Review: New York City Ballet on the move at Hancher

New York City Ballet MOVES
Iowa City Gazette

Everything was exquisite in New York City Ballet’s Hancher debut Tuesday night, but all eyes were fixed on Iowa City native Miriam Miller’s triumphant return to her hometown.

She appeared in the company for “La Stravaganza” in the first half of the 2 1/2-hour program, but truly got to shine in the sensual “After the Rain.” Christopher Wheeldon, whose re-imagined “Nutcracker” previewed at Hancher last year, created a pas de deux — a ballet dance duet — in 2005 with extraordinary, fluid choreography that today fits Miller’s tall frame beautifully, showing the full reach of her liquid, languid arms.

Clad simply in a pale pink leotard and beige ballet slippers, her hair flowing long and loose, every inch of Miller’s 5-foot-10-inch body draped elegantly over her partner, principal dancer Adrian Danchig-Waring. The collapsing beauty of those moments transformed seamlessly into power poses as Danchig-Waring lifted her stiff, doll-like body into the air, her arms and legs outstretched in a rigid X.

This picture of passion and grace played out over the gorgeous flow of Arvo Part’s “Spiegel im Spiegel,” performed in an equally romantic violin-piano pas de deux.

An immediate standing ovation and endless cheers rang out as the dancers melted into each other and onto the floor.

Just 20 years old, it’s so easy to see why Miller is captivating New York audiences and critics alike, and earning industry accolades for her elegant arm extensions and sensitive interpretations. A recent recipient of the prestigious Princess Grace Award for emerging artists, she chose to dance for her Iowa family and friends instead of traveling to Los Angeles this week to receive that award in a gala presentation.
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