Seeing Ballet and Dance in New York City

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Whether you like something traditional or brand-new, New York City’s dance offerings are sure to please. We’ve put together a helpful guide to Dance and Ballet in New York City covering major dance companies and dance venues around New York City, from the New York City Ballet and the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center to the Brooklyn Ballet and the Joyce Theater. Of course, the New York City Ballet is the most famous, but did you know that NYC is home to a number of different dance companies? New York City also has many venues that host visiting dance companies from around the world.

1.The New York City Ballet

New York’s eponymous ballet company, the New York City Ballet calls the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center home, and performs during the summer at its other home: the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. The New York City Ballet performs both classic and modern ballets. If you’ve got a ballet-loving kid in your family, the NYCB allows children five and over to attend performances.

2. American Ballet Theatre

Founded in 1940, American Ballet Theatre tours the U.S. performing for more than 600,000 people each year. The American Ballet Theatre performs a diverse repertoire at the Metropolitan Opera House each year. The repertoire includes both classic and contemporary ballets, and they also have an array of offerings geared toward children and families.

3. The Brooklyn Ballet

Founded in 2002, the Brooklyn Ballet creates and performs contemporary ballets that reflect the multicultural nature of Brooklyn. Performances take place in downtown Brooklyn, which is easily accessible by subway.

4. The Joyce Theater

Founded in 1982, The Joyce Theater is located in Chelsea and hosts an array of dance performances from traditional to never before tried. Housed in a renovated art deco movie house, the theater seats 472, and the programming ranges from The Joyce Theater offers special family matinee programming for children 6-14.

5. New York City Center

The New York City Center hosts Alvin Ailey® American Dance Theater and American Ballet Theatre performances, as well as the annual Fall For Dance Festival. The calendar often features a variety of other dance performances, as well as some musical theater productions.

6. Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)

Founded in 1891, BAM is America’s oldest performing arts center, and they host a variety of dance performances and events in their Fort Greene, Brooklyn location, including the Mark Morris Dance Group and Dance Africa.

7. David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center

The David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center hosts a number of dance performances, including The New York City Ballet, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, and The Australian Ballet.

8. Julliard Dance Performances

Julliard dance students offer select ticketed performances for the public, as well as some standby only productions.

9. Dance at Symphony Space

Located on the Upper West Side, Symphony Space offers a range of dance programming at reasonable prices, including touring groups from around the world and a choreographer’s showcase and festival.

10. New York Live Arts

Founded in 2011 by a merger of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Dance Theater Workshop, New York Live Arts features dance and movement-based performances at their 184-seat Bessie Schonberg Theater in Chelsea.

11. Harkness Dance Center at the 92nd Street Y

The 92nd Street Y has a long history of nurturing talent in dance, and today continues that tradition with a variety of performances through the Harkness Dance Center.

12. The Salvatore Capezio Theater at Peridance

Located in Union Square, the Capezio is a 150-seat black box theater hosting an eclectic calendar of dance performances.

13. Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts

The 2,350 art deco Walt Whitman theater at Brooklyn College opened in 1955. The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts features performances by the School of American Ballet (the official academy of the New York City Ballet) as well as the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, as well as additional dance performances.

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History Is About to Change at New York City Ballet. How?

George Balanchine with a dancer backstage during New York City Ballet’s Stravinsky Festival in 1972. Peter Martins inherited the duties — teaching, choreographing, casting, commissioning, supervising, coaching — that once were Balanchine’s.

So Peter Martins, after accusations of sexual harassment and physical and verbal abuse of dancers over decades, has retired from New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet. An independent investigation of those allegations continues. But this may be the moment to reform the entire job description, and thus to reform ballet.

Mr. Martins inherited a remarkable and wide-ranging job model from George Balanchine, who, with Lincoln Kirstein, founded the school in 1934 and City Ballet in 1948. Balanchine began as the company’s artistic director but changed his title in the 1950s to “ballet master”: Ostensibly he was one of several, but ruled with a generally accepted authority that rendered his word as law.

Today there are no Balanchines. Is it time to revise the posts that Balanchine filled? Or might this diminish the art form by reducing the scope for creative vision?

