Justin Peck and Patricia Delgado in The National's "Dark Side of the Gym" video. Photo by Ezra Hurwitz, courtesy Peck.
Last November, New York City Ballet resident choreographer Justin Peck and former Miami City Ballet principal Patricia Delgado masterfully took classical ballet to an entirely new medium in a haunting music video for The National's song "Dark Side of the Gym."
In just five minutes, Peck (acting as both the video's choreographer and director) and Delgado—who are a couple in real life—told the story of a love that's not meant to last. (Ezra Hurwitz, a former MCB dancer, served as the film's producer and editor.) Using tight shots, the audience got to experience ballet through the smallest shift in facial expression, and it was magical—so magical that Peck has been nominated for a 2018 World Choreography Award. He and Delgado performed the piece on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" last Monday, and tonight they're expanding on the video for a world premiere at New York City Center's Fall for Dance Festival.
Luckily, the festival is offering a free sneak preview on September 12 and 13 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. New York City Ballet principals Maria Kowrowski and Amar Ramasar are slated to perform Herman Schmerman, a quirky duet choreographed by William Forsythe to an electronic score by longtime collaborator Thom Willems. Also on the program is Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, performing Nacho Duato’s Gnawa; Bend in the Road, a world premiere collaboration by Damian Woetzel and Memphis jookin’ extraordinaire Lil Buck; and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in D-Man in the Waters (Part I).
While the preview performances are free, you’ll still need tickets, which will be distributed two per person at the Delacorte Theatre on the day of the show and through virtual ticketing at shakespeareinthepark.org.