When it comes to winning combos, it's hard to beat ballet and black and white. Need proof? Watch this absolutely mesmerizing video for Justin Peck's new ballet, The Decalogue.
The latest from NYCB's always busy, undoubtedly superhuman resident choreographer seems to have all of the "Peck-isms" we've come to love, from super unique formations that appear as quickly as they disappear, to visually delicious shapes carved out by the über-talented NYCB dancers. The trailer's also shot on grainy film, giving the whole thing a nostalgic, romantic vibe that we're absolutely loving. But the best part? The Decalogue marks Sufjan Stevens' second original score for Peck and NYCB (Stevens composed the music for 2014's Everywhere We Go). We won't spoil the rest, so do yourself a favor and check it out below.
Would you like to absolutely drown in beauty today? Yes? Of course you would. And we've got just the video for you: "Now More Than Ever," created by Ezra Hurwitz for the Ballet Across America festival, which is currently underway in D.C. The four-minute fantasia features American Ballet Theatre stars Isabella Boylston, Stella Abrera, James Whiteside, Marcelo Gomes and Calvin Royall III performing ravishing bits of choreography in, on and around the historic Kennedy Center.
There are gauzy, gorgeous ballgowns. There are beautifully unexpected uses of the KenCen's opulent spaces. There are worshipful shots of these extraordinary dancers doing extraordinary things.
It's irresistible. Just luxuriate in it. And D.C.-area friends, be sure not to miss the Ballet Across America programs, which are curated by two complete unknowns named Misty Copeland and Justin Peck.
If you lived for Megan Fairchild in On the Town and Robbie Fairchild as An American in Paris, get stoked. Next March 23, a revival of Carousel is opening on Broadway, featuring the talents of no fewer than three New York City Ballet stars.
As reported by The New York Times, Justin Peck will choreograph this revival, Amar Ramasar will play seductive baddie Jigger Craigin and Brittany Pollack will take on the role of Louise Bigelow, a young woman trying to move on from her parents' troubled past.
Speaking of troubles, a lot of people are wondering how this revival—the fifth (!!) since the original 1945 production—will address the, um, problematic aspects of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical's tragic plot. Carousel follows a young, innocent millworker named Julie Jordan, who falls hard for the town bad boy, a carnival barker named Billy Bigelow. Cue alllllll of the heartbreak, including domestic violence and other hallmarks of a toxic romantic relationship.
Personally, I can't wait to see how Peck addresses these possibly controversial elements, especially since he says he's "hoping to both pay homage to what Agnes de Mille did originally, and to extend the show further into new territory." No real specifics have been revealed yet, but traditionally there's a HUGE dream ballet in the second act centered on Jigger (Ramasar) and Louise (Pollack). Get excited, Broadway bunheads!
The New York Dance and Performance Awards—known fondly as the Bessies—are back! They're the dance world's Academy Awards, if you will. Named after dance pioneer Bessie Schonberg, the Bessies are more and more impressive each year. 2015's nominees are no exception.
The list is huge and sparkling. There's all the ballet that made headlines this year, from Alexei Ratmansky's production of The Sleeping Beauty (nominated for Outstanding Revival), to New York City Ballet principals Robert Fairchild and Amar Ramasar (both nominated for Outstanding Performer), to NYCB Resident Choreographer Justin Peck's Rōdē,ō: Four Dance Episodes (nominated for Outstanding Production).
Gillian Murphy and Marcelo Gomes in Alexei Ratmansky's The Sleeping Beauty (Photo by Andrea Mohin)
There's also a ton of fascinating work that really highlights what the Bessies are about—truly performing and pushing boundaries. Talya Epstein's performance in Star Crap Method is one to note, as is Xavier Le Roy's Outstanding Production nomination for Retrospective, which took place at MoMA PS1 last winter.
Outstanding Performer nominee Talya Epstein in Larissa Velez-Jackson's Star Crap Method (Screenshot via Vimeo)
The Bessies take place on October 19th and it's going to be a magical night for all of these deserving artists.
Congratulations to the gaggle of New York City Ballet dancers who were just promoted! No fewer than 11 of the company's finest are feeling pretty great today. Here's the rundown:
Adrian Danchig-Waring, Chase Finlay and Ask la Cour are now principals.
Lauren King, Ashley Laracey, Megan Lecrone, Lauren Lovette, Justin Peck, Brittany Pollack, Georgina Pazcoguin and Taylor Stanley are now soloists.
We're just about bursting with happiness for all of these lovelies—I mean, the list is basically a rundown of our NYCB faves. But we're especially glad for Miss Lauren Lovette and Mr. Taylor Stanley, our September 2010 cover stars, who we've been rooting for from the very beginning.
Just look how young and adorable they were at their cover shoot! And now they're all growed up. We feel like proud parents. *sniff*
(All photos by Erin Baiano)
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If you've already gotten your hands on DS's October issue (and if you haven't, click here!), you've seen our "Choreographer's Collage" with Justin Peck. The 25-year-old is pretty busy these days: Not only is he one of the ballet world's most talked about up-and-coming choreographers, he's also a corps dancer with New York City Ballet.
As Peck's collage reveals, his ballets are inspired by anything from the George Balanchine classics he's danced to restaurant meals. Sounds fascinating, right? Which is why I kind of can't wait to see his new work for NYCB, Year of the Rabbit, when it premieres this Friday. The piece is set to music by indie star Sufjan Stevens, who worked with Peck and conductor Michael Atkinson to translate what was originally a lot of beepy electronica into a score for a string orchestra. (Check out the three of them talking about the process in this recording of their Guggenheim "Works & Process" presentation—it's pretty nifty!)
Can't make it to NYC for the premiere? Well, here's a little taste of Year of the Rabbit: a promo video featuring NYCB dancers Janie Taylor and Craig Hall doing some beautiful things on the beach. Enjoy!
Justin Peck seems to never (ever) run out of ideas. The New York City Ballet soloist and Resident Choreographer is gearing up for what's bound to be another amazing premiere this coming week in NYC. We say that with full certainty after watching this teaser for The Times are Racing, featuring Peck and NYCB principal Robbie Fairchild, and a soundtrack by Dan Deacon. It's an energetic, fluid and musical 3-minute adventure through the NYC subway, filled with many of our favorite "Peck-isms," like super-fast footwork and the expansive movement quality we've come to know and love in all his other works. And Peck, always one step ahead, decided it was time to shake things up even more—all the dancers will be in sneakers for this new work. Check it out for yourself below!
The New York City Ballet soloist's first work for San Francisco Ballet, In the Countenance of Kings, is set to debut on April 7. #TeamBallet is excited about this one, and for good reason: It features a score by Sufjan Stevens, with whom Peck seems to have an especially powerful chemistry. (See exhibits A and B.)
Curious as we are about what Peck will do with Stevens' cinematic melodies this time—and about how he'll use the talented SFB dancers, a brand-new pool of muses? Or just looking for an especially lovely way to kick off the weekend? Then you'll want to watch the short film SFB released yesterday. Shot by dance filmmaker Ezra Hurwitz and set in a cavernous abandoned train station, it features sneaker-clad company dancers looking especially free as they blaze through Peck's choreography. (Or maybe, as a clever framing device implies, the whole thing is a dream, swirling in the head of principal Dores André.) It's dynamic and joyful and gives us a solid sneak peek at the goodies Peck and Stevens have in store for SFB audiences.
Happy Friday, bunheads!