The Croce piece is interesting. It's denser than her reviews: more detailed, more compressed, inevitably -- given the topic -- less gracefully written.
Croce compiles almost all the Mr. B quotations you ever heard of and discusses their origins, how and why Balanchine altered them, and the situations in which he used them.
She's quite good on the background of some of the most famous phrases, for example: ""God creates, man asembles" (Glinka, based on something in the Book of John) and "See the music, hear the dance" (originated with Lucian,a 2nd-century Greek).
The most original part of the essay seems to be the point, near the end, when she returns to her long time fascination with Balanchine's classiscism. She quotes something of Goethe's which was often refered to by Stravinsky::
Everything has been thought of before; the task is to think of it again.
Croce extends this to Balanchine's own relationship to the Petipa heritage:
To think of it again: this is the specific task of the choreographer. It means imagining a nonexistent past, resummoning the energies of previous choreographers whose dances have decayed or disappeared from memory. Balanchine assigned himself to rethink Petipa, because Petipa represented the sum of theogretical knowledge up to the end of the nineteenth century. (One does not literally reconstruct the old dances; one reactivates the theory behind them.)
That last sentence, the one I've put in boldface, helps me a lot in thinking about Balanchine's work and neoclassicism in general.
I do wish The New Yorker
had said SOMETHING about the origins of this essay -- and what me might expect in the future.