Top honors for the program go to the company’s interpretation of The Four Temperaments, to music by Paul Hindemith. Daniel Deivison-Oliveira and Kristina Lind open the work, each offering an unfolding hand to the other. As she recreates the off-balance pas de deux, Lind carries the very texture of the Balanchine line—long-limbed, with generous extensions—inviting comparisons to Patricia Neary.
Though the hype surrounding the New York City Ballet’s fall season has lately concerned a new ballet composed by a certain former Beatle, the company has continually impressed with its performances of repertoire by its founding choreographers. On Tuesday, a program of three early Balanchine works – the ballets presented were all choreographed before 1960 – showed just how modern his ballets seem half a century later.
All of Blum’s many accomplishments were bracketed between the anti-Semitic turmoil of the Dreyfus Affair that tormented France from 1894 to 1904 and the Nazi-led Holocaust in which he perished. To his dying day, Blum thought of himself as a French patriot. Yet it was the complicity of French officials during the German occupation that set him on the road to Auschwitz.
As anyone who has seen the New York City Ballet can attest, George Balanchine hardly stuck to one dance style. Yet the ballets for which he is most well-known are his “black and white” ballets, works in which he stripped ballet to its essence — movement, and music, and the ways in which the two illuminate each other. Gone were elaborate costumes and sets, replaced with practice clothes (leotards and tights, sometimes accompanied by short dance skirts or belts) and an empty stage. NYCB has devoted the first week of its spring season to a dozen such ballets.
Homans’ concluding remarks, cogent and powerfully expressed like the rest of Apollo’s Angels, are going to send some powerful shock waves through an arts community content to let ballet companies limp along on the receipts of last year’s Nutcracker performances.