Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman
Open: 32.01.2004 - New York City Ballet
Photos by Paul Kolnik and Paula Lobo
“Stroman has created a hugely entertaining, often wildly funny show that lives up to all expectations. What's more, she has crafted a showcase for City Ballet's dancers to act their hearts out like they rarely get to do. It's hard to tell who's having more fun: the audience, or these performers who have such big grins on their faces as they combine classical technique with Broadway showmanship”
in "The Associated Press"

“Playful, entertaining, often hilarious and superb in its theatrical timing and its musical irony in relation to songs by Irving Berlin and Walter Donaldson, DOUBLE FEATURE has been a hot ticket for months before its premiere on Friday night. Anticipation was high at the sold-out New York State Theater and an ovation greeted Ms. Stroman like a conquering heroine... For the most part she did not disappoint. Her use of the ballet vocabulary is conventional but effective as part of an expressive image...There are also two showstoppers. One is a routine by a live Boston terrier... Unlike Balanchine, Ms. Stroman has always seen dance as a narrative medium, not as pure form. Storytelling is her gift in the genre she has chosen, and with Glen Kelly's brilliant arrangement of the Berlin and Donaldson songs, shorn of their lyrics, she displays a musical sensitivity that Balanchine could appreciate."
in "The New York Times" by Anna Kisselgoff

"The use of super-titles to tell the story in Double Feature - the silent movie device that is Stroman's central structural idea in the ballet (she uses projections showing brief quotations above the action either to set the scene or to provide dialogue) - is actually quite interesting because the use of titles in the silent movies served the same purpose as mime did in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century ballet.  Ballet melodramas and the early silent movies have common historical roots… But it's Makin Whoopee, the second half of Stroman's program, based on the Buster Keaton movie Seven Chances, that's an even greater treat in this production… you can't get the score of Walter Donaldson songs out of your head; the dancing is admirably assimilated in the narrative; and you leave the theater charmed, and with an appreciation for Stroman's mastery of staging, narrative, and dramatic effects.  Her use of the ballet vocabulary is more fluent here than in The Blue Necklace.”
in by Michael Popkin“

"It is, without a doubt, a canny and professional work. Ms. Stroman’s storytelling skills are so sure, and what happens so predictable, that the projected silent-movie titles probably aren’t necessary… Adroitly, she drapes her theatrical conventions in choreographic clichés. Like her storytelling, her choreography flows smoothly, fills its purpose and is easily forgotten. Songs by Irving Berlin (in the first half) and Walter Donaldson (in the second) are cleverly manhandled to serve the plots. Everything is thought out. No surprises here… “Ms. Stroman’s uninspired pastiche is the flip side of pretension. “Double Feature” is a ballet for people who don’t like ballet.”
in The New York Times by Brian Seibert“

"Broadway choreographer and sometime Ballet maker Susan Stroman has created a delightfully fun homage to silent film with her ballet, DOUBLE FEATURE, for New York City Ballet…. Stroman's ballet vocabulary is not as rich as Robbins' and the choreography less varied, but her heightened sense of the theatrical and the comical more than made up for that. "Makin' Whoopee" is a splendid homage to slapstick that had the audience roaring with laughter and applause throughout.”
in by Tonya Plank

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