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Joaquin de Luz in The Prodigal Son, Jan. 22

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Joaquin delivered a powerful performance in The Prodigal Son last night! The commitment to the role, the energy and athleticism he brought to the dance was electrifying. All I can say is - WOW! I have seen it danced only once before and that was by some guy named Baryshnikov. LOL. I think Joaquin went toe-to-toe with him. A privilege to watch him perform for us last night. Highlight of the year for me so far!

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I emphatically agree! He was riveting. His athletic power showed itself from the get-go in the iconic leap near the beginning of the ballet (so associated with Eddie Villella, who overshadows Baryshnikov, in my opinion).

Villella leap

de Luz proved himself over and over, and his encounter with the Siren (the fabulous Maria Kowroski) seamlessly revealed to us his undoing, his insolence crumbling and giving way to personal devastation. Visually, de Luz is part of another great pairing. The elongated Kowroski on pointe, her headgear adding to her towering image above the Prodigal, and the final height given by the finger-spreading gesture above her lofty crown which is the Siren's repeated choreographic signature, is a perfect opposite to de Luz's shorter-statured, muscular build. They wound themselves around each other with artistry and precision.

This is the first time I've seen de Luz and Kowroski in Prodigal and I, having no other performance as a basis for comparison, found them to be wonderful together. De Luz had me at that first leap. His final scene, the famous crawl to his father (Ask la Cour), was masterful.

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The Prodigal Son does seem to be a personality role, doesn't it? One needs the virtuosity, but there's a fiery temperament that has to be there too. Baryshnikov is someone I'd list as a paragon of a danseur... he doesn't seem rebellious enough for it (?) Makes me almost wish to have seen Nureyev get a chance at it... though he may have gone too far (?).

I wish I could have seen this performance from closer to orchestra level... it's not one where the dancers' focus is directed upward, even when they're flying...

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The Prodigal Son does seem to be a personality role, doesn't it? One needs the virtuosity, but there's a fiery temperament that has to be there too. Baryshnikov is someone I'd list as a paragon of a danseur... he doesn't seem rebellious enough for it (?)

Without venturing an opinion on how ideal or not he was for the role, I will say that I'll never forget seeing him dance it in Chicago in '79. Noble is not the word I would have used!

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I emphatically agree! He was riveting. His athletic power showed itself from the get-go in the iconic leap near the beginning of the ballet (so associated with Eddie Villella, who overshadows Baryshnikov, in my opinion).

Villella leap

de Luz proved himself over and over, and his encounter with the Siren (the fabulous Maria Kowroski) seamlessly revealed to us his undoing, his insolence crumbling and giving way to personal devastation. Visually, de Luz is part of another great pairing. The elongated Kowroski on pointe, her headgear adding to her towering image above the Prodigal, and the final height given by the finger-spreading gesture above her lofty crown which is the Siren's repeated choreographic signature, is a perfect opposite to de Luz's shorter-statured, muscular build. They wound themselves around each other with artistry and precision.

This is the first time I've seen de Luz and Kowroski in Prodigal and I, having no other performance as a basis for comparison, found them to be wonderful together. De Luz had me at that first leap. His final scene, the famous crawl to his father (Ask la Cour), was masterful.

I saw the Jan. 22 performance and it was my second time seeing the pairing of de Luz and Kowroski and I agree with you as to their artistry and power. Maria K is one of my favorite dancers, Balanchine would have loved her. And de Luz is fabulous!

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KFW... I wish someone would hurry up and figure out a way to create video from memory... I'm dying to see yours!

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