About Claire

Claire est passionnée d'art depuis toujours. Elle aime tout particulièrement et depuis toujours aussi, raconter à ses proches, avec liberté et imagination, ce qui lui a plu, que ce soit à l'ecrit comme à l'oral. En particulier, Claire est fana de musique, que ce soit classique (opera, concerts au Philharmonic), ou pop. Mais aussi de danse classique et moderne, et d'expos d'art. D'ailleurs, en plus de sa passion pour l'art, Claire chante (chorale) également depuis 15 ans à New York en l'église de Saint Ignace de Loyola, prend des cours de danse, dès qu'elle le peut, et joue aussi régulierement au tennis. Française depuis toujours, New Yorkaise depuis 15 ans, américaine depuis 5 ans, mariee, deux enfants, Claire est depuis 2014 bloggueuse, après avoir fait du fund raising pendant 4 ans pour l'ecole américaine de ses enfants, et avoir été publicitaire en France et aux Etats Unis avant pendant 15 ans (chez BDDP et Leo Burnett à Paris et chez FCB et Grey à New York). Claire is passionate about art and has always been. She especially likes to share whether in writing or in person, with her loved ones, what art triggers for her, as it unleashes her vivid imagination. In particular, Claire is fanatical about music whether classical (opera, concerts at The Philharmonic) or pop. Adores as well dance whether classical or modern, as well as Art exhibits ( Paintings, Photography...). Besides admiring art, Claire also sings (at Saint Ignatius Loyola for the last 15 years), takes dance classes every chance she gets, and plays tennis regularly. Married with 2 children, Claire has become a blogger since 2014, after having led fund raising events for her children's school for the last 4 years, and having led a previous career in advertising for 15 years in Paris (BDDP, Leo Burnett) and in New York (FCB, Grey).

“Classic NYCB I”: an entertaining extravaganza of classic and modern ballets…

The David H. Koch building/ “Allegro Brillante”, “Liturgy”, “Walpurgisnacht Ballet” and “Firebird”/ Tuesday January 24th, 2023.

Welcome back friends!

Yay!

Welcome this week, to the dazzling world of ballet, and to 4 remarkable, truly entertaining ballets, from various eras, danced beautifully by the NYCB.

Yay!

1)”Allegro Brillante” is a pure classical ballet wonder from 1956, set to gorgeous music, the piano concerto #3 (of the Romantic period) by Russian composer Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), and choreographed by the great Georgian-American Balanchine (1904-1983), a master choreographer, considered as the most influential choreographer of the 20th century. What a true short ballet delight to watch, for those who especially enjoy classical ballet “vocabulary”. Balanchine used to say about “Allegro Brillante” that it encapsulated “everything I know about classical ballet in 13 minutes”.

Wow!

Principal dancers Megan Fairchild and Tyler Angle (not pictured here, but dancing Peck’s and Veyette’s part, pictured here), danced with great ease, grace, charm and technique together, and one could tell that they have been dancing this gem together for quite a while, and they seemed to be truly enjoying themselves last Tuesday, as did the rest of the dancers on stage.

Yay!

2) “Liturgy”, is a short, groundbreaking, meditative, introspective, modern, 2003 “pas de deux” with a classical foundation, yet, what disruptive, “wave-like”, and other original “port de bras” creations as well, and set to evocative religious solemn music, “Fratres”/”Brothers”, a piece for violin, strings, and percussion by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, (b. 1935), and choreographed by the great English choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon (b. 1973), who has choreographed over the years, for the NYCB, The Royal Ballet, ABT, San Francisco Ballet and Joffre Ballet, among others ballet companies, as well as sequences of the acclaimed (and highly entertaining) Hytner 2000 film “Center Stage”, the 2016 Broadway production of “An American in Paris”, and current director and choreographer of the incredibly epic “MJ the Musical”.

Wow!

And “Liturgy” in terms of plot, seems to be about two dancers who first separate, and then return to one another, with even greater intensity, before disappearing into darkness together.

Wow!

And Sara Adams and Jovani Furlan (not pictured here but dancing this), were captivating to watch, inventive, and attentive to one another.

Yay!