Mr. Martins has long been the principal inheritor of the power and the duties — teaching, choreographing, casting, commissioning, supervising, coaching — that once were Balanchine’s. Mr. Martins became one of the company’s main ballet masters in 1981; after Balanchine’s death in 1983, he began by working in tandem with Jerome Robbins, whose ballets have been part of the company’s lifeblood. Soon, however, Mr. Martins took sole command. In 1989, he assumed the title ballet master in chief. (Some Balanchine devotees felt “in chief” was excessive.)

It is now almost 35 years since Balanchine died. Nevertheless, City Ballet has remained of singular importance to ballet worldwide. Balanchine has become increasingly recognized as the foremost (and the most influential) choreographer of 20th-century ballet. And while the Balanchine enterprise has spawned companies across America and influenced others around the world, City Ballet and the School of American Ballet have remained central to the Balanchine practice.

 And under Mr. Martins the company has been the global leader in post-Balanchine choreography. This policy has paid rich dividends in recent years with City Ballet creations by Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon entering repertories across America and around the world.

It’s not for me to advocate any heir to Balanchine or Mr. Martins; I strongly dislike the notion of critic as kingmaker or power broker. But when change comes, I must ask: How will the company — and the art form itself — be changed, too?

If the company is to move forward, several important issues must be considered. Most obviously, a system of checks and balances should be introduced to prevent the abuse of dancers. Harassment within ballet has been reported elsewhere. Let City Ballet now set a global example.

Crucially, should the job at City Ballet now be divided into two or more parts? If so, how?

Mr. Martins didn’t stop teaching, but his choreography — never much admired by critics — ceased to be the prime source of new stage energy for the company once he appointed a resident choreographer (Mr. Wheeldon from 2001 to 2008, Mr. Peck since 2014).

Balanchine rehearsing with Patricia McBride in 1966 for the film of his “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Elsewhere there have been artistic directors of note who neither teach nor choreograph. City Ballet, however, has been a different organism. Would it be changed beyond recognition by such a director? And, of prime concern to dance-goers and dancers alike: Can the company continue in its dual capacity as the world leader in new choreography and the foremost exponent of the Balanchine-Robbins repertory?

Since Dec. 9, after Mr. Martins took a leave of absence, the day-to-day artistic direction of City Ballet has been in the hands of an impressively young foursome: Craig Hall and Rebecca Krohn (ballet masters), Mr. Peck and Jonathan Stafford (a former principal now on the school’s faculty). The company also has an executive director, Katherine E. Brown, who runs business matters, reporting directly to the board. (The post was created for her in 2009.)

How now to move forward? For weeks, people on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have proposed candidates that include men and women, people of various races and sexual orientations. Please note, though, how few of them fulfill the multiple roles of the Balanchine-Martins model. The old creative ballet-master practice has been largely eroded. (Not entirely: Helgi Tomasson at San Francisco Ballet and Ib Andersen at Ballet Arizona — City Ballet alumni — are both artistic directors who choreograph, teach and coach.)

Balanchine didn’t invent the notion of a directing ballet master — the teacher who made ballets and controlled policy. It went back to at least the 18th century. (Its 19th-century exemplars included August Bournonville and Marius Petipa.) For Balanchine, like masters before him, a company’s dancers had to be custom-trained by its school. And the choreographer who made the ballets had to keep developing his style by teaching, often daily, in the classroom, which became a kind of laboratory.

If City Ballet is run by a person who neither teaches nor choreographs, it will move far in spirit from the Balanchine-Kirstein principle. Certainly this may well be the moment for greater artistic separation between the company and the school — and yet that’s easier said than done, since no company depends more on works, by Balanchine and others, in which students of several ages dance.

We live in post-Balanchine times. “Ballet is woman,” he said — but his kind of ballet was always a man’s view of woman, and a solely heterosexual one. Though the Balanchine worldview made women empowered and inspiring, it did not include women’s equality in the workplace or same-sex relationships. Balanchine brought many women to the top, and yet neither he nor Kirstein considered one to be his successor.

When alive, Balanchine was controversial, not least in the demands he placed on his female dancers. Seemingly unstoppable, he transformed his art. And today, many of the teachers and choreographers influenced by him — including the team now at City Ballet’s helm — either never met him or were born after his time.

