Review: At City Ballet, a Prettily Arcadian ‘Dance Odyssey’

As a dancer, Peter Walker, a dark-haired beanpole amid the New York City Ballet corps, has an unusually adult and purposeful look. He brings onto the stage the air of a life outside the theater. I believe in him so much as a character in performance (not least in plotless ballets) that I want to believe equally in the ballets he himself makes.

So far, alas, I don’t. His second creation for City Ballet, “dance odyssey,” is an improvement on his first, “ten in seven” (2016), notably in its choice of music (by the British composer Oliver Davis) and costumes (designed by City Ballet’s resident wardrobe director, Marc Happel).

The music — for solo violin, strings, piano and harp, taken from Mr. Davis’s “Dance,” “Airborne Dances,” “Dance Odyssey,” “Frontiers” and “Dancing Folk” — is charming, lyrical, Arcadian, reaching in its final section a melodious polyphony that recalls Michael Tippett’s beautiful Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli. (Mr. Davis’s score evokes the tradition of all-strings works by British composers — Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten and Tippett all wrote outstanding examples.) I find it affable, accomplished, harmless.

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