How the Kings of Dance Deflate their Royalty

September 16, 2019

The “Kings of Dance” is a hard moniker to live up to, but this year something very nice emerged from the performance at NY City Center. Every choreographer on the program made decidedly unKingly pieces. In Mauro Bigonzetti’s Jazzy Five, they poked fun at each other, deflating the notion of reverence for ballet royalty. It was actually pretty ingenious and fun and gave each of these magnificent dancers (Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Guillaume Côté, Ivan Vasiliev, and Denis Matvienko) a time to shine. The following five solos were all too hand-twitchy (did the director/producer, Sergei Danilian, tell each choreographer to lay off the full-out bravura?) except for Labyrinth of Solitude, the piece that Patrick de Bana made for Ivan Vasiliev. I did enjoy Jorma Elo’s slinkiness for Gomes, but wish Marco Goecke has let Côté be more soft. But the juice was in the last piece, choreographed by Gomes with music by Côté (see Marcelo’s interview here), KO’d, because that’s when they really appeared to be a band of brothers. And this piece, finally, was heart-warming.


From left: Leonid Sarafanov, Ivan Vasiliev, Marcelo Gomes, Guillaume Côté, David Hallberg, and Denis Matvienko at the premiere of “Kings of Dance: Opus 3” in Moscow. Photo courtesy
Russian International News Agency.