NYCB soloist Indiana Woodward (center) with Rachel Hutsell and Gretchen Smith in Pam Tanowitz's Bartók Ballet. Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

Standout Performances of 2019: NYCB's Indiana Woodward in "Bartók Ballet"

In the middle of Pam Tanowitz's Bartók Ballet for New York City Ballet, Indiana Woodward flew into a quicksilver sequence of turns and jumps, but was repeatedly carried off by her male cast mates. She calmly reemerged each time, continuing on as if uninterrupted. The unflappable determination and laser-sharp focus evident here were a prime example of Woodward's approach to the ballet as a whole.


Indiana Woodward wears a gold leotard and stands in a large fourth position lunge onstage.

Woodward in Bartók Ballet

Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB

Bartók Ballet, which premiered last May, marked Tanowitz's NYCB debut. The 35-minute work, set to Béla Bartók's atonal string quartet no. 5 and awash with flexed feet and Merce Cunningham–inspired tilts, was certainly a change of pace for the company. Though this seemed daunting to some, Woodward proved herself as the perfect muse for Tanowitz' minimalist, technical style. In a group folk-dance section, she was even the de facto leader; holding up one or two fingers, she signaled her peers' next action. Known for romantic roles like "Emeralds," Apollo and Juliet, the young soloist showed a new side of her abilities, proving her immense versatility as an artist.

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