New York City Ballet

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Wendy Whelan & Craig Hall in After the Rain

Chaconne: Music by Gluck, Choreography by Balanchine, Costumes by Karinska

Interplay: Music by Gould, Choreography by Jerome Robbins, Costumes by Santo Loquasto

Everywhere We Go: Music by Sufjan Stevens, Choreography by Justin Peck, Costumes by Janie Taylor

After the Rain: Music by Avro Part, Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, Costumes by Holly Hines

The first two pieces delivered what you’d expect of Balanchine and Robbins. “Everywhere We Go” was fresh, uplifting, with delightful, modern choreography, and terrific costumes and staging. Yet the night was owned by “After the Rain,” which I don’t think you can ever tire of seeing, especially if danced by Wendy Whelan.

Wendy Whelan, who retires her three-decade ballet career this Saturday, performs a Pas de Deux with her equally matched partner, Craig Hall. The music is such a sensitive composition for a pianist and violinist on the stage, but most especially for the dancers of this slow, sensual piece. The choreography and the dancing are mind-blowingly beautiful, conveying both intimacy and a commanding desire. Wendy Whelan floats through the air and around Craig Hall’s body as if a soft wind was moving her. She falls into him too, in a manner that was sublimely sensual. It was as though they were melting into each other.

Luckily, I will see this Pas de Deux again with Wendy Whelan’s Farewell this Saturday at the NYCB.

Bernadette Murray

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