“Symphonic Dances”, “Pictures at an Exhibition”,
“This Bitter Earth” and “Everywhere We Go”
The New York City Ballet
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
April 8, 2015
by George Jackson
copyright © 2015 by George Jackson
This program of pieces by four working choreo- graphers may be seen as pointing to ballet’s future. The audience in Washington welcomed much of what seemed new yet also consoled itself with comments about even the latest trend being unlikely to last forever. Most radical was Alexei Ratmansky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”. Much in Peter Martins’ “Symphonic Dances” seemed old hat and, moreover, it lacked tradition’s virtues. Justin Peck’s “Everywhere We Go” repeated two of Martins’ mistakes – stereotyping and not stopping in time – but had some very fresh notions too. Christopher Wheeldon’s “This Bitter Earth” duo developed a remarkable continuity of movement without fully revealing the bitter voice in its music. The company danced daringly, often skirting the edge of danger, and delivered unexpected treats - consummate clowning in the Ratmansky and Peck works.