And I must say, I wasn’t a huge fan of Adams’ costume, which struck me as telegraphing swimwear, more than ballet wear, and enhancing ribs, more than limbs, whereas Furlan’s (costume) was interesting, and flattering, and of a striking and warm “bordeaux like” wine color.

Yay!

3)And now, let’s move on back to a 1980 much more classical piece: “Walpurgisnacht Ballet”, again choreographed by Balanchine, on wonderfully vivid music, from French composer Charles Gounod (1818-1893), and his 1859, five act opera, “Faust”.

Oh boy and wow!

And keep in mind, that in this ballet excerpt, ghostly souls of the dead, are released to wander at will, on the Eve of May Day (a celebration of the return of Spring, during which festivities may also have been held the night before, on the Eve of May Day).

Oh boy! Wow!

A ballet danced initially in 1925, by the Diaghilev Ballets Russes, for whom Balanchine choreographed this piece, then.

Wow!

And one of NYCB’s most awesome current principal ballerinas, Unity Phelan, was particularly exciting to watch, especially while dancing with great joy, alongside the wonderful Adrian Danchig-Waring, as were all the other “mauve clad” ghostly dancers.

Yay!

And here, let’s admire a “lively” excerpt of this great, Gounod, “ghost like” ballet, with this time, another wonderful NYCB principal, Sara Mearns, here, leading the rest of the company.

Enjoy!

Love the energy, and beautiful longing of all of these ghost “souls”.

Wow!

4) And last but not least, let’s now comment on Stravinsky (1882-1971), and his glorious and spellbinding, timeless 1910 “Firebird” score, commissioned by the impresario behind The Ballets Russes, Serge Diaghilev, with choreographies from both Balanchine and Robbins (1918-1998), another quintessential American choreographer from the 20th century, (responsible for the episode featuring the wizard Kastchei), a truly gorgeous ballet, that as always, makes the audience’s eyes and ears perk up in awe.

Yay!

The Firebird in Russian folklore, follows the classical scheme of a fairy tale, including many versions of the story, as it was primarily told orally in the beginning.

Wow!

A feather from a Firebird, a magical bird, represents a premonition of a hard journey. And basically the magical bird helps the hero overcome his quest.

Yay!

And in this (Balanchine) version, a Firebird, a magical bird symbolizing purity, is caught by a hunter. As the hunter gives back its freedom to the magical Firebird, the bird gives the hunter/ a young prince, a (magical) feather, in case he (the hunter) finds himself in trouble. Of course, he does, as he (the hunter/young prince), tries to rescue young princesses from the hold of an evil wizard (Kastchei). The hunter / young prince calls then the Firebird to the rescue, and together, they are able to rescue the princesses.

Yay!

And the dancers were amazing: Jared Angle as the hunter/young prince, was charming, and I was thrilled to see him dance on Tuesday, as it seems like last time I saw him perform, was a long time ago, and what a truly gifted dancer and “actor” on stage, he is.

Yay!

Ashley Hod, as the (magical, kind hearted, pure) Firebird, was perfection: energetic, free and mysterious ( just like birds can be).

Yay!

And Miriam Miller was as always, a beautiful bride (what an incredibly beautiful crimson wedding gown).

Yay!

And what awesome, huge sets, and wonderfully imaginative costumes, by iconic and “Naive” artist, Belarusian-French Expressionist, Marc Chagall (1897-1985).

Wow!

Just gorgeous!

Enjoy this small excerpt, danced here, a few years ago by Teresa Reichlen, which also allows you to admire, not only the awesome, imaginative, fantastical music by Stravinsky, but also the beautiful choreography in slow motion, by Balanchine mostly, and by Robbins, and finally also, allows the audience to admire as well, the incredibly ostentatious, surreal and fantastical costumes initially designed by Chagall.

Wow!

Just extraordinary!

Wow!

So, to sum up my feelings, about the “Classic NYCB I” program, admired last Tuesday, in great company: what extraordinary, diverse, beautiful, quintessential NYCB choreographies, from the 20th and 21st century, set to an array of superb and varied classical music, we were able to enjoy.

Just awe-inspiring.

Not to be missed!

Until next time friends!

Soft…

Fluttering…

Sunny…

Joyful…

Happy…

Loving…

Eternal butterflies 😊