Welcome to BalletTalk, lmpsear.
Mine, to the degree I had one, was also a van Hamel Swan Lake, with Kevin McKenzie. The only thing wrong with it was that it was Baryshnikov's, not Blair's, staging. It was, as it turned out (did she know it at the time?) her final ABT Swan Lake, and in it the dance, mime and gesture were completely integrated so that it was impossible to untwine each from the other. No false steps, the van Hamel musicality at its best, it so completely satisfied my idea of Odette/Odile, after so many years of others that one way or another fell short
*, that I doubted any other performance of Swan Lake would leave me not wanting something. I did swear off SL for a while after that, but as a balletomane, how long could I hold out? Really!
Yes, in the years since, I have seen some beautiful, poetic, moving Odette/Odiles, (Jaffe with Carreno, Part with Gomes to name just two), and I'm glad to have seen them. But I now have a standard of what can be done with the role, and with all of my O-Os since that transformative vanH night, in the recesses of my mind there's a gap between what I see and what I feel I could have seen.
I hope NEVER to say, "ok, that's the best that that piece can be done, I don't have to see that particular work ever again"
That would be entrance to official "old-fart-dom"
Could depend it on one's familiarity with the work? If we, as audience, have worked out our interpretations and find it realized before our eyes or ears -- and every bit as fantastic as our imagining -- where can we go from there?
I saw Paul Taylor's Roses once and though it perfect, and I'd be quite reluctant to see it again - nothing to do with particular dancers (I can't even remember who they were), more that I'd be so disappointed if it didn't work for me next time. I think it's more to do with one's personality than a sign of age!
Pfffft. There goes my familiarity theory.
I don't know who you saw, but I've seen five or six lead casts of Roses, and no one has equalled the deep tenderness of Cathy McCann with David Parsons, the originators of the major duet. Also, since Linda Kent left the company, her role has been watered down considerably. Her startling tumbling moves became mere cartwheels with a fraction of the impact. I'm now wondering whether I should retire Roses.