NYCB: Stravinsky Festival and Balanchine Black and White

Notes on the Stravinsky Festival/Balanchine Black + White program:

Stravinsky Violin Concerto: Principal dancers Sterling Hyltin and Rebecca Krohn are so well-suited to this. Their long, sinewy limbs make particularly sharp and powerful angles, which is what this ballet is about. It's not about looking as graceful as possible; it's about exploring your joints and the ways you cam move. Hyltin's pas de deux with Robert Fairchild is more contentious than the Krohn-Amar Ramasar duet. You can hear it in the music, the violin sounds more violent, like it's being played with more verve. I like the moment in the final movement when Fairchild and Ramasar dance together—they look like brothers having a blast. Such a great score; a fabulous representation of what can happen when you stick to the basics. Good music, simple costumes (i.e., none), and deliberate choreography. I always like classic with a twist, a break from the tutu ballets.

Monumentum pro Gesualdo: This is a fine palate cleanser but overall rather uninteresting. It's presentational, with royal-sounding music. Movements for Piano and Orchestra is more choreographically like Stravinsky Violin Concerto, which makes it more interesting. Both ballets featured Teresa Reichlen and Ask la Cour.

Duo Concertant: A pretty, graceful and fluid ballet. Megan Fairchild is playful at first, and nicely contemplative in final moments. Unfortunately, her partner in this brief pas de deux, Anthony Huxley, leaves something to be desired. He looks like he's not confident in the steps and so he's not as into it, not dancing with abandon, which is disappointing in this intimate ballet.

Symphony in Three Movements: I had much the same reaction to this as I did when I saw it in April. It's a great ballet, with elements of all the other ballets on this program (some moments of beauty and grace, other moments of angular precision). In this performance, Tiler Peck and Taylor Stanley danced the pas de deux. This is a classic and an NYCB staple for a reason.