It was Kirstein who labored to ensure the school and the company would outlive Balanchine. Conversely, Balanchine expressed no confidence that they would, at least on any scale of consequence. Some of his devotees, lastingly despondent about his legacy, still insist either that the flame died with him or that it passed elsewhere. Of the company after his death, Balanchine remarked, “Après moi, le board.”

Now the boards of the company and the school are faced with big decisions about replacing Mr. Martins. Yet these very boards retained him after the first serious complaints were made against him in the last century. Who knew what and for how long?

Let nobody — the boards, critics, other interested parties — rush into promoting their special favorites or pursuing their own agendas. The responsibility of redirecting City Ballet is both considerable and complex. Let the thoughts percolate. History is about to change — but how?

Maya Plisetskaya Has Passed Away at 89

Maya Mikhaylovna Plisetskaya (Born on 20 November, 1925 – 2 May, 2015) was a Soviet-born ballet dancer, choreographer, ballet director, and actress, who held Spanish and Lithuanian citizenship. In 1960 she ascended to prima ballerina assoluta of the Bolshoi.

 

Plisetskaya studied ballet from age nine and first performed at the Bolshoi Theatre when she was eleven. She joined the Bolshoi Ballet company when she was eighteen, quickly rising to become their leading soloist.

 

She was not allowed to tour outside the country for sixteen years after joining the Bolshoi. During those years, her fame as a national ballerina was used to project the Soviet Union’s achievements during the Cold War.

 

Premier Nikita Khrushchev, who lifted her travel ban in 1959, considered her “not only the best ballerina in the Soviet Union, but the best in the world.”

 

As a member of the Bolshoi until 1990, her skill as a dancer changed the world of ballet, setting a higher standard for ballerinas both in terms of technical brilliance and dramatic presence.

 

For more on Maya Plisetskaya’s life visit Wikipedia.org.

Maya Plisetskaya Has Passed Away at 89

This documentary was make in 1964, at the age of 44 honoring the ballerina’s long career.

It would last until 1990, when she would retire at the age of 65!

Video courtesy of YouTube.

Maya Plisetskaya Has Passed Away 89

The ballet world has lost an icon, an era has come to its end.  She will be sorely missed.

Behind The Scenes with Photographer Luis Pons

Thanks to Krista King-Doherty for posting this video on YouTube.

Behind The Scenes with Photographer Luis Pons

The backdrop is New York City; the ballerina: Juliet Doherty and the photograper is Luis Pons.

I’ve known Luis Pons for a couple of years now and been attentively following his career. From photographing Spanish dancers to ballerinas in the streets of New York City, Luis has refined his eye and lens and perfected his craft.

Here is the first interview I did with Luis Pons and more articles  and slideshow of his breathtaking work.

Behind The Scenes with Photographer Luis Pons

Juliet Doherty Photoshoot NYC-luis-pons-2

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To see more of Luis Pon’s beautiful photography, follow Luis on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/PonsPhotography.

Behind The Scenes with Photographer Luis Pons

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Catch The Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker live in cinema near you on 5 December 2017

The Royal Ballet’s Christmas classic The Nutcracker will be relayed live to cinemas around the world on 5 December 2017.

With its festive period setting, dancing snowflakes and enchanting stage magic, Lev Ivanov’s 1892 ballet has become the perfect Christmas entertainment, with Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous, sugar-spun music the most recognizable of all ballet scores. Peter Wright’s nigh-on definitive production for The Royal Ballet ranks as one of the most enduring and enchanting versions around.

To enhance your viewing experience, access our Nutcracker Digital Programme for free using the promo code FREENUT, and enjoy a range of specially selected films, articles, pictures and features to bring you closer to the production

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The story

The Nutcracker tells the story of Clara, who creeps downstairs on Christmas Eve to play with her favourite present – a Nutcracker doll. Magic is in the air, however, and she’s soon whisked off on an adventure to faraway lands of sweets and snowflakes.

