DanceBalanchines in Bunches Offer Taste Comparisons Sign in to Recommend
(My apologies for all the non-MCB dancers who have been edited out. To learn about them, you'll have to read the complete article ... http://www.nytimes.c....html?ref=dance )
To me the chance to see different companies dance Balanchine always seemed one of the greatest appeals of this job before I began work here in 2007. From 1994 to 2006 the Edinburgh International Festival successively showcased all the main American examples of what is called the Balanchine diaspora: Miami City Ballet, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, all directed by former City Ballet stars and all specializing in Balanchine ballets.
So what, over the last two years, has been the best Balanchine dancing I’ve seen in New York and elsewhere? My mind flies at once to one woman and one man: Jeanette Delgado (dark haired, dark eyed, big dimples, bright smile) dancing “Square Dance” in Miami City Ballet’s brief season at New York City Center, with her ravishing blend of modesty and joy/ and David Hallberg (pale blond, ideally noble in physique and style, prodigiously fluent in technique) in the leading male roles of “Theme and Variations” and “Ballo Della Regina” (1977) in several American Ballet Theater seasons.
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Ms. Delgado was dancing a role forever associated with Merrill Ashley at her greatest in the late 1970s and early ’80s. She is the only current dancer I know whose alternative account of an Ashley-specialty role seems no less definitive: warmer in presence, more playful with the music. The superelegant and remarkably modest Mr. Hallberg, with the breathtaking stretch and precision of his legs and feet, simply takes his “Ballo” role further than any previous exponent: his brilliance, like Ms. Ashley’s own, seems an all-time peak of accomplishment and style.
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[Boston Ballet's Kathleen Breen Combes] Ms. Delgado and [Carla] Körbes should be ranked among the country’s foremost Balanchine exponents. There are others — not least Ms. Delgado’s sister, Patricia (also in Miami); and Sarah Van Patten and Vanessa Zahorian (in San Francisco) — who are making the Balanchine ballerina roles a matter of nationwide significance.