Last night, DS editor Margaret Fuhrer and I settled in at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch theater, ready for a wonderful night with New York City Ballet. Little did I know that I was in for my favorite night at the ballet ever.
The first three ballets on the program (Robbins' Interplay, Balanchine's Tarantella and Robbins' In Memory of...) were great and certainly had some shining moments—like former DS cover stars Lauren Lovette and Taylor Stanley making memorable debuts in Interplay and Ashley Bouder's peppy (and near-perfect!) performance in Tarantella.
But it was Christopher Wheeldon's DGV: Danse à Grand Vitesse that absolutely knocked my socks off. From the moment Robbie Fairchild and Sara Mearns took the stage to dance the work's first pas de deux, I was mesmerized. The intricate partnering, the flowing, wave-like movements, the seemingly impossible lifts, the bizarrely intriguing set—it was unlike any ballet piece I'd every seen. And it only got better with each couple to take the stage. My jaw dropped at Sara's unfathomably flexible back, Megan Fairchild's dynamic and magnetic performance, Wendy Whelan's regal grace and Tiler Peck's spot-on technique—I loved it. Can you tell?
Plus, as an added bonus, Wheeldon himself was sitting across the aisle from me. Could this night have gotten better?!
It's performances like last night's that make fall in love with dance over and over again. I can't wait to see DGV again and experience its brilliance. Have you ever seen a performance that made you feel this way?
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Isabella Boylston in "The Bright Stream" (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy American Ballet Theatre)
Beloved by ballet fans for her lucid technique and onstage effervescence, by her Instagram followers for the deftly curated photos and videos she shares of her glamorous life, and by fangirl Jennifer Garner for all of the above, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is one of the rare ballet stars who's achieved mainstream fame. A native of Sun Valley, ID, Boylston trained at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the Harid Conservatory before joining the ABT Studio Company in 2005. She entered the main company as an apprentice in 2006, and attained principal status in 2014. In addition to her successes with ABT, where she dances nearly every major ballerina role, Boylston has served as artistic director of the annual Ballet Sun Valley Festival, which brings high-level performances and classes to her hometown. And speaking of famous Jennifers: Boylston recently appeared as Jennifer Lawrence's dance double in the film Red Sparrow. Catch her onstage with ABT as Manon, Odette/Odile, and Princess Aurora during the company's Metropolitan Opera House season this summer in NYC. —Margaret Fuhrer