Jerome Robbins' early "Interplay," as revived for the latest generation of dancers, and crucially different casting in his new "Four Seasons" were the novelties of New York City Ballet's program on the first weekend of its current Kennedy Center season.
"Interplay" is about boys and girls dancing and playing with the polite bravado of a high-school social. Today's kids are used to being together more than those of the 1940s, when the ballet was made. The cast members' experience with each other showed the way they presented themselves and touched. New tunics for the girls and T-shirts for the boys display more body detail than the original short aprons and turtlenecks, but don't distort the big anatomical planes of Robbins' classical choreography or the syncopations that echo jive elements in Morton Gould's score.
This revival, which began as an NYCB school performance and graduated into the company with those dancers, looked vigorous on Saturday's matinee but rough due to last-minute replacements.
Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins, on the same bill, were new here in the "fall" section of "Four Seasons." Farrell made Robbins' mockery of Bolshoi-style bacchanals explicit in a glorious double parody of a certain Soviet ballerina and herself. Martins looked Apollonian in the marble sheen of his costume, and took to the air as if driving the sun's chariot. But it was unwise to test himself in the Dionysian solo danced by Baryshnikov, minus its most sensational steps, rather than in the one that Robbins had shaped for his New York debut.