By Cami Gore
Clean lines, consecutive turns, perfect extensions and effortless grace left the audience audibly gasping and applauding during the New York City Ballet’s performance. The company performed works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Gianna Reisen April 7 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
The first piece, “Composer’s Holiday” choreographed by Reisen, was set to “Three American Pieces” by Lukas Foss. The playful movement was partner oriented with breathtaking lifts.
It ended with one ballerina being tossed into the air by multiple dancers in a sort of basket toss lift. Before she landed, the lights blacked out, which caused the audience to erupt in applause.
Freshman dance major Gabriela Esposito said, “It was like nothing I’ve ever seen.”
The second piece, Balanchine’s “Kammermusik No. 2” was performed to a score by Paul Hindemith. This piece especially ventured away from classical ballet, taking a more contemporary approach. Dancers performed movement with intentionally flexed feet. Additionally, the women wore their hair in ponytails as opposed to the traditional ballet bun.
Robbins’s “Opus 19/The Dreamer” was the third piece in the performance and was set to a composition by Sergei Prokofiev. The piece “follows a male protagonist on a journey to find his elusive counterpart,” according to The Kennedy Center.
A moment in “Opus 19/The Dreamer” that freshman dance major Oliva Shamy said caught her attention was when the male soloist held a pose and the other performers danced vigorously around him.
“It was like controlled chaos,” Shamy said.
The closing piece was Balanchine’s “Symphony in C” performed to music by Georges Bizet. The movement was classical ballet with the ballerinas in beautifully stiff white tutus.
“The last piece was refreshing to watch because most of the show was more contemporary,” Shamy said.
While the first three works took a more contemporary approach, they still had the classical ballet elements that the New York City Ballet is known for. They affirmed their classical reputation during “Symphony in C.”
Of the four works, Esposito said her favorite was “Composer’s Holiday.”
“The entire show made me want to be a better dancer,” she said.
The company will begin its spring performances April 23.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of the New York City Ballet’s Facebook page.
Cami Gore is a freshman journalism and dance major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.