Monday, August 17, 2009

Wheel(don)'s on Fire

New York City is at its absolute best in the Summer.
The City whirs with nervous energy through Autumn, Winter and Spring and finally expresses itself in Summer. One of the many benefits of the season is Summer Stage in Central Park, wherein high-caliber performers from all genres present free shows. My friend SKW recommended that we catch Christopher Wheeldon's company, Morphoses, and what a treat it was!

Morphoses is three years old and borrows much of its dancing talent from principals at other leading companies like the City Ballet and the Royal Ballet; Christopher Wheeldon, the company's founder, is a former dancer at both. His dancing and ideas may be modern, but they happen within the realm of ballet and, as my friend PMH says, "He's the best thing to happen to ballet since Balanchine." I couldn't agree more.

For the Summer Stage production, Wheeldon collaborated with singer Martha Wainwright to produce new, original and sometimes very upbeat songs to inspire his choreography. She performed live (below, with guitar) which made my viewing experience that much more rich.

Here are some more photos. Fortunately, they allowed photography. Unfortunately, they prohibited flash. I did the best I could.

NYCBallet principal Wendy Whelan, with Edward Watson of the Royal Ballet.

More NYCB Dancers: Below Left: Teresa Reichlin (in blue), and Below Right: Tiler Peck (at left)

And some photos of the INCREDIBLE Maria Kowroski (from City Ballet).
I ran into my Princeton friend, a former ballerina, BAI, after the performance and we both agreed that we never truly valued Kowroski until seeing her dance Wheeldon's pieces. He takes advantage of her muscularity and her ability to think deftly on her feet. She was extraordinary.

Seeing dance makes me miss my ballet days immensely, but sometimes it's better to leave it to the pros. I may not be on stage, but by watching them dance from my blanket I was able to eat brie with water crackers!

I loved Wheeldon's choreography and the exquisite performances he's able to coax out of his marvelous dancers (including 16-year-old Beatriz Stix-Brunell). I thought each subsequent piece was the best dancing I'd ever seen in my life, but it kept getting better and better. I cannot wait to see Morphoses at City Center in October!


1 comment:

ms. mindless said...

cheers to being able to eat cheese! sounds like a marvelous performance.