The title is catchy, as are some moments in the eight-movement ballet, but overall Bernstein in a Bubble feels sparse.
In an interview presented before the piece, Ratmansky says that when envisioning his new work, he wanted to “give [the dancers] something to enjoy”. Perhaps that was his intention, but I remain unconvinced that this sentiment translates to the audience.
Each dressed in a distinct combination of tops and bottoms – the four men in shades of blue and indigo, the three women in pinks and reds – the dancers somewhat stylistically advance through the sections of Bernstein which are loosely inspired by various social dances and musical time signatures.
Each vignette is a more intimate story amid the dynamics of the whole – Aran Bell and Patrick Frenette in a solemn mazurka; Cassandra Trenary and Blaine Hoven in a feisty samba; Brandt, Frenette, and Tyler Maloney in a playful turkey trot; Catherine Hurlin and Bell in a sultry blues.
As touched upon earlier, the method of filming is distracting. Instead of having the liberty to see what I wish to see, I am being persuaded without choice to only ingest what I am given. Perhaps more time and an in-person viewing will make this piece a more fulfilling experience.
ABT Live from City Center: A Ratmansky Celebration is available to watch on demand through Sunday, April 18.