Beyond Balanchine

Robert Gottlieb, The New York Observer
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Nutcrackers weren’t the only game in town over the holidays. The glorious Trocks were cavorting at the Joyce, with the superb Robert Carter, under his nom de danse, Olga Supphozova, revealing his exquisite phrasing as Odette. He also triumphed in the new Valpurgeyeva Noch (Walpurgisnacht to you) as the Bacchante, but so did his compeers Andrei Verikose (Bacchus), Mikhail Mypansarov (Pan) and Nina Enimenimynimova (Panette). This ludicrous take on Lavrosky’s old Bolshoi warhorse is too long, but blame Gounod’s score. Elena Kunikova’s staging does it full justice.

More satisfying—completely satisfying—was her new Harlequinade, no doubt because the Petipa original, his final big success, is so enchanting. Thank goodness Kunikova is less jokey than her Trockadero predecessors, and here she gives us both the essence and the detail of Petipa’s achievement. No wonder it was a hit back in 1900! The Columbine (Larisa Dumbchenko) and Harlequin (R.M. [“Prince”] Myshkin) have the classical chops to pull off this utter charmer, and the costumes by Christopher Anthony Vergara are brightly appealing. These reconstructions of Russian classics are acts of reverence, not exhumation; kudos to the Trocks for bringing them to us.”

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