Sunday, March 3, 2013

Life in New York: Our Recent Cultural Marathon

Photo: New York City Ballet
New Yorkers like to joke about having the luxury of being able to handle the many cultural offerings available to them by spreading them out over a period of time.

Not for us those cultural marathons out-of-town visitors undertake, those too many events crammed into too few days.

(Still, truth to tell we New Yorkers do the same thing when we're off on our own vacations to culture-crammed places!).

From any perspective, though, a recent weekend was such a marathon for my friends and me.

We didn't really plan it this way. We just found ourselves committed - thanks to the vagaries of long-purchased subscription tickets and performance scheduling - to a full schedule of performances all happening in a very short period of time.

Did we mind? No way. This kind of activity - even if it means a little rushing about - is what makes New York such an exciting place for us.

Our marathon week-end began with Friday night at the New York City Ballet, one of our usual subscription nights and this time splendidly experienced with Peter Martin's The Sleeping Beauty. No question about it: this fine company is one of the great pleasures of New York life, and as we've been subscribing longer than we like to admit, we approach each performance with happy anticipation.

Martins' version of The Sleeping Beauty is one of the most spectacular productions in the NYCB repertory, and it never fails to please, with over 100 dancers (including all those youngsters from the School of American Ballet - great fun to watch and wow! are they good!). And in his homage to Balanchine, Martins' version incorporates one of Balanchine's more famous works, The Garland Dance which Balanchine had created for the 1981 Tschaikovsky Festival (Balanchine himself never did a production of The Sleeping Beauty). Nice. Overall, a truly grand production. And a delightful evening out for these New Yorkers.

Next time: all those operas!

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