Wendy Whelan and Tyler Angle in Christopher Wheeldon’s This Bitter Earth
Photograph by Paul Kolnik,

We were in Saratoga Springs just one night during the New York City Ballet’s residency at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center July 8 – 12. I must say, if we could only be there one night, this was definitely the one. The program consisted of four contemporary chamber works, none of which we had seen, all of which we loved. Vespro and Todo Buenos Aires were fantastic. I was thrilled to finally see Angelin Preljocaj’s first work for NYCB, La Stravaganza, after being completely taken with his Spectral Evidence last fall. However, the highlight of the evening for me was Christopher Wheeldon’s This Bitter Earth. Performed by Wendy Whelan and Tyler Angle and set to haunting, gorgeous music by Max Richter mixed with Dinah Washington’s vocals from the 1960 song of the same title, the whole is completely brilliant. And to see Wendy Whelan perform one last time on that hallowed stage before her retirement this fall, in this perfect piece created just for her, I actually have no words. I’ll never forget it.