Wednesday, June 11, 2008

“Concerto DSCH”

2nd\NE Quadrant The Approval Matrix

Paul Kolnik/New York City Ballet


As “Concerto DSCH,” the new ballet by Alexei Ratmansky for New York City Ballet, unfolded at its premiere on Thursday night, you could feel wave upon wave of emotion sweeping across the audience. Wonder, excitement, admiration, affection, hilarity, surprise, exhilaration.

“Concerto DSCH” is an endlessly suspenseful choreographic construction, with passages of breathtaking dance brilliance. Again and again, you find yourself thinking, “I didn’t realize this was going to happen after that,” and “What exactly were those steps that flashed by just now?” Better yet, it’s marked by tender pure-dance poetry.

From the first it creates a world onstage, a world that keeps changing, enthrallingly, before our eyes. Its proceedings abound in classical pattern, design and formal structure, yet at the same time they’re full of very informal human touches (as when three virtuosos, taking a break at the back of the stage, sit and watch the action with happy inelegance). The dancers’ relationships keep starting to suggest stories, though the dance then sweeps unstoppably on.

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