Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:
Recently I watched a 24-minute documentary short, directed by Sofia Coppola, on the post-COVID return of the NYC Ballet to its home at the David H. Koch Theater.
Principal Gonzalo Garcia dances alone in a studio to a Chopin solo. Backstage, Ashley Bouder and Russell Janzen glide through Balanchine’s “Duo Concertant.” In the theater’s promenade, Maria Kowroski and Ask la Cour dance an excerpt from Balanchine’s “Liebeslieder Walzer.” Anthony Huxley, alone on stage, introduces a new “Solo” by the company’s resident choreographer and artistic adviser Justin Peck.
With the finale, Balanchine’s “Divertimento No. 15”, several members of the corps reassemble, the film goes from black-and-white to color, and the return home is complete.
The film was rapturously reviewed by NYT dance critic Gia Kourlas. And who isn’t thrilled at the thought of once again seeing ballet in the flesh?
And yet, somehow, the footage left me a teeny bit cold. I admired, and rejoiced, but until the finale, I wasn’t moved. I didn’t feel an intelligent, unifying force.
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