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Bringing It All Back Home: City Ballet Begins Again With Balanchine

On Tuesday, Chase Finlay’s tall and statuesque Apollo and the muses Sterling Hyltin (Terpsichore), Ashley Bouder (Polyhymnia) and Lauren Lovette (Calliope) had been totally lucid exponents of the Balanchine imaginative and prescient. Many who keep in mind City Ballet’s “Apollo” right through Balanchine’s lifetime would nonetheless like enhancements, however they’re the similar we’ve sought after for years. Mark Stanley’s lighting fixtures is just too tepid, and a number of other facets of the choreography are misaccentuated. Andrew Litton’s undertaking, regardless that it elicited superb orchestral enjoying, used to be insufficiently propulsive. When Terpsichore positioned her finger onto Apollo’s in the beginning of the pas de deux, the emphasis used to be overdone: What will have to subject extra is the road that follows as she turns away.

So nowadays’s “Apollo” lacks playfulness, pleasure, naturalness. (Balanchine as soon as described Apollo as “a country boy,” the muses as “three broads who happen along.”) But its formal qualities stay exciting: The traces of Mr. Finlay’s dancing open out hugely into the encircling air.

Balanchine’s “Apollo” used to be an open-sesame. Its revelatory assembly of historic and trendy become the hallmark of his paintings. Classicism and modernism additionally coexist in lots of his ballets, no longer least the 5 others on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s systems.

Photo

Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle in “Mozartiana.”

Credit
Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

On Wednesday, “The Four Temperaments” (1946), one of the vital top ballets of the 20th century, used to be brilliant in all its aspects, from Lydia Wellington’s gleamingly cool, positive supply of the outlet duet onward. Teresa Reichlen has lengthy been the definitive exponent of Choleric’s thunder-and-lightning steps, whilst Anthony Huxley, infrequently too contained up to now, broke thru as Melancholic to a brand new fervor, his torso powerfully appearing the conflicts embodied right here. No conflicts for Tiler Peck’s incisive Sanguinic: She used to be all full-throttle, outward-bound momentum.

Maria Kowroski, the corporate’s senior ballerina, and her spouse Tyler Angle introduced a better wealth of nuance to “Mozartiana” (1981) than they’ve prior to now accomplished. Sara Mearns, the troupe’s maximum dramatic stylist, firmly urged “Cortège Hongrois” (1973) from severity to jubilance, and “Chaconne” (1976) from elusive spirituality thru to rococo brilliance. She used to be handsomely partnered by way of Russell Janzen (“Cortège”) and Adrian Danchig-Waring (“Chaconne”). Both those males had been admirable: More authority will include extra enjoy. Mr. Janzen turns out unnecessarily fearful, as though no longer realizing how just right he's.

Wednesday’s account of “Divertimento No. 15” (1956), a celestial paintings that includes 5 ballerinas and 3 cavaliers, used to be each daring and transparent. My cavil right here isn't a brand new one: Some of those ballerinas (Megan Fairchild, Abi Stafford) stepped out eagerly into area with out illuminating the air round them; they had been bubbly however no longer radiant. But it used to be just right to peer Ashley Laracey again from a six-month harm. Could this pretty however regularly self-absorbed soloist develop into an exemplar of classical taste?

Outside the auditorium, the David H. Koch Theater appeared distinctly festive. Jihan Zencirli’s huge set up of primary-color balloons within the upstairs lobby is the most recent, brightest and merriest of the six artwork installations the corporate has introduced up to now years; Ms. Zencirli is the primary feminine artist to had been commissioned. Even regardless that I choose this gorgeous lobby in an unadorned, pristine situation, I experience those balloons: They cling like large grapes from a pergola.

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