New York City Ballet’s La Sylphide is a lush, beautiful work staged by Peter Martins after the choreography of August Bournonville. The NYCB premier was 2015, with striking costumes and sets by Susan Tammany. Leads Wednesday were Ashley Bouder as the Sylph and Anthony Huxley as James. Anthony is well suited for the role with light airy beats and effortless jumps. Notable was his nicely articulated, wide split assemblé six. Not sure how Anthony would handle a Petipa classic, but he is a natural for this role. Ashley Bouder complemented Anthony as a lighter than air Sylph (a Sylph is a mythological spirit in the air, originating from the 16th century works of Swiss physician and astrologer of the German Renaissance, Paracelsus). Ashley displayed light as a feather leaps with great control, in keeping with the Sylph persona. Ashley can be quite aggressive, with much force and energy; she cut back on the energy to make her portrayal more believable. Harrison Ball as James’ friend Gurn, was also in great form, dancing with effortless energy. Marika Anderson was Madge, who portrayed the old witch with great intensity. Megan LeCrone was dramatic as Effie, particularly as she accepted Gurn’s proposal. A delightful production.
Also on the program was Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante with Tiler Peck and Roman Mejia. Tiler was on the mark, dancing with great ease and grace. Roman showed some flair with great articulation on his beats. Allegro Brillante is not the best showcase for male solo dancing, so I look forward to seeing Roman more works that show his leaping abilities. In the partnering sections, the two struggled at times, particularly on supported turns.
Below is a video of Allegro with Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins from John Clifford. Note how the masterful choreography weaves the eight corps dancers with the two principals seamlessly.
Justin Peck’s Easy is a delightful work that premiered in May, but not particularly memorable. Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance) had audience members whistling the iconic tunes at intermission. Lauren Lovette and Tyler Angle danced with great nuance, emotion, and grace.