IMPRESSIONS: New York City Ballet’s New Combinations with Kyle Abraham, William Forsythe, and Justin
New York City Ballet in Kyle Abraham's The Runaway. Photo by Paul Kolnik.
Baby Boomers have been called the worst generation, smug folks who moved from the Age of Aquarius to ‘80s yuppiedom with no appreciation for how the deck was stacked in their favor. Generation X is known for being slackers who consider irony and detachment moral imperatives. As for Millennials, don’t get anyone over the age of forty started. They’re responsible for everything from killing mayonnaise to the declining fertility rates. Plus, if they stopped eating avocado toast, they could build wealth or, at least, get off their parents’ couches.
New York City Ballet’s New Combinations program, intentionally or not, gives the stage at the David H. Koch Theater to a choreographer from each of these generations. The pieces by William Forsythe, Kyle Abraham, and Justin Peck — a Boomer, a Gen Xer, and a Millennial, respectively — have many merits and faults over which to argue. Yet, regardless of their critical reception, the more interesting aspect is how these choreographers, intentionally or not, manipulate ballet to evoke an entire generation’s ethos.
Forsythe is a celebrated choreographer, but Herman Schmerman (1992) is not a piece for the history books. Derivative and . . .
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