On the Mariinsky: NYCC thread Aurora writes
MacCauley would vex me too if he sniffed at a performance I'd been thrilled by. And he sure gives his critics ammunition with this morning's confession -- I laughed out loud. But in that review alone he described the dancing of Vishnena, Lopatkina, Sarafanov, Tereshkina, Somova, Lobukhin, most or all of which he characterized in previous reviews this season.
I wish he would just review the ballet(s). There is never much of a review--ballet history? yes. But review of dancers, not so much.
as was quoted in today's links, he said the most recent visit to the Kirov left him thinking:
"Maybe I don't like ballet after all?...Almost all of it left me cold."
His friends admitting they felt the same reassures him that he does in fact like ballet, however I've seen nothing in any of his reviews for the times to indicate that he likes very much of it, certainly anything that isn't by Balanchine.
Choreographers besides Balanchine he has expressed enthusiasm for in the pages of the Times include Wheeldon, Tudor, Ratmansky, Robbins, Millepied, MacMillan, Alleyne, Gaines and, of course, Petipa, and he has yet to review performances of work by Ashton, Bournonville or Joffrey.
I don't know of any critics who think we're in a great age of ballet performance, and of course given that the great choreographers are gone or still emerging, that's no surprise. In the interim, I value critics who give me close descriptions of what they like and dislike. MacCauley doesn't gripe anymore than Croce did, and who has had the more interesting moment in history?