|Ida Praetorius and Andreas Kaas in Flower Festival in Genzano. Photo: Yi-Chun Wu|
What defines this distinct style? Some thoughts:
|Susanne Grinder and Ulrik Birkkjaer in Napoli. |
Photo: Costin Radu
- The inventive phrasing which can change directions in the blink of an eye.
- The thrilling musicality, which underscores the cursive flow of the dance phrasing.
- Moments of stillness in contrast to great space-eating passages.
- An entire section of grand allegro in which a man's feet barely touch the floor.
- Details such as landing a jump with the arms held above the head with the palms facing outward rather than inward; or turn preparation from the second position rather than fourth; or landing a pirouette gently in a closed fifth position.
- There is such joy and life in the style, while it retains a consistent elegance and purity. This attitude is summed up in the signature leap, with the front leg straight, the trailing leg bent to form a split, and the arms spreading in front in a welcoming gesture.
|The signature leap, shown by Alban Lendorf. Photo: Costin Radu|
While the company, now led by NYCB alum Nikolai Hübbe, is uniquely prepared to perform Bournonville, even its skilled members encountered some difficulties, no doubt magnified by our close proximity to the stage. Wobbly balances, an occasional unpointed foot, indecisive finishes to pirouettes, a tendency to push a few degrees too hard to achieve more height... all reminders that very few other companies could undertake this exquisite, difficult repertory.
Read Marina Harss' New York Times piece here.