I am extremely behind on reviews but here are a couple of pictures (by Erin Baiano) of the cast of Christopher Wheeldon’s Rhapsody Fantasie, which the choreographer premiered with his company, Morphoses, in October. I can’t write a full review but I guess it’s interesting to see what lingers in the mind. I remember a variety of movement — from neo-classical ballet to more contemporary with some ballroom thrown in — I remember some swing-y moves and even some salsa basics! I remember interesting ensemble work — with dancers at times breaking into pairs for partner dancing, at times the men dancing together, performing various complicated lifts, which I found rather mesmerizing. And I remember Wheeldon’s signature modern ballet pas de deux with the complicated “pretzel shape” lifts (as in the top photo, of NYCB’s Wendy Whelan and Australian dancer Andrew Crawford). Besides Whelan and Crawford I found Drew Jacoby and Rubinald Pronk to be the most compelling pair, dancing their series of twisted shape after twisted shape with passion and psychological intention.


Opening Morphoses program 2 was Continuum, a Wheeldon ballet from several years ago (photo above, also by Erin Baiano). This was a very abstract work set to sharp, at times tense Ligetti music with brilliant lighting that made the dancers appear ghostly, as if their shadows, silhouetted on the back wall, were doing the dancing.

I love Christopher Wheeldon, who’s always trying to give audiences insight into the dance-making process. At the beginning of this program, he spoke a bit about the dances, and, regarding Continuum, he told us all to look out for a part where, as he was making that dance, he became mesmerized by a neighbor’s cat and dog. It was only all too obvious which pas de deux this was, and everyone laughed as the two dancers kind of crouched around each other getting ready for a playful (or maybe not so playful) attack. I don’t think the audience would have thought anything of it if he hadn’t pointed that out. Now if he can give us insight on how the whole thing comes together!…

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