Monday, May 7, 2012

Speed, Precision Propel NYCB’s ‘DGV’ and ‘Les Carillons’

Andrew Veyette, Tiler Peck and Christian Tworzyanski in Christopher Wheeldon's “DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse.” Photos by Paul Kolnik.


is sometimes as simple as creating movement on one body, or as complex as orchestrating movements of a large group of dancers.

Christopher Wheeldon’s ballet, “DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse,” is one for a crowd. It is enjoying an encore in May at the David H. Koch Theater.

CW is a modern ballet maker who explotis both the athleticism and the grace of his dancers. Ballet is one of the collaborative arts, and New York City Ballet is at home performing CW’s works. After all, he was a member of the company in the early 1990s; from 2001 until 2008, he was NYCB’s first Resident Choreographer.

During the fall premiere, NYCB, represented in the leads by Teresa Reichlen, Craig Hall, Ashley Bouder, Joaquin De Luz, Maria Kowroski, Tyler Angle, Ana Sophia Scheller and Amar Ramasar, gave “DGV” the stirring presentation it deserves.

As the name suggests, “DGV” moves at an exhilarating pace. In fact, every facet of this production involves speed. The “Danse” is set to “MGV (Musique à Grande Vitesse)” by Michael Nyman. The score in turn commemorates the 1993 inaugural of the high-speed French train known as TGV.

New York City Ballet dancers in “Les Carillons.”

Led by Clotilde Otranto, the orchestra, too, travels rapidly through “DGV.” CO conducts with her whole body, making her in effect another dancer in the piece.

Pulsating to the tempo of a very fast train, with the dancers quick-stepping in imitation of gears in motion, “DGV” is a great combine of progress. Both the music and the choreography bring the train to life. “DGV” is one of the most pleasant and invigorating balletic rides around.

Also dependent on speedy measures for its durable beauty is “Les Carillons.” Set to a suite by Georges Bizet, which closes with echoing horns that mimic the sounds of church bells, “Les Carillons” is a ballet without a plot. It features five couples simply vamping.

“Les Carillons" had its world premiere on the fall schedule and is also enjoying an encore in May.

As with “DGV,” it has a chorus behind the central characters: Tiler Peck, Robert Fairchild, Wendy Whelan, Gonzalo Garcia, Kowroski, Tyler Angle, Scheller and Daniel Ulbricht. (See excerpts from “Les Carillons” and an interview with Tiler Peck at

Tiler Peck and Gonzalo Garcia in “Les Carillons.”

The entire “Les Carillons” cast exhibits a masterly and fine technique. The leaps are grand. On occasion, the women look like they are skating en pointe. The work shows pomp, ceremony and a sprightly spirit of fun.

Mark Zappone’s strapless gowns with splits make the most of everyone. The elegant costumes especially flatter Sara Mearns’ long legs.

Visit to learn more about “DGV,” “Les Carillons” and the New York City Ballet repertory.

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