This has been a great thread to follow. I'll be seeing the program next weekend. You've given me a great deal to think about and to look for.
For the record, the last time MCB did Divertimento No. 15
the leads I saw were Patricia Delgado, Tricia Albertson, Haiyan Wu, Jeanette Delgado, and Katia Carranza. The men were Jeremy Cox, Luis Serrano, and Didier Bramaz. For oldtimers, the original New York City Ballet cast -- as listed in Rep. in Review -- was Diana Adams, Melissa Hayden, Allegra Kent, Tanaquil Le Clerq, and Patricia Wilde, with Herbert Bliss, Nicholas Magallanes, Roy Tobias. RE
: the special performance of Diamonds pas de deux
-- Seay and Nikitine are partners in life, so Jack's comparison to Lopez-Gamero is a propos. I hope the other cities where MCB dances this program will also get a chance to see both dancers, who do indeed have a remarkable rapport on stage.
I've never seen the 1953 Valse Fantaisie
. Though the 1967 version was performed often by NYCB, it never registered with me for some reason. I checked out Arlene Croce and found the following description of the earlier
version, though not danced by NYCB. (I've added paragraph breaks.):
Another lovely Balanchine ballet -- lovely, but I had thought, lost -- turned up in a series given by the Eglevsky Ballet at Queens Theatre in the Park, near Shea Stadium. [Note: Andre Eglevsky did not dance in the 1953 version, but he was performing with the company at the time and would probably have been familiar with the ballet.] This was the first version of the Glinka Valse-Fantaisie, made in 1953
It is cast for three ballerinas and one dansseur, who mostly partners but does get to do some leaps ending in a drop to the knee. His arabesque-salutes turning to each of the three girls near the close of the ballet are also quite wonderful. [ ... ]
The current  version, for a female and a male soloist and corps of four girls, retains some features of the old number -- the ballerina's manege alternating pas couru with split jete is one -- but on the whole the old Valse-Fantaisie is nothing like the new one.
It [1953 version] is a warm, romantic "Russian" work, and in certain respects -- the involvement of the three women with the single male -- it is, like parts of Serenade, a valentine to adolescence. Balanchine rechoreographed it, apparently, in roder to make the man's part stronger, but the outcome was piece that is little more than an effective perpetuum mobile with virtuoso passages that bring applause.
The performance by the young Eglevsky company was hampered by a shallow, noisy stage wit no wing space, but the dancers (Netta Blitman, Salli Silliman, Kim Vickers, and Willams Starrett) got through it more than decently and should flourish in their parts.
That performance was in 1976. Villella became head of the Eglevsky company in 1980. I wonder whether the 1953 Valse Fantaisie was still in the Eglevsky Ballet's repertoire during his tenure.
I agree with you about Zou. It's good to hear that he is back after being out for a while with an injury. A question: do the women still wear those beautiful Russian headdresses with the ribbon streamers?
Re: Slaughter on Tenth Avenue
. Cristian, you mention Sarabia and Villella ... but who was the Strip Tease Girl? And who was the Hoofer? In 2002 I saw Andrea Spiridonakos as the Strip tease Girl, Luis Serrano as Morrosine, Jeremy Cox as the Hoofer, and Yann Trividic as the Big Boss. Jennifer Kronenberg -- she of the long, shapely, sexy legs -- is the dancer I remember mos. I can't find the program that would tell me who her partner was. It's Kronenberg I'm looking forward to seeing this time around.