Posted 26 November 2009 - 11:13 AM
Yes, Insider, I'd agree with your charecterization of Slawomir Wozniak as "boyish." Since he arrived last year, Mr. Anderson has been determined to push him to the fore, using him in soloist roles he is not yet ready for, often juxtaposed with the more mature Roman Zavarov, which only serves to highlight that young Wozniak has only recently graduated. While he shows promise, it is puzzling that more seasoned dancers, with demonstrated greater physical and emotional maturity, are underutilized.
As for young Shea Johnson, he does display his competiton roots, does he not? Big on the bravura end and giant jumpts, with partnering and ensemble a bit weak. We saw an amazing demonstration of confidence and physical prowess courtesy of Mr. Johnson during the "Ballet Under the Stars" series, earlier this year: he and Paula Hartley performed an exerpt of "Don Q." Ms. Hartley was her usual fearless self, even on the less-than-ideal portable outdoor stage, giving as if it were her last dance. The two of them began a supported turn -- one which she begins with a standard pirouette in passe, then drills the supporting leg down and continues, spinning, spinning, spinning. She started the turn -- and he pushed her over, failed to catch her, whatever -- she *kept* drilling and spinning -- one, two, three, four, *five* turns -- though he didn't catch her until she was 45 degrees from the floor of the stage! Brava, Paula!
Regarding references to the relative height of the dancers -- this is an increasingly taller company. There remain a couple of small women -- Kendra Mitchell and Paula Hartley, and one of the new hires is in that category -- but there are quite a few ladies hoving in the 5'9", 5'10" range. There is even a new dancer taller than the 6' Kenna Draxton.