Glow – Stop, Sinatra Suite, Known by Heart, and The Green Table

The American Ballet Theatre at the New York City Center on Thursday, October 19.

I love going to the ballet, but I attend as much for the music as the dancing. When I choose my tickets for the season, I consider the composers as well as the choreographers, and my enjoyment of the performances depends a great deal on how well I think the movements interpret the music. I’m not sure that’s the best way to evaluate dance—it’s actually quite limited—but for one who majored in music in college, it’s probably unavoidable.

My focus on the relationship between movement and music led to enormous frustration with choreographer Jorma Elo’s new work, Glow - Stop, for the American Ballet Theatre. Elo has an extremely distinctive style: a sort of hyper-kineticism that turns the dancers into perpetual motion machines. The steps are intricate and physically demanding, and Elo seems to employ them indiscriminately, regardless of the style or contour of the music he is using.