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Kina Poon on Thursday, Oct 04, 2012
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There's much to anticipate about tomorrow's premiere of Justin Peck's Year of the Rabbit: It's the New York City Ballet corps member's first work for the company on its home stage at the Koch Theater. Indie-pop darling Sufjan Stevens composed its score (with the arrangement by Michael Atkinson). And the works sharing the program are hits that premiered earlier this year—Christopher Wheeldon's infectious Les Carillions and Benjamin Millepied's oddball romance Two Hearts—clearly marking Peck, who turned 25 this month, as the presumptive next big name choreographer to come out of NYCB. (We profiled him as an emerging dancemaker in our April 2011 issue here.)
About his choreographic process for Rabbit, we found this terrific Q&A in Dance Tabs, conducted by Marina Harss last August, especially illuminating. In the studio, Peck is extremely prepared and conscientious—"An architect doesn’t just go out and start nailing two-by-fours together randomly. I like to have a blueprint and build up from that."—and hints that while the two principal couples will be Ashley Bouder and Craig Hall, and Robert Fairchild and Teresa Reichlen (Janie Taylor and Joaquin de Luz are also listed as principals on the cast sheet), he's aiming for a sense of community and equality across all the dancers. We're especially intrigued to see if his thoughts on the pas de deux come to fruition onstage: "I’m interested in exploring an equal relationship between the man and the woman, and not so much in the man displaying the woman. I want to get away from that a little bit. I’m more interested in creating a more fluid relationship between the two dancers, and a more effortless look." The Guggenheim's Works & Process series also hosted Peck and Stevens in a lec/dem, which can be viewed here.