New York City Ballet
New York City Ballet is going through a generational change – it now boasts a strong group of young men in the romantic vein. Artistic director Peter Martins is blessed with a repertory as deep as the ocean, anchored by Balanchine and Robbins. But in the past decade, until recently, the performances by the company’s men suffered from a sense of le-thargy. Many danced as if their personalities were erased (the most notable of exceptions being the now-retired Damian Woetzel), as if they felt they didn’t deserve to share the stage with the strong roster of women.
Honestly, at times they didn’t. Perhaps it had something to do with the big shadow of Peter Martins, who was such a powerful stage presence. Or that the remorse of not having had the
chance to work with the great Balanchine somehow clouded their confidence. Of course, the ballerina was the prime focus of most of Balanchine’s ballets. But as new choreographers have set ballets on the company, the men have found more work, or have been called upon to invest more in performances. Martins himself seems to have catalyzed this by casting his 2007 “Romeo + Juliet” true to age, with young dancers in the lead roles rather than cast by ...