I agree, except the ballerina's choreography. That's enough to redeem it.
I think Diamonds is boring. There. I said it.
That's another one I see mostly in terms of Suzanne Farrell, but I don't think it's at all boring as a work the way I do 'In Memory Of...' , especially if you're seeing the whole 'Jewels'. I don't think it works nearly as well by itself, whereas 'Emeralds' does, but not if it's badly cast, as on the DVD using Merrill Ashley, who looks so strange and struggling-so-hard-to-reach-it dewy-eyed student in it. Farrell has a hard balancing act (I don't mean when she was dancing), one might say. There's wanting to be devoted to the Balanchine work, which she never abandons her faith in, and there's the fact that she's a star no matter what. There's a singularly non-commercial integrity that she's supposed to represent, but I used to go to see her a good bit in the 80s, so it could be said that 'Farrell sold me more tickets than any other dancer did.' Why not? Somebody had to sell them, and I wanted to see her at that period, and did.
I think 'Diamonds' gives the impression of beginning to exist outside time so that extremely intense space begins to become more emphasized than time. This idea is found in many places, and one of these is in 'Parsifal', where Gurnemanz sings about it. I don't believe anybody will ever be fully inhabit 'Diamonds' the way Farrell did. Instead, there needs to be a new choreographer and some new works and new dancers that get up to that level on their own, instead of expecting Balanchine to ever reach the heights he did when both he and Farrell were working together. Farrell and Balanchine and Diamonds are too singular a thing to be able to reproduce truly fully--although I certainly think it should be attempted, and that some of the failures may be wonderful. I probably see their 'Diamonds' as like a piece of unique sculpture, almost, maybe more than other ballets--even more than 'Mozartiana', which I can imagine someone else finally ascending to.