NYCB FALL FASHION GALA
September 29, 2019
Lights flashed, and people posed while sipping Ruinart bubbly on the night of the NYC Ballet Fall Fashion Gala. The evening included two new works by the next generation of ballet choreographers, Lauren Lovette and Edwaard Liang, followed by George Balanchine’s majestic Symphony in C.
Led by the stand-out Georgina Pazcoguin dressed in black pants, white shirt, black toe shoes and black pixie wig, Lovette’s The Shaded Line spread over an enticing, Eastern infused score by Tan Dun. The dancers wore traditional ballet outfits – with a twist -- designed by Zac Posen featuring Tutus swinging upward in back suggesting bird-like swoops.
To her credit, Lovette (a NYCB Principal) takes risks every single time she choreographs a new work. Rather than remain in a comfort zone, she eagerly pushes past her previous explorations and adds or subtracts movement elements.
Couples switch it up in gender-blind partnering, that puts men with men, and women with women but not necessarily projecting anything more than joining people in movement combos. The marvelously spirited Pazcoquin appears at times as an outsider observing a community that spills across the stage in inventive clusters.
At other times, she engages with the dancers partnering ballerinas or being partnered herself. The Shaded Line underscores Lovette’s choreographer chops and as well as her generosity towards young dancers who she skillfully promotes to the front of the stage.
A former NYCB member, Edwaard Liang returned with Lineage to music by Oliver Davis. Currently director of BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio, Liang’s choreography has become much more fluid. In an establishing image, dancers are stretched out on the floor in a long diagonal. Liang contrasted modern dance movements such as torso contractions against feathery, floating arms.
Three lead couples included the: sparkling Ashley Bouder and Peter Walker; eye-catching Sara Mearns and Russell Janzen, plus Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle who produced a moment of sweeping lyricism when Kowroski folds her torso over his arm. Dancers wore shimmering costumes with sheer black tops and metallic, removable skirts by Anna Sui.
George Balanchine came on strong at the end with the grand Symphony in C originally choreographed in 1947—a large-scale ballet that carries the glamour of great opera houses where ballet was raised.
An enthusiastic audience greeted the night with cheers.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipitois