The last time we found the ballet enthralling was when Natalie Portman went all types of crazy/beautiful on us in Black Swan. But something even more outstanding has taken place at the New York City Ballet this season, Sufjan Stevens has set the score for the company’s “Year of the Rabbit”. Choreographed by 25 year old Justin Peck (yes, he’s a boss!), the piece is light, funny, poignant and, rightly, proud. The music pulls from Stevens’s “Enjoy Your Rabbit”, giving the album’s semi-frenetic, digital-heavy sound the orchestral touch (try and imagine it with a full-on pit of violinists, horn-blowers, etc).
In just about 30 minutes (two other more traditional performances bring the entire night to 90 minutes), the corps of young dancers – including Peck’s own very stunning girlfriend – made the ballet feel accessible, common even. Though the dancers had a skill and passion that kept us staring, it seemed to be Peck’s young (but in no way naive) vision for what a ballet should look like, how it should feel, that made this a performance unlike any other we’ve seen. In a review, the NYTimes called Year of the Rabbit a “coming out party” for a young “star,” and we’d have to agree. Only this time, we’re not talking Natalie Portman or Mila Kunis.
Go for the music, stay for the ballet. Find more info on Year Of The Rabbit here.