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Review: At City Ballet, a Prettily Arcadian ‘Dance Odyssey’

As a dancer, Peter Walker, a dark-haired beanpole amid the New York City Ballet corps, has an strangely grownup and practical glance. He brings onto the level the air of a existence out of doors the theater. I consider in him such a lot as a personality in efficiency (no longer least in plotless ballets) that I need to consider similarly within the ballets he himself makes.

So a long way, alas, I don’t. His 2nd introduction for City Ballet, “dance odyssey,” is an development on his first, “ten in seven” (2016), particularly in its number of tune (by way of the British composer Oliver Davis) and costumes (designed by way of City Ballet’s resident cloth cabinet director, Marc Happel).

The tune — for solo violin, strings, piano and harp, taken from Mr. Davis’s “Dance,” “Airborne Dances,” “Dance Odyssey,” “Frontiers” and “Dancing Folk” — is captivating, lyrical, Arcadian, attaining in its ultimate segment a melodious polyphony that remembers Michael Tippett’s stunning Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli. (Mr. Davis’s ranking inspires the custom of all-strings works by way of British composers — Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten and Tippett all wrote exceptional examples.) I to find it affable, completed, risk free.

Evidently Mr. Walker took his identify from this type of musical pieces, however why “dance odyssey” particularly? No odyssey used to be ever jollier, extra symmetrical, or much less characterised by way of both commute or solitude than this dance. This choreography is totally Arcadian, a sweetly beautiful and untroubled affair during which (as Mrs. Sullen says within the English Restoration comedy “The Beaux’ Stratagem”) each Phyllis has her Corydon.


Devin Alberda, left, and Anthony Huxley in “dance odyssey” at the wavy neon line.

Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

The two main males (Adrian Danchig-Waring, Zachary Catazaro) are seldom parted from their ballerinas (Ashley Laracey, Tiler Peck). The ensemble is led by way of a pair of determinedly boyish males (Anthony Huxley, Devin Alberda) who dance a chirruping, perky duet in combination to a pizzicato quantity. Both chaps then dutifully turn out dependable squires to feminine companions amid a corps the place each and every male-female couple has its little alternative.

Costumes are coloured tights in purples, vegetables, saffrons, with unobtrusive matching jackets. There isn't any program acknowledgment for décor, however a curving mauve neon line around the again — a part of Mark Stanley’s lights — slowly falls and rises right through the ballet. In my quest for “odyssey” that means, I attempted seeing this as a sea coast, however that were given me nowhere.

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