What I know about Balanchine as a choreographer can fit on the head of a pin with plenty of negative space left over A blend of modern and classic ballet.. Jene and I went Saturday night to see a series of dance at NYCB entitled Balanchine- black & white. 3 works. Black & white rehearsal style dancewear. Simple! Direct! The dances were interpretation of the music. To me, it was as simple and complex as musical notes tickling the ivories across a piano or the lilting sounds of the violin – almost Disney-esk in a Fantasia setting. It was interesting to watch and I felt if I had closed my eyes, I could still envision the dancers movements as if they were indeed the notes playing. The first “Episodes” Anton von Webern’s Symphony, Op. 21. Concerto Barocco was next. 3 movements – the first, 2 ballerinas take on the magic and movement of the violins. Their limbs reaching as the bow extends over the strings. The strings exemplify their bodies and they become one with the vitality of Bach. (Concerto in D minor for 2 violins) They are joined by the troupe of ballerinas and 2 male dancers. Maybe it’s the violins that tug at my heartstrings, but I think this may have been my favorite. The 3rd was the Four Temperments (Hindemith’s music), was one of Balanchine’s first experimental pieces. Each temperment is associated with earth, air,water and fire and is the basis for the 4 humors “Melancholic,” “Sanguinic,” “Phlegmatic,” and “Choleric”. These human conditions were evident in the body gestures of the dancers. A pleasure to watch because of the emotions involved the movements and postures of the dancers.
Anyway – if you get a chance – see for yourself, as dance should be seen and felt in the moment. It is so ethereal and needs to be experienced rather then reported upon. I don’t have the breathe of verbiage, or knowledge in the subject to do it justice.