THE POLISH NATIONAL BALLET
June 21, 2015
The Polish National Ballet made their New York debut last week at the Joyce Theatre. The leading ballet company in Poland presented two works from Artistic Director and choreographer Krzysztof Pastor and one piece from Israeli choreographer Emanuael Gat.
“Adagio & Scherzo,” (2014) is contemporary ballet at it’s finest: technically sufficient, dynamically athletic, and wistfully melodramatic. Dancers place their legs high into the air, with little effort needed. A string of pairs link up and the females are thrown into the air, caught and whisked away upon descent. Perhaps it doesn’t present any new ideas, but the hodge-podge feats makes a sharp first impression on the New York audience.
Gat’s “Rite of Spring,”(2004) is a refreshing take on the Russian classic. Three ladies and two men mix salsa and swing on a red carpet center stage. They are confined to the small space only occasionally break from it to switch positions or extend their legs past the parameter. In a series of swift movements the five dancers continuously rotate pairings, often leaving a female dancing by the partnered steps solo. But it isn’t long before a hand locks with hers and she’s no longer the one left out. As Stravinsky’s score bemoans the climactic symbols and the ending draws near, the dancers keep their pacing, quick, sharp, and vivid.
The evening closed with Pastor’s “Moving Rooms” (2008). Similar to “Adagio,” “Rooms” fuses fine lines and focused partnering. The lighting creates small boxes the dancers step in and out of, their hands reach long wanting to step into the light, until their whole body becomes overtaken with the feeling of forward. A pause or breath is the one thing “Rooms” lacks. Kinetic energy sparks with the constant rush of movement but simply a small slow down would give this number a moment needed to reflect.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Bailey Moon