Editors' Picks

New York City Ballet

10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023, USA


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The company founded by Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine in 1948 is one of the world’s top five ballet ensembles (the Kirov, Bolshoi, Royal Ballet and Paris Opera Ballet round out the upper tiers). Of these, it is also the most unique in style. Balanchine, who emigrated first to Europe, then to the U.S. from Russia in the 1920s, developed a distinct ballet technique, stressing extreme speed and musicality. (Balanchine dancers are trained to anticipate the music and dance almost a hair of a second ahead, creating incredible energy and excitement for the viewer). Watching a ballet like Concerto Barocco, written in 1941, is like seeing Bach’s incredible concerto come to life through steps.

The company has a repertory of more than 400 pieces, many created by Mr. B. First-timers should catch such classics as Serenade, Symphony in C, Agon, Apollo and Vienna Waltzes. The annual Nutcracker is a New York City tradition for many families, though the summer performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream are almost even more special (many children of the company’s official School of American Ballet perform in these shows). Every season, the New York City Ballet performs newly commissioned work to varying degrees of success. Look for soloist Justin Peck’s name on the program: he is the dance world’s newest “It” choreographer (and rightly so).

Written by Simone Girner

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