Sometimes the music and movement are so in synch that any other dance steps seem unimaginable. Ideally, such inevitability is in all dance works no matter how many combinations come to mind. This score and this choreography are destined for each other.
Justin Peck delivers this kind of feeling in his piece, Heatscape, set to a Bohuslav Martinů concerto. The vigor of the dance and the confidence of the composition meet in perfection. The youthful and exuberant Miami City Ballet is an ideal messenger of Peck’s exciting work, which they brought to life during their Lincoln Center debut from April 13th through the 17th.
Martinů, a modern Czech composer with a classical temperament, seems to have created his Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra (composed in 1925) for Peck’s classically inspired and very modern Heatscape. In Heatscape, there are tweaked echoes of famous ballet tropes. Once our hero finds his swan, it’s not easy for him to keep tabs on her. Energetic partnering is a hallmark of Peck’s work, and it is well featured in this work.
Fate seems to have played a hand in bringing Lowell Liebermann to Liam Scarlett for his 2012 work, Viscera. The choreographer has also designed the costumes for this piece, dressing his ballerinas in elegantly plush bathing suits. Viscera is set to Liebermann’s Piano Concerto No. 1, classical with a modernist sensibility.
Miami City Ballet was born to perform Ballanchine. Almost literally so. Founded in 1985, under the artistic direction of Edward Villella, a principal with George Ballanchine’s New York City Ballet from the mid 1950s, retiring as a performer in 1979, MCB, currently under the Artistic Direction of Lourdes Lopez (also a former principal with NYCB), cultivates
the Ballanchine technique and showcases his works.
Balanchine’s Bourrée Fantasque gives 42 of MCB’s dancers the stage to show off their artistry. Set to the music of Emmanuel Chabrier, whose work GB admired greatly, Bourrée Fantasque was one of the first pieces Ballanchine created for his newly-formed New York City Ballet in 1949. MCB tackles the witty piece with its usual style and aplomb.
To follow the Miami City Ballet, whose rare visit to New York ends today, April 17th, go to miamicityballet.org/