New York City Ballet

NYCBThis weekend Melissa, Kurt, Christian and I went to the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center. I think it’s safe to say I’ve wanted to see a ballet there  and by the New York City Ballet ever since seeing Center Stage for the first time. And maybe that meant to Melissa and I kept talking about where the filmed the movie.

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Final movie scene

Final movie scene

Anyway, back to the ballet, Ratmansky/Peck/Robbins, named for the three choreographers, was three pieces.  One by each choreographer and the music was also composed by different people. What drew our little group to this particular set of performances was that Sufjan Stevens composed the second piece, Year of the Rabbit. The first piece, Glass Pieces, was composed by Phillip Glass. I saw his Einstein on the Beach opera last year with my friend Suzanne at BAM, so I am a little weary of his work. The ballet was very much in his style, but there was much more movement, it was much more interesting in general than the opera and it wasn’t four and a half hours. Side note, at Einstein on the Beach, they expect you to leave early or leave and come back or show up late because it is so long. Suzanne and I made it over two hours before calling it quits, watching the exact same minor movements for 30 to 40 minutes can get rough at times.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe second piece was my favorite, everyone else preferred the first, but as previously stated, I think I need more time between works by Mr. Glass. This piece was more diverse and the music was better to me. The third piece, Vienna Waltzes, was a bit of a bore. I know that the Viennese Waltz is a difficult dance, but it’s not so entertaining to watch for extended periods of time. There was a short scene that was polka based that was a nice wake up and fun to watch, but the rest of the piece was kind of like a lullaby. I didn’t fall asleep, but was a bit worried I might at some points. Of course, through all of them you are mesmerized by the dancers. They are so graceful; it’s almost comical when you can tell they are purposefully moving harshly. Unfortunately/not surprisingly, they don’t let you take pictures in the theater, so I don’t have any of the dancing, but you can see them in the videos via the links above to each piece. After seeing these three pieces, it makes me want to see a bigger piece, like Swan Lake or something, I guess I still have plenty of time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter the performance we had some time to kill before heading to Flushing, Queens for a birthday dinner, so we walked around the center.  The Met Opera House is the main building in the complex, set back, facing the street and centered with the  main fountain and plaza. Avery Fisher Hall and the David H. Koch Theater frame the plaza leading up to the opera house. When I was still new here, my old roommate and now friend, Suzanne, took me to see Carmen. It was a beautiful performance and I realized than I recognized many songs from TV or movies and commercials.

Metropolitan Opera House

Metropolitan Opera House

Avery Fisher Hall

Avery Fisher Hall

Even though it has been completed for some time, this was my first time to see the newest editions of Lincoln Center. The Illumination Lawn, by Diller Scofidio + Renfro is tucked back behind Avery Fisher Hall along West 65th Street. The other new addition was the renovation of the Juilliard School building including the Alice Tully Hall with its outdoor plaza on Broadway. This was also done by Diller Scofidio + Renfro with FXFOWLE. There was a lot of debate over this design, but I think it’s great. Maybe I just love seeing something new and bold right next to something old and bold work so well together.

Looking back at the opera house from West 65th.

Looking back at the opera house from the Ronald P. Staton Way on West 65th.

Illumination Lawn

Illumination Lawn

Terrible shot of Alice Tully Hall and the plaza on Broadway

Terrible shot of Alice Tully Hall and the plaza on Broadway

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