The choreography and music

The Nutcracker contains some of the most iconic ballet music ever written. But as traditional as it sounds more than a century after its premiere, the score was revolutionary in its time due to the use of an entirely new instrument – the icy celesta which performs the best-known part of the score: the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

But as impressive as it is sonically, the production is a feast for the eyes too through choreographer Peter Wright’s reinterpretation of Ivanov’s original steps. ‘I was always moved by the classics,’ he says, ‘And I found I loved re-making some of these scenes. I wanted each step to connect with the audience.’

As well as technical footwork, The Nutcracker also draws on the grand classical ballet tradition of mime to drive forward the action.

Robert Fairchild Says Goodbye to City Ballet With Balanchine and Roses

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Robert Fairchild bid farewell to the New York City Ballet on Sunday afternoon in George Balanchine’s “Duo Concertant.” In a recent interview with The New York Times, Mr. Fairchild, 30, described the ballet as “tap dancing with ballet shoes, skimming like a stone on water.”

Mr. Fairchild, who retires as a principal, hasn’t danced his last dance. Nominated for a Tony for “An American in Paris,” he plans to pursue a career in acting and musical-theater. At his final curtain call, Mr. Fairchild, the youngest dancer to have a farewell event at City Ballet, choreographed an unusual flower presentation: he stood by a basket of roses and handed a flower to fellow principal dancers, who came onstage one by one.

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The last rose was saved for Peter Martins, the company’s ballet master in chief, who gave one of his own to Mr. Fairchild, who then placed it at the front of the stage, looked out at the crowd and touched his chest. This was a farewell of thanks.

“Duo Concertant,” a 1972 pas de deux set to Stravinsky, begins as two dancers listen intently to a pianist and a violinist. Mr. Fairchild’s longtime partner, Sterling Hyltin, was visibly choking back tears — the pair were the original Romeo and Juliet in Mr. Martins’s 2007 production — but when it came time to move, their dancing was full of jazzy effervescence. It’s what Mr. Fairchild is known for. As his sister, the principal Megan Fairchild, wrote on Instagram: “This boy eats up space on writing my paper stage like nobody else.”

Your Week in Culture: ‘Nutcracker,’ James Levine and Christmas Scripted by Charles Dickens

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“The Nutcracker” is ballet tradition, passed down from one generation to the next. “Yes, I was in it — Mouse, Hoop — everything, just like everybody else,” said George Balanchine in Nancy Reynolds’s “Repertory in Review: 40 Years of the New York City Ballet.”

His version at City Ballet, featuring more than 150 dancers and musicians, as well as two casts of students from the company-affiliated School of American Ballet, is grandly named “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.”

It’s not as if you could mistake his 1954 gem for anyone else’s. The children are both scrupulous and full of wide-eyed innocence. The Snowflake Waltz, with its onstage blizzard, is a choreographic wonder. And as for that glorious tree? It weighs one ton and grows from 12 to 40 feet. Back in the day, even as costs for his “Nutcracker” were skyrocketing, Balanchine wouldn’t budge: The ballet, he insisted, was the tree. GIA KOURLAS

Film: Charles Dickens on Screen

“Three flops in a row, up to your eyeballs in debt,” the character Ebenezer Scrooge taunts Charles Dickens, mired in writer’s block, as he stares at a sign promising his next story — a tale about Christmas — above an empty stand in a London bookstore window. “I’d think you’d be glad of some advice.”

Bharat Nalluri’s “The Man Who Invented Christmas,” opening Wednesday, Nov. 22, and adapted from Les Standiford’s book, imagines the conversations between author and characters that Dickens claimed haunted him during the six weeks in 1843 when he wrote “A Christmas Carol.” Dan Stevens — forever Matthew Crawley to “Downton Abbey” enthusiasts — plays the rock star-esque Dickens, plagued by money woes and a debilitating fear he might never write again; Jonathan Pryce is his profligate father, and the source of his feverish nightmares; and Christopher Plummer is ice-veined Scrooge.

Pair it this Thanksgiving weekend with the Steven Soderbergh-produced Western series, “Godless,” streaming Wednesday on Netflix, in which Michelle Dockery — Mr. Stevens’s “Downton” love, Lady Mary — gets some screen time of her own. KATHRYN SHATTUCK

Classical Music: James Levine Leads Verdi’s Requiem

Perhaps the greatest disappointment of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2017-18 season was the company’s decision to cancel a new production of Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” by the visionary, controversial director Calixto Bieito, in an attempt to cut costs. At least its replacement will sound a somber note in memoriam: The company’s emeritus music director James Levine will make a rare appearance to lead four concert performances of Verdi’s titanic Requiem.

