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New York City Ballet 2021 Digital Season

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New York City Ballet / New York / Stage

Theme and Variations (1947) and Stravinsky Violin Concerto (1972) are the next two Balanchine ballets up for exploration this winter season. The uber-classical Theme and Variations, set to the music of Tchaikovsky, contains two crowning roles for company stars (or stars to be). This is the ballet that wowed the world in 1978, when Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov danced it on a live telecast. Does the man move like a prince in a dream? The woman like a princess in a castle of cut crystal? A podcast with NYCB music director Andrew Litton on March 1 and a rehearsal of the ballet on March 2 are prelude to a performance on March 4, with the infinitely musical Tiler Peck leading the way (available to view through March 11). Stravinsky Violin Concerto, streaming on March 11, suggests the Russian village of Bronislava Nijinska’s Les Noces. Only here we focus on two young couples in a neoclassical village. The four are introduced in the First Movement, and then each couple dances a pas de deux that probes their unique interdependence. The casting—Sara Mearns and Taylor Stanley, Sterling Hyltin and Ask la Cour—is standout (available to view through March 18). —L.J.

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