Balanchine: The City Center Years (Program II)

Program II of “Balanchine: The City Center Years” at New York City Center on Thursday.

My favorite tonight goes to Anna Rose O’Sullivan and Marcelino Sambe of The Royal Ballet in “Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux”. What a beautiful presentation of my favorite duet. WOW!!! 😍😍😍

I wasn’t the only one who fell in love with them. The crowd cheered so loudly that the house re-opened the curtain for them to take an extra bow.

After seeing Tiler Peck and Joaquin de Luz of NYCB perform the piece this spring, I didn’t think anyone could possibly come close. However, within seconds of coming onto the stage, after the first spin and the first lift, Anna Rose was already signaling to us that we’re in for a treat.

Anna Rose and Marcelino had an incredible chemistry between them that brought the duet to a different level.

I also love every aspect of Anna Rose’s presentation. The way she lingered in the air just a bit longer than expected at the end of a turn. Her facial expression, her eyes, her glaze alone could tell endless stories. Technically, she travelled backwards in her arabesque faster than anyone I’ve seen. Her fish dives at the end were the most daring of a leap into a fish dive that I’ve seen. Like I said, I didn’t think anyone could possibly outshine Tiler but she just did!

San Francisco Ballet put on a beautiful performance of “Divertimento No 15” featuring a talented female lead cast of Frances Chung, Dores André, Sasha De Sola, Koto Ishihara, Ana Sophia Scheller accompanied by Ben Freemantle, Angelo Greco, and Lonnie Weeks.

Maria Khoreva, Anastasia Nuykina, Daria Ionova, and Xander Parish put on an emotional rendition of “Apollo”. Bravo!

I also love the pairing of Maria Kowroski and Abi Stafford in “Concerto Barocco” by New York City Ballet.

Balanchine: The City Center Years (Program I)

Program I of “Balanchine: The City Center Years” at New York City Center on Wednesday.

Memorable moments from the opening night include…

Kimin Kim‘s jumps in “Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux”. The crowd collectively gasped when he leaped off for the first time, and stayed in the air forever and ever. Kimin continued to impress throughout the piece, executing some of the best jumps I’ve seen, and owned the spotlight in this duet.

Anna Rose O’Sullivan and Marcelino Sambe were amazing in “Tarantella”. They were playful, technical, and daring. I love the chemistry between them, and look forward to seeing them perform “Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux” tomorrow night!

Tiler Peck, Ashley Bouder, Anthony Huxley, and New York City Ballet were lovely in “Symphony in C”. Miami City Ballet opened the night with a beautiful presentation of “Serenade”.


New York City Ballet. June 2nd at the Koch Theater.

Tonight’s Coppelia is my favorite program of this year’s NYCB season!!! Ashley Boulder is absolutely gorgeous as Swanilda.

Classic NYCB

New York City Ballet. May 29th at the Koch Theater.

My favorite of the night goes to “Not Our Fate” by Lauren Lovette. The piece showing the relationships between five couples (including same-sex couples) was emotional and moving. I love Lauren’s distinctive movement vocabulary: the way the dancers jumped, the way they turned and twirled, and the curved paths in the air that the dancers went through during assisted lifts. The piece feels dynamic. Everything is evolving. Nothing is ever straight. Altogether, the dancers filled the stage with tangled stories and their innermost desires for love.

NYCB: Tribute to Robbins

New York City Ballet. May 10th at the Koch Theater.

This evening’s tribute to Jerome Robbins closed with “Something to Dance About” featuring a stunning showcase of 12 choreographic excerpts from Broadway shows…

Never Never Land (Peter Pan, 1954)
New York, New York (On the Town, 1944)
All I Need is the Girl (Gypsy, 1959)
Something’s Coming/Dance at the Gym/Cha Cha (West Side Stories, 1957)
Shall We Dance (The King and I, 1951)
Small House of Uncle Thomas (The King and I, 1951)
Charleston (Billion Dollar Baby, 1945)
The Music that Makes Me Dance (Funny Girl, 1964)
America (West Side Stories, 1957)
Wedding Dance (Fiddler on the Roof, 1964)
Times Square Ballet (On the Town, 1944)
Something Wonderful (The King and I, 1951)

NYCB: All Balanchine

New York City Ballet. April 25th at the Koch Theater.

The highlight of the night goes to Tiler Peck and Joaquin de Luz‘s Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux. I can’t even begin to describe how absolutely incredible Tiler and Joaquin were. So, here are screenshots of Tiler’s own words about their partnering. When Tiler says they went for [the leaps], you know it’s going to be out-of-this-world stunning. Yes, we had as much fun watching you as you did on stage!

