The New York City Ballet on Thursday, June 10.
Variety in programming is one thing, but the New York City Ballet’s program Thursday night wasn’t just varied; it was hopelessly mismatched, featuring three works that didn’t make a bit of sense alongside one another, to jarring effect. The musical contrasts were most extreme, moving from Arvo Pärt’s refined minimalism to Bruno Moretti’s melodramatic mashup of early Stravinsky and Mahler to a syrupy, over-orchestrated medley of Gershwin tunes. In retrospect, the music might have exaggerated the differences among the three, to the detriment of the program as a whole, or maybe the problem was simply that “After the Rain” is so delicate and lovely that the works following could only lumber about by comparison. Regardless, though, it was an odd program—fine dancing, of course, but a strange aesthetic experience.