A star team of soloists — Krassimira Stoyanova, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Aleksandrs Antonenko, and Ferruccio Furlanetto — will join Levine and the Met orchestra and chorus in bringing to life the composer’s hyper-dramatic funeral mass, written to honor the death of the patriotic Italian novelist Alessandro Manzoni. WILLIAM ROBIN

Theater: ‘The Wolves’ at Lincoln Center

It comes as a shock, in the final scene of Sarah DeLappe’s dazzlingly fierce and funny debut play, “The Wolves,” when one character mentions another by name. Until then, we know them all — nine teenage girls, members of an indoor soccer team called the Wolves — only by jersey number: 7, a bullying alpha, reckless with her talent; 25, the team captain, unironic in ordering the ladies to circle up; 46, the newbie, excruciatingly awkward and, in Tedra Millan’s beautifully nuanced performance, exceptionally endearing.

The chance to spend time with them again is reason to celebrate the return of Lila Neugebauer‘s kinetic production. Seen Off Broadway twice last season, it’s in previews at Lincoln Center Theater, where it opens on Monday, Nov. 20, with almost the entire original cast. A finalist for this year’s Pulitzer Prize, “The Wolves” is perfectly attuned to this moment — taking for granted that young women are whole human beings, and aware that not everyone sees them that way. LAURA COLLINS-HUGHES

TV: Ashley Jensen in ‘Love, Lies & Records’

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Last year — after a career playing the effervescent sidekick in “Extras,” “Ugly Betty” and “Catastrophe” — the Scottish actress Ashley Jensen glammed up in fuchsia lipstick and a matching leather jacket for a long-overdue lead as a London publicist turned Cotswolds sleuth in “Agatha Raisin,” an original series from the streaming site Acorn TV.

Alas, a second season wasn’t to be. But Acorn’s programmers, bless ’em, are back on Ms. Jensen’s bandwagon with “Love, Lies & Records,” starting Monday, Nov. 20. Co-produced with BBC One (it debuts a few days earlier in Britain), the six-part drama stars Ms. Jensen as a registrar in Leeds, where she invariably summons precisely the right words for life’s big moments — births, deaths and marriages — while bumbling through her own relationships, hampered by an office indiscretion and a blackmailing colleague. Kay Mellor, who was inspired to create the show after registering her own mother’s death, has called it “anti-Brexit,” centering story lines on same-sex marriage, immigration and transgender struggles. KATHRYN SHATTUCK

Art: Anne Truitt at the National Gallery

Anne Truitt’s otherworldly but deeply humane wooden monoliths are unmistakable demonstrations of the positive value of restraint. You can’t see every one of the 20 or so layers of paint that went into a piece like the nearly seven-foot tall, golden yellow “Summer Remembered,” but it shimmers distinctly with the artist’s focused concentration.

With the exception of three years in Tokyo in the late 1960s, Truitt (1921-2004) spent her working life in Washington, D.C. The National Gallery of Art’s sampling of sculptures and drawings that span most of Truitt’s career is an opportunity to see her work in exactly the light — and latitude — she made it for. WILL HEINRICH

Pop: Noname and Kweku Collins in Chicago

Energy drinks aren’t for everyone, but you don’t need to consume them to enjoy the arts programming that Red Bull sponsors each year in cities around the world. For music fans, the company’s latest venture — 30 Days in Chicago, a monthlong festival with an emphasis on hip-hop and R&B — is a pick-me-up in itself.

The lineup this week is particularly strong, with performances by Noname, the lyricist behind last year’s acclaimed “Telefone” (Nov. 21 at Concord Music Hall); the promising Canadian crooner Daniel Caesar (Nov. 20 at Reggie’s Rock Club); and the thoughtful rapper Kweku Collins (Nov. 25 at Space), among others.

While tickets for many shows have sold out, it’s worth checking out the resale market for a chance to see these blazing young talents in action. SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON