The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St.
July 16-21, $56-$96
Thirty-five-year-old Moscow-born ballerina Maria Kochetkova gives audiences an intimate look into her future with her first solo project, Catch Her If You Can, continuing at the Joyce through July 21. After eleven years as a principal with San Francisco Ballet, the last two overlapping as a principal here in New York City with ABT, Kochetkova has worked with the Joyce Foundation on an evening of seven short pieces and one longer one by seven contemporary choreographers created specifically for the Moscow-born ballerina and several of her friends and colleagues. The program displays a talented woman bridging the gap between the classicism of ballet and the unpredictability of modern dance, and while some pieces are more exciting than others, it makes for a splendid introduction to what is next for Kochetkova.
The evening begins with William Forsythe’s Bach Duet (from New Suite), in which Kochetkova pairs with Sebastian Klorborg in a romantic pas de deux that is more balletic in nature, focusing on exquisite use of the upper body and arms in particular. Following Carlo Di Lanno’s bold solo in Myles Thatcher’s Painting Greys, with music by Emmit Fenn, Drew Jacoby wows with her muscular solo in Marco Goecke’s Tué, set to music by Barbara; Jacoby’s back muscles ripple in a dance all their own. Kochetkova next takes center stage, showcasing innovative footwork and astonishing flexibility on the floor to Oleg Malov’s version of Alexander Knaifel’s “O Heavenly King” in Marcos Morau’s Degunino. In David Dawson’s White Swan Pas de Deux (from Swan Lake), Di Lanno and Sofiane Sylve, two statuesque, athletic presences, perform breathtaking lifts and carries to Tchaikovsky’s familiar sounds.
The first act concludes with Jacoby and Kochetkova having a blast with the world premiere of Jacoby’s Rachel, Nevada. Their substantial size difference is put to good effect in front of a screen showing mostly black-and-white optical illusions designed by TOYKYO, with music by Sam Spiegel and opaque costumes by Anja Mlakar. Following intermission, Kochetkova and Kloborg offer up Dawson’s romantic duet At the End of the Day, set to Szymon Brzóska’s “Migrations,” but it’s the grand finale, the world premiere of Jérôme Bel’s Masha Machine — Kochetkova is affectionately known as Masha — that lays bare Kochetkova’s style, devotion to dance, and perhaps surprising sense of humor in a comic and revealing media-rich duet.