We arrived at the half way point in our American Ballet Theatre season yesterday afternoon with the Shostakovich Trilogy, which is a premiere work from the company’s artist-in-residence, Alexei Ratamnsky. The performance, set to three different pieces of music from Dmitri Shostakovich, featured no plot per se and a more contemporary take on ballet. The performance was extraordinary.
“Symphony #9”, which made it’s premiere at City Center last fall as a sort of preview to the full trilogy, was an amazing marriage of music and movement. With 21 dancers on stage, including one of our favorite principals with Roberto Bolle, the stage exploded with dance. As the music varied from peppy upbeat to more serious tones, the dancers created beautiful combinations. (Note: All of the pictures with this post are from City Center’s presentation of “Symphony #9” since I couldn’t locate any pictures of the other two pieces.
“Chamber Symphony” was may favorite of the three pieces. Featured soloist James Whiteside was sublime in this darker piece. As he danced both solo and it combination with both the men and women, he delivered an extraordinary performance in his work that seemed to be in constant motion for about a half hour. I would love to see this again to further dissect a meaning because of the three pieces I felt like there was a thread of plot in here since there was a distinct emotional impact in the work for me.
The final piece, “Piano Concerto #1,” featured two favorite principals–Xiomara Reyes and Daniil Simkin, who were paired together and were stunning. Simkin’s lifting and moving Reyes around the stage was so graceful and fluid. The other principal pairing was to feature Gillian Murphy, however it was announced at the start of the performance that she was injured and replaced by someone else. I wish I could remember the replacement’s name to give her a shoutout as she was great. She got an extended ovation from the audience as well as her fellow dancers during curtain call.
Once again it was a delightful afternoon at the Met. It was great to see ABT perform some more contemporary pieces. While I love their classic works, it’s nice to see contemporary work as well and we’ve gotten that twice so far this year.
Next week we see the pirate adventure Le Corsaire.