Magazine article Dance Magazine

American Ballet Theatre

Magazine article Dance Magazine

American Ballet Theatre

Article excerpt

American Ballet Theatre

Avery Fisher Hall

Lincoln Center, NYC

October 7-10, 2009

Reviewed by Gus Solomons jr

Avery Fisher Hall may be a fine venue for the Philharmonic, but for ABT, it's a challenge. Their brief four-day fall season comprised three new commissions, two old pas de deux--one on each of two programs--and one Dying Swan (danced by Veronika Part on gala night). Since dancers and musicians had to share the stage, musical scores ranged from solo piano to a six-musician ensemble.

It was fun to see the dancers warming up on the big, bare stage as we entered the hall, and they seemed to enjoy it too. What was difficult for them, though, was making all entrances and exits through only two doors on each side. And lighting designer Brad Fields had to make do with paltry lighting that had two settings, on and off, and left the corners of the stage dim.

Robbins' Other Dances (1976), labeled by some as outtakes from Dances at a Gathering, is technically a bear of a pas de deux. Set to four Chopin mazurkas (and a waltz), it could be a thesis project in Russian character dancing. Champion technicians Gillian Murphy and David Hallberg earn kudos for getting through it gracefully.

Some Assembly Required (1989) by Clark Tippett is a physical romance, set to William Bolcom's Second Sonata for Violin and Piano. Its main attraction is precarious lifts, like balancing the woman by her shins. On the Friday matinee, Maria Riccetto and Jared Matthews gave it a passionately muted performance.

For the first premiere, Alexei Ratmansky fashioned the choreographically intricate Seven Sonatas to pieces by Scarlatti, played with authority by pianist Barbara Bilach. …

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