Ballet: Star system vs. "faceless/nameless"...?

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From the Nutcrackthon thread...

So Act II of Balanchine’s Nutcracker starts, and I don’t have a programme- (always trusting in my instant recognition of the dancers at first glance, but then I'm way too far this time, and it is too late to get out and grab a playbill). Then suddenly the Sugar Plum Fairy shows up and executes a LOVELY variation, and here I am, totally clueless for which I can’t really see very well, and she doesn’t look like any of my favorite Principals. Well, I keep watching, and thinking that I need new prescription glasses, for which I can’t recognize the dancer. The PDD moment arrives and she and her partner deliver one of the most amazing performances I’ve seen of this choreography. When she jumped two times on Coqueluche’s shoulder in the two opposite diagonals with such lightness and he than started turning with her on top, it was amazing…so fast and clean and effortless. I turned to my friend and whispered…”Look…this is how this should be done”…(referring to V. Part and her partner’s attempt of the same step, with an entirely different result).

When the coda was over the theater roared …me included.

As soon as I got out, I grabbed a programme, I found her name-(totally unknown to me)-and went ALL OVER the company roster. Nothing…from Principals to Corps and her name is not there. I then thought that she must have been an unexpected guest dancer or something. When I got home, just a while ago, I started flipping the pages of the programme, and right there, in the very bottom, with no photo or bio or anything, I see her name, along with another seven. She is Nathalia Arja…a Company Apprentice, who was also one of the snowflakes in Act I. :clapping:

Would I have gone to the theater knowing that an apprentice was to dance this role…? Absolutely not. Am I happy to have seen her? More than with any other Sugar Plum Fairy I’ve ever seen at MCB, my beloved Jeanette Delgado included.

Yes...a great lesson for cubanmiamiboy… :thumbsup:

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