12 Photos of New York City Ballet’s World Premieres That Will Let You Escape The World
New York City Ballet brought a wave of new choreography to the stage, in the form of four world premieres for its fall gala on Sept. 28.
As is now a tradition for the company at this gala, each choreographer was paired with a fashion designer who collaborated on the costumes.
The new works held quiet a few surprises, including the fact that the costumes were, for the most part, well-designed for ballet. In previous years, the designers have obscured the bodies or created unflattering costumes, making the whole project less about ballet than about fashion. This year, ballet won.
The first work on the program, pictured above, was Troy Schumacher’s “The Wind Still Brings,” set to music by Willian Walton with costumes by Jonathan Saunders.
Mixing It Up
In this ballet, Schumacher builds complicated patterns, but also keeps the dancers running from place to place, then dropping to the floor as if asleep.
Saunders’ blue and orange costumes evoked the fabric of seaside tents and came in various lengths: Some girls wore long shirts over trunks, while some boys wore long coulouttes. With such a large ensemble, of 14 dancers, it looked as if the Von Trapp family made outfits from a cabana instead of curtains — and then left long strands of fabric that were nothing more than a distraction whipping all over the place.
“Composer’s Holiday” by Gianna Reisen, age 18, marked a major debut: Reisen had never created dance for the stage before being asked to contribute to New York City Ballet’s gala.
A School of American Ballet student, she was recently invited to work with the Dresden Semperoper Ballett but returned to New York for this commission.
On The Move
“Composer’s Holiday” gave the dancers a wicked pace to keep up with, but the young corps de ballet members of City Ballet seemed to attack it easily.
Costumes by Virgil Abloh, of Off-White, looked like New York City Ballet’s signature tutus, with high-waists and bell-shaped skirts that swing.
The music, “Three American Pieces for Violin and Piano” by Lukas Foss, was played on stage by pianist Susan Walters and Arturo Delmoni.
The surrealist costumes created by Tsumori Chisato for Justin Peck’s “Pulcinella Variations” are a glance back at the past.
Picasso designed costumes for a 1920 “Pulcinella” ballet commissioned by Diaghilev and choreographed by Leonide Massine, with music by Stravinsky.
Peck, who is City Ballet’s resident choreographer, used the same Stravinsky music to create a new work that suits the dancers so well, it seemed like it has always been in the company’s repertory.
While the costumes added extreme creativity to the evening, the use of white for unitards and tights at times created a harsh look when brightly lit under stage lights.
Stravinsky once said “Pulcinella” was integral to his development as a neoclassical composer. At New York City Ballet, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins created a revived version with Stravinsky’s music in 1972. Now, more than 40 years later, Peck as updated it again.
"Not Our Fate"
Principal dancer Lauren Lovette has become an emerging voice in ballet choreography and her premiere “Not Our Fate” gave her colleagues Preston Chamblee and Taylor Stanley a powerful duet.
“Not Our Fate” used a minimalist score by Michael Nyman and evoked George Balanchine’s famous ballet “Serenade.”
There were a few nervous moments when one dancer is held high aloft, and falls down into the arms of the group. It was an unusual sight on a ballet stage, and it made for a few gasps from the audience