The rest of the “All Balanchine” program featured Apollo, Le Tombeau de Couperin, and Symphony in Three Movements.

Stravinsky and Balanchine

My favorite: “Symphony in Three Movements” opened with 16 ballerinas in white, standing in a single diagonal line across the stage, moving in unison. Five more couples in black and white joined in, before the three principal ballerinas (dressed in red) and three principal male dancers (in black) came on stage. I love the gorgeous movements by the 32 dancers and, of course, the stunning lead role performed by Tiler Peck.

We got a little distracted by the shiny sculptures by Jihan Zencirli Geronimo on display in the promenade.

Classic New York City Ballet

“Classic New York City Ballet” by New York City Ballet was amazing this afternoon!

“The Four Seasons” was absolutely gorgeous with 49 dancers (!!!) in the piece. Sterling Hyltin and Chase Finley perfectly captured Spring, but Ashley Boulder, Zachary Catazaro, and Roman Mejia stole the show with Fall. I enjoyed seeing two of my favorite ballerinas, Maria Kowroski and Tiler Peck, on stage together in “Oltremare” as well as Megan Fairchild in “Square Dance.” Also, the promenade of the Koch Theater was beautifully decorated with sculptures by Jihan Zencirli.

The Four Seasons, choreographed by Jerome Robbins with music by Giuseppi Verdi, presents a series of scenes depicting Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. The opening scene of Winter was both elegant (dancers dressed in all white) and humorous (dancers rubbing their hands to keep themselves warm, against a backdrop of falling snowflakes). Sterling and Chase perfectly captured the exuberance of Spring with Sterling’s bright personality and Chase’s (and the boys’) leaps. They looked like young leaves sprouting and eagerly shooting into the air. Summer was hot and slow, and wonderfully conveyed by Ashley Laracey and Taylor Stanley. My favorite season goes to Fall which felt like a ginormous harvest celebration, filled with non-stop dancing, parades, and lots of impressive turns.

Oltremare explores the feeling of being an immigrant: Constantly moving, searching for a better life, yet never at home. While the central theme is all about emotions, the piece also features tons of highly technical moves. I felt Maria and Tiler, both highly expressively and also super technical, played the parts perfectly. Ashly Isaacs and Megan LeCrone were both lovely in their roles, too.

My favorite part of Square Dance goes to “square dancing” geometric group patterns with intricate ballet steps.

As a side note, I thought I was seeing doubles when the sisters, Claire and Emma Von Enck danced together in the Four Season. I had to check the program to make sure I wasn’t imagining it.


Celebrating 50th anniversary of Jewels. Saw Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds this afternoon by Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet, and Bolshoi Ballet. So beautiful! ❤️

Three of the world’s top ballet companies came together to jointly present Jewels in New York City this week, featuring a different cast each day. The question is not whether to see the show (definitely going) but which cast to see (considering the last row of orchestra starts at $150).

In the end, I went with Megan Fairchild in Rubies, because she was stunning in the role when City Ballet opened the season with Jewels. By extension, the choice meant I’ll see Emeralds with Paris Opera Ballet and Diamonds with Bolshoi Ballet.

First of all, Megan outdid herself today in the grand pas de deux. Wow! Megan was fast, dazzling, playful, fiery, and everything that Rubies represented. Second of all, Joaquin de Luz outshone Megan, which I did not think would be possible. Double wowwww!!! His leaps exploded in the air every time. I loved his playfulness. He not only matched Megan in expression and style, but went on to engage the four male dancers in the corps. With a glance here and a hand gesture there, he lead the men into splendid formations and marvelous leaps.

The famed Laëtitia Pujol took on the leading role in Emeralds. At 41 years of age, she was both gorgeous in her expressions and exact in her techniques. Every one of her assisted lifts soared through the air following the perfect arch and timing.

In contrast to the veterans of City and Paris Opera Ballet, Bolshoi casted Alena Kovaleva, an 18-year-old prodigy in the leading role for Diamonds. Last fall with City Ballet, Teresa Reichlen was tall, elegant, and stately in Diamonds. In comparison, Alena was softer in her presentation giving the piece a more royal, prosperous, and imperial feel. On the other hand, Alena’s lines and techniques were exquisite. Her grand battements cut through the air with dynamism and energy, and reached for… went through… the roof of the Koch Theater with every extension. She was very much a princess on stage, befitting of the sparkling diamonds, and carried the joint performance to a wonderful close.