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AUDIENCE REVIEW: NYCB Performance of "Dances at a Gathering" and "Everywhere We Go"
New York City Ballet
October 11, 2019
On the night of, October 11th,I gladly swapped my usual Friday attire of sweatpants over tights for a dressier skirt and heels option and spent the night at the ballet. That night New York City Ballet performed Dances at a Gathering (1969) by Jerome Robbins and Everywhere We Go (2014)by Justin Peck. As I took my seat and the lights dimmed, I knew it was going to be an evening to remember.
Dances at a Gathering was first in the program and it was pure elegance. Pastel clad dancers effortlessly took the stage and drew the audience into their world. A whimsical world where there are no bad intentions and people come together to dance with one another to the dreamy sound of Chopin played by the excellent Susan Walter. All the dancers were constantly alternating partners eventually interreacting with everyone as if they were all greeting old friends. There was no set storyline for this ballet, it was simply ten beautiful dancers bringing the different personalities of Jerome Robbins masterful choreography to life.
Although it was a full ballet, the constant exchange of dancers for every new section keep the piece lively, because each dancer brought something new to the stage. I was in awe watching all the dancers find a balance between the flowy and expansiveness of the upper body and the intricate fast footwork required for the lower body. Two dancers who always drew my attention were Lauren Lovette and Indiana Woodward. Both of them amazed me with their ethereal stage presence and how they were able to make even the most challenging choreography look like no work at all. The piece ends with a sweet exchange where the dancers thanked each other for the beauty they just created together.
After intermission was Justin Peck’s Everywhere We Go. The combination of the sounds of a full orchestra and the curtain rising to expose the strong geometric backdrop by Karl Jenson instantly hypnotized me and did its best to prepare me for the brilliance I was about to watch. I automatically was entranced by how powerful and dynamic the score by Sufjan Steven was and couldn’t wait to see all 26 dancers use it to fill the stage. Although I didn’t understand the costumes, it did not deter from the genius work by Justin Peck. The whole dance was vibrant and innovative in ways I had never seen in a ballet. It seemed that there were endless ways of organizing the dancers. The dance was both calculated and spontaneous with what seemed like every detailed worked out.
All in all, it was truly a magical night.