The Four Temperaments. Photo by Paul Kolnik

                                Under a full moon on a chilly February night, NYCB warmed up the audience with no fewer than a dozen company member debuts. Romantic repertory bumped up against a Neo-classical ballet masterpiece and shimmering ballet duet.

George Balanchine's masterful Four Temperaments fully reveals the dancer in the dance. Lean choreography dominates, tightening the vocabulary to a handful of steps combined and recombined to the music of Paul Himdemith. Legs slice the air, hands snap at the wrists and shards of unison movement thrill all.

For sheer female warrior power, there's no better example than the invasion of the stage by four women advancing towards the male, legs flaring up, then stabbing floor followed by sharp pelvic thrusts forward and back.Hair rasing.

All those who debuted: Jacqueline Bologna, Jonathan Fahoury, Kennard Henson, Ashley Hod, Peter Walker, and Emily Kikta plumbed details that amplified their individualistic qualities.

Sonatine, a quiet, unassuming yet tingling duet by George Balanchine to music by Maurice Ravel played on the piano by Elaine Chelton featured an incandescent performance by Ashley Laracey and Taylor Stanley. Delicate phrases fluidly spin between Stanley and Laracey. Over the years, Stanley has discovered a meditative stillness that silemces the air and magnetizes the viewers. Similarly, Laracey seamlessly floats through the folk dance kicks and regal backbends.

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