Evenings like the one lived Thursday night at the Royal Theater They could be summed up, in the ancient language of emoticons, with a few smiley faces, a few other surprised faces, and several rows of little hands clapping. What a company the New York City Ballet! What dancers! What work, what perfection, and how much art! We must give credit to them, above all, but also to George Balanchinewhich launched the company and fed it with a handful of choreographies that changed the world of ballet, and also those who keep alive the flame of rigor, quality and style.
Seventy-five years have had to pass for the Madrid public to get to know what is undoubtedly one of the best and most legendary dance companies in the world. Seventy-five years ago George Balanchine founded together with the businessman and philanthropist Lincoln Kirstein the New York City Ballet and recruited another legendary name: Jerome Robbins. Together they transformed the world of ballet and its language, and their heritage lives on not only in the company but in a multitude of creators.
One of the first NYC Ballet choreographies was ‘Serenade‘, which has opened the program of the Teatro Real. The piece, on music by Tchaikovsky -his ‘Serenade for Strings’-, is a prodigy of sensitivity and sweetness; it is, at the same time, a choreographic filigree, with movements full of musicality, where the notes of the score are prolonged in the bodies of the dancers, to the point that it seems that this music could not be danced in any other way. It maintains, almost ninety years after its creation -Balanchine made it for a group of ballet students-, it maintains its magnetic freshness, its humor full of subtlety -when creating it, he took advantage of many rehearsal circumstances, such as the movement of a ballerina’s arm to which a spotlight bothered her, and which ended up becoming the starting position for the dancers-; it is rightly still one of the main emblems of the New York City Ballet.
It also has the same seal ‘Square Dance‘, a vital work from 1957. The two choreographies are optimistic, contagious, full of vitality and in both they counted, as it should be, with the complicity of the Teatro Real Titular Orchestra, guided by the experts Clotilde Otranto and Andrews Sill.
Contrast the classicism of the two pieces with the ‘gulf’ character of ‘The Times are Racing’, created by Justin Peck, current resident choreographer of the company. About electronic music Dan Deacon, Peck follows the line set by Balanchine in terms of dynamism, demand, rhythm and technical demand. But he does it by staining the language with contemporaneity.
The program is made to show the possibilities of the company. There are solo interventions, but the three choreographies are eminently choral. The technical level displayed by the dancers is astonishing, the speed with which they evolve, the ‘facility’ with which they seem to do everything. But he admires even more – and it is possibly his most personal hallmark – his mastery of the Balanchine style, the neatness with which they perform their movements and the art with which they fly their arms. They don’t chain steps, they dance; they enjoy dancing (sometimes their smiles seem to say: ‘Look how well I do!’) and, of course, they make the audience enjoy themselves.
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