Balanchine Continued ... at the Guggenheim Museum

As an extension of last season’s popular and sold-out lecture/demonstrations, The George Balanchine Foundation once again joins forces with the Guggenheim Museum’s Works and Process series to continue the exploration of the genius of George Balanchine and to shed light on the 20th Century master choreographer’s technique. Former Balanchine dancers who are now artistic directors of their own companies join Lourdes López, Executive Director of The Balanchine Foundation and former New York City Ballet principal dancer, to discuss Balanchine’s enduring legacy and how they convey it to future generations.

Balanchine Continued ... at Ballet Arizona

Sunday & Monday November 14th and 15th

Join principal dancers from Ballet Arizona as they perform excerpts from two Balanchine masterpieces, Divertimento #15 and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, as well as works from the company’s repertory. Ib Andersen, Ballet Arizona’s Artistic Director and former principal dancer with both New York City Ballet and Royal Danish Ballet, will discuss Balanchine’s continued influence on dance and on Ballet Arizona. Mr. Andersen’s two latest works for Ballet Arizona, Mosaik and Elevations, will receive their New York premieres. For more information on this event, see Tobi Tobias review, Susan Reiter review, and additional photos.

Balanchine Continued ... at Miami City Ballet

The Miami City Ballet came to New York last week as part of the excellent Works&Process series produced by Mary Sharp Cronson, as one of the ongoing programs called "Balanchine Continued...." Thus that most prodigal of Prodigals, artistic director Edward Villella, came home to New York, to an auditorium filled with his old New York City Ballet fans. (To underscore the relationship, there was a slide projection of Villella in his prodigal heyday serving as the opening decor.) The affection here for Villella is palpable, and it soon extended to his travelling troupe of eight. "This is the company of my heart," said Robert Gottlieb in introducing them, and it was easy to see why. Full of warmth, easy projection, and superb focus, this is a diverse, highly attractive company without an iota of irony or jadedness—a real tonic. They danced Balanchine (the arias from "Stravinsky Violin Concerto," and segments of "Ballo della Regina," "Agon," Symphony in Three Movements," "Emeralds," and the "Sylvia Pas de Deux" ) with fine articulation and placement, exquisite hands, and that dymanic pizazz called syncopation; Tharp (two of the "Nine Sinatra Songs,") with perhaps too much romance, and not enough humor; and a bit of choreography by Villella himself ( a trio for three men from his "The Neighborhood Ballroom") with—naturally—the utmost charm and swagger. The company dances more Balanchine than any company besides New York City Ballet and it is a joy to see them do it. The entertaining interludes of conversation between Villella and Gottlieb (who did the nifty programming) were so much additional catnip for the audience. "Classicism has to move," said Villella. "It doesn't stay somewhere. Classicism is a continuum."—Nancy Dalva
For more information on this event, see Dance Review Times, and photos.

Sunday & Monday January 23rd and 24th
As a New York City Ballet principal dancer, Edward Villella inspired George Balanchine to create some of his greatest roles for men, such as the male lead in Rubies and Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream. His work was also integral to the revival of Prodigal Son. As the Founding Artistic Director of Miami City Ballet, Mr. Villella has created a company recognized as a leading proponent of the Balanchine legacy. Principal dancers perform excerpts in a demonstration of Balanchine's lasting influence on this company and on their style. Mr. Villella discusses these influences with noted dance critic and writer Robert Gottlieb.

Balanchine Continued ... at North Carolina Dance Theatre

Sunday & Monday March 13th and 14th

Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Paris Opera Ballet Danseur Etoile and former New York City Ballet principal dancer, and Patricia McBride, one of America’s most celebrated ballerinas, explore George Balanchine’s lasting influence on American dance and on their company. Married for more than 30 years, Bonnefoux and McBride discuss their roles as partners on stage with New York City Ballet and as Artistic Directors of North Carolina Dance Theatre. Featured dancers from North Carolina Dance Theatre perform excerpts of Agon, Alonzo King’s Map as well as Mr. Bonnefoux’s original choreography.

Balanchine Continued ... at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Sunday & Monday May 8th and 9th

Arguably, Artistic Directors Francia Russell and Kent Stowell have made one of the most lasting imprints of George Balanchine’s style on any dance company. Since 1977, they have sought to pass on Balanchine’s legacy to Pacific Northwest Ballet. Patricia Barker leads a cast of principal dancers in performing some of Balanchine’s great works along with Kent Stowell’s original choreography, which is rich in the tradition of the master choreographer.