When going through my tickets for the New York City Ballet fall season a few weeks ago, I was at first disappointed to see that two of the performances were of the same program, Balanchine in Black & White. However, after seeing the performance last Saturday (see my review from September 29) filled with Balanchine’s complexity and nuance, I valued the opportunity to see the program-consisting of The Four Temperaments, Episodes, Duo Concertant, and Symphony in Three Movements, again Friday night with a different cast.
In The Four Temperaments, I particularly enjoyed Gonzalo Garcia in the Melancholic variation. His dancing flowed with the beautiful Paul Hindemith music as he displayed a substantial dramatic flair portraying a lost and anguished soul. His exit with an exaggerated arched back walking backwards was a dramatic conclusion.
I also liked Ana Sophia Scheller in the Sanguinic variation with Jared Angle. She had a nice split jete section followed by turns that was executed well. Teresa Reichlen performed the Choleric variation, which was a bit more subdued relative to the frenetic energy provided by Ashley Bouder last Saturday. In one section that I enjoyed, Reichlen danced with four men. After the men had had enough of dancing with the choleric representation, they left the stage to be replaced by four women. The four women formed a square surrounding Reichlen. The four danced a short variation as Reichlen was frozen. The four dancers then paused as Reichlen danced a short variation in the middle of the square. They then danced in unison.
In Episodes, Savannah Lowery and Amar Ramasar danced the “spotlight” variation, Five Pieces, Opus 10. They entered on opposite sides of a diagonal lit in spotlights as he was in all black while she was in an all white leotard. The pas de deux was dramatic and tense throughout, with a sense of conflict between the two. I also liked Rebecca Krohn in the more melodic section set to Bach’s Musical Offering.
Sterling Hyltin and Robert Fairchild were on the mark in this happy upbeat pas de deux in which the dancers interacted with violist Arturo Delmoni and pianist Cameron Grant on stage. The piece had a sense of humor; in one section when he offered his hand to her, she shaked her head “No” and laughed at him. The footwork here was very fast and they were able to keep up with the rapid tempo. Fairchild had a rapid single tour section in which he threw singles in rapid-fire succession; she had a quick piqué turn section. As I noted in my previous review, the piece ends in near darkness as she walks away, then returns and their hands embrace, lit dramatically by a single spotlight.
Tiler Peck, deviating from the theme of the evening in a pink leotard, was particularly noteworthy in Symphony in Three Movements with rapid piqué turns and energetic leaps; she tired me out watching her. She was partnered well by soloist Taylor Stanley.