"Apollo", "Monumentum pro Gesualdo", "Movements for Piano and Orchestra", "Duo Concertant", "Agon"
New York City Ballet
David H. Koch Theater
New York, NY
October 1, 2014
by Mary Cargill
copyright © 2014 by Mary Cargill
Balanchine in black and white certainly offers a lot of options, and if theme programming is required, this one certainly was bracing. Though there was a certain lack of variety, there were interesting themes running through, as Apollo danced with the same off-center power as the unnamed swain in "Duo Concertant", and "Movements" has the astringent order that shines so brightly in "Agon". Chase Finlay, with his blond innocence and classical body, was an "Apollo" to the manor born, but it took him some time to get there, as he gave each dance its own flavor, testing his strength in the opening, off-balance solo, playing with the muses, and then striding off to Olympus. There were intimations of nobility, of course, from the beginning, but there was a fresh, experimental power to his opening, as he bent and twisted around the lute. The pas de deux was more subdued, as if he was absorbing his fate. The final walk before the ascent (oh, for that staircase) was not as transcendent as some more experienced Apollos, but there was something so moving about his youth.
Chase Finlay as Apollo. Photo © Paul Kolnik