"Serenade," "Rubies," "Ballet Imperial"
New York, NY
April 19, 2008 (evening)
by Susan Reiter
copyright © 2008 Susan Reiter
It was exhilarating, and profoundly moving, to see the Kirov take on this ambitious and demanding program of Balanchine masterworks. After the oddly restrained response to the musical impetus that marked some of their earlier programs, this final (of six) programs let them truly connect to the music and dance with newfound openness and spontaneity. The layers of history and significance embedded in this program were fascinating. Here were works made by the choreographer who followed and inherited the legacies of Petipa and Fokine. who absorbed all the tradition and majesty of the Russian Imperial ballet, and then charted a brave new course that brilliantly transformed and translated everything from that noble past, to point the way to ballet's future. And here was the company that embodies, and keeps alive in today's terms, that past, finding its own distinctive way into a representative sampling of what he created.