“Sky to Hold,” “Suspended Animation,” “Western Symphony”
David Koch Theater, Lincoln Center
New York, New York
October 2, 2021
by Gay Morris
copyright 2021 by Gay Morris
Last week, New York City Ballet premiered two works that pointed toward an expanding reach into the twenty-first century. It is a healthy sign in a company that often seems to have settled into a narrow repertory that looks to the past in works dominated by Robbins and Balanchine, and choreographers influenced by Balanchine or the Russian school.
Both “Sky to Hold,” choreographed by Andrea Miller, and “Suspended Animation,” by Sidra Bell, challenged what some undoubtedly consider the company’s duty to the old guard. For this, one can only thank directors Jonathan Stafford and Wendy Whelan. Whelan in particular was adventuresome in pursuing new dance avenues after leaving City Ballet as a principal in 2014. With her return as associate artistic director in 2019, the repertory is being shaken up a bit. This is not to say a revolution has occurred. It is hardly that, but new directions are being explored, and they are welcome.