Matthew Gurewitsch
Matthew Gurewitsch
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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Keersmaeker's Bach, Tharp's Brel and Balanchine
A New York dance diary, Part IV

April 6, 2024

Concurrently with the New York City Ballet season, Anne Teresa, Baroness De Keersmaeker, gave the North American premiere of her two-hour Goldberg Variations under the aegis of Dance Reflections, presented by Van Cleef & Arpels. The work premiered in the summer of 2020, as the pandemic raged. A London premiere followed in 2022. According to the reviewer for the New York Times who attended the Manhattan premiere, at NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, there's video out there, dating to shortly after Keersmaeker completed the work. In that video, it seems, Keersmaeker has this to say: "I really love to dance. It's really not a joke. It's not vanity. It's really my way of relating to the world."

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Brahms, Balanchine, and love in three-quarter time etc., plus a nod to Justin Peck
A New York dance diary, Part III

April 2, 2024

Karinska's crucial contribution to the Balanchine corpus is especially so in the chamber-scaled Liebeslieder Walzer. Only four dancing couples appear. The first half is given over to glorified ballroom dances. Then the curtain falls briefly, the women change from floor-length ecru evening dresses and pumps to black-laced romantic mid-length tutus and pointe shoes, and rapturous ballet ensues. The musicians—a standard-issue vocal quartet accompanied by piano four-hands—appear onstage with the dancers, likewise in romantic 19th-century attire.

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Busy, busy
Links to a couple of my rare book reviews

March 30, 2024

Hello, friends!

Except under exceptional circumstances, book reviewing is a cup I'd prefer to let pass. But in the last couple weeks, I've made the effort gladly on behalf of Jeremy Eichler's Time's Echo: The Second World War, the Holocaust, and the Music of Remembrance, published in August by Knopf (reviewed in The New Criterion, for my debut there), and of Kao Kalia Yang's Where Rivers Part: A Story of My Mother's Life, just out from Simon & Schuster (reviewed in Air Mail). Both titles have received kudos aplenty. In all humility, I hope you'll find my two cents uniquely insightful. Apologies in advance if you run afoul of a paywall, but you know how it is.

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Balanchine's Four Temperaments, Symphony in Three Movements
A New York dance diary, Part II

March 29, 2024

As its sole all-Balanchine program for the winter season, the New York City Ballet offered a diptych of The Four Temperaments (1946) and Liebeslieder Waltzer (1960), which is a diptych in its own right (we'll get to that). Symphony in Three Movements (1972), Ballo della Regina (1978), and (not on my dance card) Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux (1960) made appearances on mixed bills.

Four T's, Three Movements: Mr. B by the numbers

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Jerome Robbins in winter
A New York dance diary, Part I

March 17, 2024

Keeping up with the dance scene in New York is hard enough when you live there. When your visits are sporadic, as mine have been since decamping from Manhattan to Maui thirteen years ago, it's impossible. In February, though, I hung around long enough for a deep plunge into the winter segment of the New York City Ballet's 75th-anniversary season.

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Books by Matthew Gurewitsch

Cover of Rafal Olbinski Women Cover of When Stars Blow Out

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