known. Billing itself as 'Philadelphia's premier contemporary ballet', the company has from its inception in 2005 been what the founders have called a 'playground' that has allowed choreographers the freedom to experiment and explore as they strive to create exciting new works.
BWW Dance Review: Celebrating Diversity in Ballet with THE BLACK IRIS PROJECT
by Caryn Cooper - July 8, 2016

On June 29, 2016, The Black Iris Project, under the direction of the award-winning choreographer Jeremy McQueen, performed their new ballet entitled Black Iris at Central Park as part of SummerStage- the largest free performing arts festival in New York City. It was such a beautiful evening- a perfect night for the ballet.
BWW Review: ABT's 'The Golden Cockerel' Is More of a Grandiose Theatrical Production Than a Ballet
by Sondra Forsyth - June 8, 2016

ABT's Resident Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, who created the version of 'The Golden Cockerel' that had its company premiere on June 6th 2016, is quoted in a Playbill article by Caroline Hamilton as saying, 'This production is overwhelmingly theatrical'. Ah, so that explains why there is virtually no dancing in the entire first act and very little in the second act! A little research reveals that Ratmansky reportedly added more dancing after getting less than laudatory reviews in 2012 when his 'Cockerel' opened in Copenhagen. Yet mime still predominates, which is the legacy of the unwieldy and heavy original costume designs by avant-garde artist Natalia Goncharova for the 1914 and 1937 Ballet Russes opera ballet productions of 'Le Coq d'Or' with choreography by Fokine. (In 1914, 'baby ballerina' Tamara Karsavina danced the role of the Queen of Shemakhan with Enrico Cecchetti as the Astrologer. The Cockerel was a stage prop.)
BWW Review: NEW YORK CITY BALLET's 'Classic NYCB II' Is a Reminder of Why the Company in an Artistic Treasure
by Sondra Forsyth - May 24, 2016

On the afternoon of May 22nd 2016, audience members at a nearly sold out performance of New York City Ballet's 'Classic NYCB II' program at the Koch Theater in Lincoln Center were treated to five selections that underscored the impressive range and enduring excellence of the troupe's repertoire.
BWW Review: AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE's 2016 Spring Gala Offered a Delightful Sampling of the Season's Repertoire
by Sondra Forsyth - May 20, 2016

On the evening of May 16th 2016 at the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center, the beloved troupe that was recognized as 'America's National Ballet Company' in 2006 by the United States Congress proved once again that the American Ballet Theatre is indeed a treasure. Dancegoers in dazzling formal attire were treated to a Spring Gala that eschewed traditional staples and showcased instead an appetite-whetting smorgasbord of excerpts from the spring season as well as a world premiere and the one-act Firebird.
BWW Dance Review: Celebrating the Hispanic Diaspora with BALLET HISPANICO
by Caryn Cooper - April 13, 2016

Last week, Ballet Hispanico continued its 45th anniversary tour with their spring New York season at The Joyce Theater, April 5-10, 2016. This time around, the company chose to honor the past by bringing back some old favorites from their repertoire.
BWW Review: PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET Offered a Forsythe-Infused Triple Bill at New York City Center
by Sondra Forsyth - February 29, 2016

Seattle's Pacific Northwest Ballet under the artistic direction of Peter Boal returned to New York City Center in February 2016 with an 'All Balanchine' program on the 24th and 25th followed by a triple bill, 'Contemporary Innovations', on the 26th and 27th. The latter, which I saw on the 26th, featured works by two choreographers who had at one time worked with William Forsythe as members of Ballett Frankfurt and a third piece by Forsythe himself. Forsythe's protegees created pieces that harked back to his own reinvention of classical ballet, yet went further in that direction with strikingly individual styles. The PNB dancers, superbly trained and impeccably rehearsed, gave world-class performances in all three of the evening's offerings. In particular, Angelica Generosa was a shining presence with superb technique. She is currently a member of the corps de ballet, but I see a promotion in her future.
BWW Review: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Triumphs With 'La Sylphide' and 'Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2'
by Sondra Forsyth - February 16, 2016

Peter Martins' reconstruction of the 1836 tragicomedy, 'La Sylphide', and Balanchine's 1972 update of 'Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2' proved to be a particularly felicitous pairing for a February 12th to 18th run at the Koch Theater during New York City Ballet's Winter Season. 'La Sylphide', with choreography by the Danish icon August Bournonville to a score by Herman Lovenskjold, is a masterpiece of surprisingly campy humor plus gorgeous 'white ballet' ensemble work for the ladies. After that opener, the audience is warmed up and ready for one of Mr. B's most ingenious plotless neoclassic treasures.
BWW Review: NEW YORK CITY BALLET Offers a Win-Win with a Balanchine and Robbins Double Bill
by Sondra Forsyth - February 1, 2016

As part of New York City Ballet's Winter Season 2016 at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater, the program appropriately entitled 'Masters at Work' was a perfect pairing of two disparate yet in one way similar creations by the troupe's founding choreographers, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Mr. B's Liebeslieder Walzer, which premiered in November of 1960, is a lush and romantic evocation of 19th century Vienna to the music of Johannes Brahms set to poems by Friedrich Daumer and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In contrast, Robbins's Glass Pieces dating from 1984 is a pulsing portrayal of urban urgency in the 20th century with Philip Glass's minimalist score as the accompaniment.
BWW Review: BALLET MEMPHIS Brings Diversity and a Southern Sensibility to a Run at the Joyce
by Sondra Forsyth - November 2, 2015

In the wake of the media frenzy about African-American ballerina Misty Copeland, a recent article in The New York Times by Gia Kourlas applauds the fact that the American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet are featuring black, Asian, Latino, and multiracial dancers 'where it matters most: Lincoln Center, home base to both companies'.
BWW Review: AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE Is as Versatile as Ever in a Mixed Bill
by Sondra Forsyth - October 30, 2015

According to a 1998 review of ABT by Jack Anderson in The New York Times, publicists for the company in the early days used to call the troupe 'a museum of the dance.' Anderson commented that this is a good phrase to describe the company 'provided one realizes that great museums can encourage new art as well as preserve old'. I heartily concur. As I've mentioned before, I always remind my ballet students that we can hang a Rembrandt or a Picasso on a museum wall for posterity, but each generation of dancers must be capable performing both the old and the new if we are to keep our history alive. Fortunately, true to ABT's founding mission 'to develop a repertoire of the best ballets from the past and to encourage the creation of new works by gifted young choreographers,' this national treasure continues to present accurate historical reconstructions as well as new works by today's choreographers.

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