New York manufacturer of fine dance apparel for women and girls.
Click here to see a sample of our products and a
list of web sites for purchasing.
With Body Wrappers it's always performance at its best.
Go back to Flash Reviews
Review 2, 2-11: Stone Soup
Retouched "Jewels" and a New Ruby from City Ballet
By Susan Yung
Copyright 2004 Susan Yung
Sponsor a Flash!
NEW YORK -- New York
City Ballet's current production of George Balanchine's "Jewels,"
seen Saturday night at the New York State Theater, features new
sets by Peter Harvey, who designed the sets for the 1967 premiere.
Gone are Grandma's drapes that hung lank around the proscenium,
now replaced by painted flats with linear accents and asymmetric
strings of big sparkling gems. But Balanchine noted that "Jewels,"
comprising three sections -- "Emeralds," "Rubies," and "Diamonds"
-- is not really about jewels, apart from Karinska's jewel-encrusted
costumes. It's rather a formal celebration of music, dance and life.
(Or is it truly about soup, as ballerina Karin von Aroldingen recounts
in the Winter 2003 Ballet Review -- Spring Green Soup, Borscht,
"Emeralds," to music
by Gabriel Faure, is said to embody France. The new set features
dazzling abstract paintings whose style nestles between Impressionism
and Expressionism -- so lush that you could practically smell the
saturated verdant tones. Balanchine matched the romantic music with
loosely knit choreography, savoring the languid pace rather than
checking off a list of mandatory steps or parts to a pas de deux.
Miranda Weese danced elegantly, balancing solidly in arabesque;
partner Stephen Hanna (who made his debut in this role Friday) lifted
her with confident ease. Jenifer Ringer (also new to her role) and
James Fayette also matched well, first in lyrical waltzing, then
in metronomic clock-hand ticking of their arms and legs. Fayette's
stoicism, which sometimes makes his performances feel closed off,
worked here, as in deeply planted lunges to provide Ringer a solid
barre to hang onto. Arch Higgins partnered both Jennifer Tinsley
and Pascale van Kipnis in unique ways, skipping with hands held,
or with the women shadowing one another.
"Rubies" is not an ode
to a country, but rather to a state -- a state of mind, the magnificent
long-term collaboration between Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky.
The opening scene of "Rubies" is simple but stunning: a line of
thirteen dancers stands in fourth position releve, linked hands
held aloft valiantly, gazes defiant. Yvonne Borree (subbing for
Jennie Somogyi) and Peter Boal jogged playfully, or chaineed with
arms forming a funny "w." Borree has still not been able to amplify
her slight physique with charisma, although in last year's "Carnival"
of the Animals by Christopher Wheeldon, she proved she is capable
of it. In "Rubies," her wobbly-fawn legs and arms could charm at
times and frustrate otherwise. Boal looked fine in this surprisingly
late-career role debut, the shading of age showing in added confidence
rather than stiffness, his tour jetes light and high.
The evening's revelation
came in corps member Teresa Reichlin's strong female solo role,
in her second performance in the role. Her stature, reminiscent
of Maria Kowroski's -- tall, long-limbed, with extremely flexible
joints -- assures Reichliln of being spotted in a group, but it's
her stage presence that made the difference. She demanded to be
watched, seizing upon movements and commanding them. Unfortunately,
the eight women who formed the corps moved out of synch, at times
seemingly to different counts; this occurred again later in the
Imperial Russia is the
working image for "Diamonds," now with washy blue painted flats,
whose irregular receding arches evoked more Munch's "Scream" than
St. Petersburg. Still, the large numbers of dancers in rhinestone
bejeweled knee-length tutus and tunics dazzled like a snowy field
on a sunny day. Darci Kistler and Charles Askegard led the cast,
a royal couple promenading to Tchaikovsky's paces, a bit balky in
some partnering sequences but clean in general. Kistler used her
radiant cameo to great advantage, aiming her beam at the fourth
ring, and Askegard performed piston-pumping turns in second with,
for him, an unusually crisp rhythm. Impressively, the corps of 32
smoothly executed ensemble triple pirouettes, leading up to a denouement
that cries wolf repeatedly until it finally closes.
Go back to Flash Reviews