A plotless piece set to Dvorak, “Pretty Good Year” does ceaseless battle with its own ingenuity. It is a showcase for Herman Cornejo, a gloriously stylish young dancer, and three couples. An experiment in reworking the classical vocabulary does not, however, mean the dancing has to be constantly quirky and busy. When Mr. Cornejo plops down on his back at the end of this workout of a ballet, even its choreographer seems to admit wryly that more could have been less.
Mr. Wheeldon and Mr. McIntyre are prolific choreographers in their 30’s, and both have created works for the Diamond Project at New York City Ballet, where Mr. Wheeldon is resident choreographer.”
I didn’t have to wait long, as the curtain rose on McIntyre’s world premiere, with the always elegant Stella Abrera and Herman Cornejo posed center stage in lemon yellow and silver costumes by Liz Prince. The music by Antonin Dvorak (Piano Trio No.1 in B flat major – first, second, and fourth movements) was performed by pianist Barbara Bilach, violinist Ron Oakland, and violoncellist Scott Ballantyne, and carried the dancers through liveliness, melancholy, intensity, playfulness.
The seven dancers – Zhong-Jing Fang, Abrera, Sarawanee Tanatanit, Cornejo, Bo Busby, Alexandre Hammoudi, and Matthew Murphy – displayed graceful deliberate movements, quick crisp unisons, and smoothly flowing pas de deux, changing their emotions as the mood of the music changed. The piece was centered around Cornejo’s high-flying energy and solemn intensity, and he seemed to connect to the audience with his presence and openness, drawing them into the performance.”
Choreographed by: Trey McIntyre
Costumes by: Liz Prince
Lighting by: Nicholas Phillips
Music: by Antonin Dvorak
Premiered: 2004 by American Ballet Theatre
Running Time: 25 minutes