Summer Highlights: American Ballet Theater Comes to Lincoln Center

Lincoln Center’s Metropolitan Opera hosted a repertory of ballets by the American Ballet Theater company for the summer season, from May to July. The season featured a number of classics, presenting a different show every week. Here are some highlights from three different shows in June.

Romeo and Juliet. Prokofiev’s ballet version of Shakespeare’s classic romance adds grace and beauty to the narrative, the dancers’ movements telling the story as well as any words could. One particularly impressive scene was the swordfight between the Capulets and Montagues, where the dancers’ perfectly coordinated motions resulted in the synchronized sounds of clashing swords to accompany the music.

Swan Lake. I grew up watching and re-watching a production of this Tchaikovsky masterpiece on VHS, and I finally had the chance to see it live. It was everything I hoped it would be, and more.  The precision of the dancers was extraordinary and allowed for flawless intricate formations, which could best be appreciated from one of the balconies. The scenes that were set at the actual swan lake were particularly visually striking and ethereal.

Sylvia. Concluding the month of June, this ballet with music by Delibes was a visual delight. While the choreography was not as crisp and precise as that of Swan Lake, the lavish set and costumes were a treat for the eyes. Act 1, which was set in the woodland under moonlight, glowed with an otherworldly aura, while the final act moved the narrative to Diana’s golden temple. The use of lighting in the final scene effectively conveyed the mood, as at the end everything gleamed gold, creating a sense of warmth and happiness.