NEW YORK CITY BALLET BRINGS ITS BEST TO LAS VEGAS
By: Hal de Becker
At The Smith Center On March 5th and 6th New York City Ballet (NYCB), one of the world’s – and certainly America’s -- pre-imminent dance companies, presents seven modern ballet works on a program entitled Moves.
It will feature eight of the company’s principal dancers as well as soloists and corps de ballet.Most of the artists will be performing in Las Vegas for the first time.
With 90 dancers and 150 actively performed works in its repertoire, NYCB is the largest dance company in America.To see eight of its major principal dancers performing on two consecutive evenings is a rare and not-to-be-missed opportunity.
The generous programs will include works by two of NYCB’s most popular and revered choreographers, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.The music, too, is an eclectic collection of compositions by, among others, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Philip Glass and Ray Charles.
The music for Mr. Balanchine’s ballet Duo Concertant was composed by Igor Stravinsky for violin and pianoand was long admired by the choreographer: he waited 40 years before deciding to create a ballet to it.
Robbins’ In the Night is set to four of Chopin’s hauntingly poetic piano Nocturnes. It is a sort of sequel to his earlier and hugely popular Dances at a Gathering to music by the same composer.
Two works by Peter Martins, NYCB’s former premier danseur who for nearly 25 years has directed both the company and its school, will also be presented.
His A Fool For You takes its inspiration from 12 song hits by the American performer/ composer Ray Charles while Zakouski,an assortment of short dances, is set to the music of Russian composers: Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Stravinsky.
A forceful abstract work, Red Angels, by the late dancer/choreographer Ulysses Dove will also be seen.During his all-too-short career Mr. Dove was closely associated with NYCB as well as the Cunningham, Ailey and Paris Opera companies.
Polyphonia, by Christopher Wheeldon, was created expressly for the NYCB dancers. He was the first Resident Choreographer at NYCB and is now one the world’s most innovative and sought after young choreographers,
Another choreographic wunderkind and a current dancer with NYCB is Justin Peck. His In Crease,to music by Philip Glass, is his first work for the company and hasthe distinction of being accompanied on stage by two pianists.
One might expect to have to travel to New York to see so high caliber a performance.But The Smith Center and its co-presenter Nevada Ballet Theatre make such a journey unnecessary.
Ticket information for New York City Ballet’s TSC performances is available at 702-749-2000.