|Sebastien Marcovici and Janie Taylor in Orpheus. Photo: Paul Kolnik|
|Busy? Sebastien again, in Agon with Maria Kowroski. Photo: Paul Kolnik|
The black & white program was blue chip Balanchine-Stravinsky, the sweet spot for NYCB. Leading off with Stravinsky Violin Concerto (1972), Krohn—cool and noble—danced with Sebastien Marcovici, looking gallant and energetic; the sly, riveting Janie Taylor paired with Robert Fairchild, one of the jazziest, most improvisational men. Three short ballets comprised the second act. Kowroski and Ask la Cour danced Monumentum Pro Gesualdo (1960); she partnered with Marcovici in the twin piece Movements for Piano and Orchestra (1963). Again, Kowroski looked phenomenal; she seems to have discovered a renewed focus to go along with her under-trumpeted fundamentals and sublime physical gifts. In the perennially charming Duo Concertant (1972), pianist Susan Walters and violinist Arturo Delmoni performed onstage as Megan Fairchild and Chase Finlay alternately observed them and danced. When Finlay offered his hand to her, the coy first shake of her head before agreeing made me love Balanchine even more. Charming humor in ballet is rare.
|Chase Finlay and Megan Fairchild in Duo Concertant. Photo: Paul Kolnik|
There’s a section toward the end, after a section break, when the music's pretty much just a strong drum beat. You realize how modern Stravinsky was, how his music was the perfect complement to Balanchine’s equally modern ballet, and how neither the dance nor the music dominated in their collaborations, but supported one another while being completely unique. It's surely one of the great artistic partnerships ever, vibrant and fresh at NYCB.