Monday, June 3, 2013

Notebook Review: Jusin Peck's In Creases for NYCB

Robert Fairchild in In Creases. Photo: Paul Kolnik 
Notebook review of Justin Peck's In Creases for New York City Ballet
  • Shows Peck's affinity for structure, speed, and the body's capabilities
  • As he mentions in a fascinating slideshow at NYCB's website (A Choreographer's Perspective): "I've learned the most from Balanchine's work, especially with regards to structure. If Balanchine had never existed, I don't know if I would have wanted to choreograph."
  • Imagery: grids, lines, blossoming flowers, fencing moves, arrows in flight, football drills, machinery
  • Star power: Robert Fairchild valiant, charismatic, and dynamic, attacks the bold and daring shapes that Peck, very athletic, must have created on himself
  • At one point, in contrast, as the other seven dancers rush and dart about, Fairchild stands completely still, drawing the eye
  • Thrilling fun: dancers, in a circle, duck to avoid a woman's extended scythe-like leg as she revolves  
  • Christian Tworzyanski, a reliable corps member and partner, featured in sections that show off his great empathy, expressiveness, and artistic maturity
  • Hypnotic: the pianists play with barely enough light to see the score; as the lights come up, we see two women on pointe, rocking from one foot to the other metronomically
  • The movement, when quick, is thrusty and crisp and seems to hit angles and facades with precision 
  • In some of Fairchild's turns, the free leg is held low and to the back, or is swung to the side; standing knee bent. An example of the small tweaks to the classical style that make Peck's vocab stand out
  • Following Serenade by Balanchine on the program, you feel the influence of his choreography in large group sections—many moving parts meshing and working together, forming satisfying geometries, revealing surprises and inventiveness; also present is Ratmansky's light humorous touch and winking wit 

Nuts & bolts:
  • Made New York premiere last week
  • Set to Philip Glass' restless, flowing Four Movements for Two Pianos, played onstage with great finesse by Elaine Chelton and Cameron Grant
  • Costumes—elegant silver and white unitards (men) and camisoles (women) by Peck and Marc Happel

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