(photos by Paul Kolnick)
I’m writing a formal review for Explore Dance, but for now, if you’re in New York, don’t miss NYCBallet’s DOUBLE FEATURE, showing only through Wednesday. An homage to silent films, the evening is comprised, as the name implies, of two ballets, both by Broadway / sometime ballet choreographer Susan Stroman. The first, “The Blue Necklace,” is a slow-moving melodrama, kind of a soap opera version of Cinderella. Aside from opening chorus-girl and ending waltzing -couples numbers, there isn’t a huge amount of dancing, which is mainly I think why I didn’t care a whole lot for this one, though Megan Fairchild hilariously stood out as the dangerously dorky stepsister who can’t dance her way out of a paper bag. She held her feet so pidgeon-toed at one point, I thought she may twist her kneecap. And who knew how much she looks like Christina Ricci?!
The “feature” to see, though, is the second, “Makin’ Whoopee,” a slapstick piece starring a rather tragicomical Charlie Chaplin in the guise of soloist Tom Gold. There is no one better to play a balletic version of the little fellow — he had all the moves just right; so cutely pathetic but ultimately triumphant… Surprisingly, though, Amar Ramasar is a born actor —
— he completely took over the stage whenever he was on it. Something about him reminds me of Marcelo… He did a crazy sexy bad tango … except, the ganchos. Messrs. Ramasar and Fairchild, those were not ganchos, they were half-assed ballet boy kicky-thingys! Also, Robert Fairchild needs a smaller hat; it practically covered his eyes and I couldn’t even tell who he was until he took it off to do some big bravura jumps and his wet hair went flying about. But apart from dainty tango hooks and over-large sweat-inducing top hats, this ballet showcases a cute little dog, and Justin Peck in yet more drag… this time not as a plump matriach with a nursery beneath her skirt, but as a lovely bride… Don’t ask, just go see it!