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Wendy Whelan and Tyler Angle in
This Bitter Earth; 
choreography by Christopher Wheeldon,
costumes by Valentino Garavani
Photograph: Paul KolnikWendy Whelan and Tyler Angle in This Bitter Earth; choreography by Christopher Wheeldon, costumes by Valentino Garavani

New York City Ballet pairs designers and dance at its fashion gala

By Gia Kourlas
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Sarah Jessica Parker strikes again at New York City Ballet. For the company's third annual fashion gala, masterminded by Parker—a member of the board—choreographers are paired with fashion designers. The one-time-only event is set for September 23, which opens NYCB's four-week season. Of the world premieres, Justin Peck, recently named resident choreographer, will collaborate with London-based Greek designer Mary Katrantzou; Liam Scarlett works with Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen; and Troy Schumacher, in his choreographic debut with NYCB—he is in the corps de ballet—works with Thom Browne. That sounds enticing enough on its own; alas, the company is overstuffing this program with Peter Martins's dismal 2001 Morgen, featuring new costumes by Carolina Herrera, and Christopher Wheeldon's 2012 This Bitter Earth, a pas de deux with costumes by Valentino. You may recall Martins's Bal de Couture, Valentino's 2012 effort to design costumes for the company: There was enough tulle to strangle the evil Von Rothbart. This time around, judging by the photograph of Wendy Whelan and Tyler Angle in Wheeldon's pas de deux, he seems to have toned it down. Phew.

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