What New York City Ballet Should I Go See?
September 24, 2019 4:42 PM   Subscribe

I feel a bit overwhelmed with ballet choices and I know NOTHING about ballet. Help me pick a show!

My husband and I are squeezing in events in NYC pre-baby (so this would need to be before the end of December/early Jan!). One of the things we both remarked on is that we like to watch super-skilled ballerinas dance, after seeing this clip in the NYT. However, that clip's show looks a little too nationalistic for us.

Here are things we like:
- people that are super professional and at the top of their game -- moves that will make us go "wow!"
- a mix of genders and ethnicities represented
- off-beat and interesting music
- something other than The Nutcracker or typical classical ballet stuff that we might have picked up culturally through osmosis while growing up
- something that won't break the bank (below $100 a ticket, for example)

Thanks in advance!
posted by knownassociate to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Go see Jewels at the City Ballet. Get tickets in the third or fourth ring; you can see everything from there and it’s within your budget.
posted by holborne at 5:16 PM on September 24, 2019

December is The Nutcracker, according to their calendar
posted by Ideefixe at 5:19 PM on September 24, 2019

Ex-ballet dancer here! This is an awesome idea.

a mix of genders and ethnicities represented

Sorry, ballet is a bit of a garbage fire here. Companies are very white, and the closest you generally get to representation is 18th Century exoticism / orientalism.

I checked the NYCB site. I’d skip Nutcracker! Opus 19 / The Dreamer is a beautiful piece and quite “watching powerful dancers do things”. Also on that program is Symphony in C which is classic Imperial Balanchine (tutus and lots of sweat).

The Jewels program is also a great pick — you get to see three very different styles of ballet, and the middle section (Rubies) is very athletic and musical. The last section is quite similar to Symphony in C.

I also peeped ABT’s programs and this would be a fun mixed program! The Twyla Tharp piece is a modern favourite. https://www.abt.org/events/2019-fall-repertory-balanchine-bennett-beach-boys/
posted by sixswitch at 6:24 PM on September 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

New York City Ballet's fall repertory ends on October 13 and begins again in January. In between, it's all Nutcracker. NYCB has a lovely Nutcracker, but it is the ur-Nutcracker and it won't scratch your itch. Unfortunately, Jewels isn't on stage any more this season. The remaining repertory is "All Balanchine," "Classic NYCB," "Robbins + Peck," and "Masters at Work." All Balanchine will be, as they say, all Balanchine - Valse Fantaisie, Kammermusik No. 2, and Union Jack. Classic NYCB has two world premiers (by Tan Dun, and Liang, whose choreography I don't particularly like), Symphony in C, and The Dreamer.

I'd recommend either Robbins + Peck or Masters at Work. I'm actually going to NY for the day to see Robbins + Peck - Dances at a Gathering is my very favorite ballet and I really like Justin Peck's choreography. Masters at Work has two really different Balanchine pieces - Serenade and Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 - and Summerspace by Merce Cunningham which is even more different still.

Check ABT's calendar as well - their fall season runs from October 16-27, and both The Masters and Balanchine, Bennett, and the Beach Boys will be lots of fun.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:27 PM on September 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

Have you seen the Alvin Ailey dance company? I suppose people who live in NYC might be tired of Revelations, but I don’t think I ever will be.
posted by clew at 9:50 PM on September 24, 2019 [4 favorites]

I got some recommendations for you from my ballet expert friend but I can’t type em up right now. I will tonight!
posted by ferret branca at 6:31 AM on September 25, 2019

My friend's response:

Unfortunately, I think that what you'd like to see is the Fall for Dance Festival at City Center (https://www.nycitycenter.org/About/our-programs/Schedule/). But tickets are out; you can try contacting the box office for returns.

ABT's fall schedule also looks interesting – really any of the programs 'The Masters,' "Balanchine, Bennett and the Beach Boys," or "The New Romantics" would fit your bill.

If your hearts are set on NYCB, I agree with the previous poster that seeing Classic NYCB would be the best bet – the new Lovette and Liang pieces should be interesting and Symphony in C is always a hit.
posted by ferret branca at 7:01 PM on September 25, 2019

« Older Running routes: Shoreline, WA edition   |   How to use my iPad as a Powerpoint remote? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.