Posted 03 October 2011 - 01:39 AM
I am surprised that no one has mentioned the Jerome Robbins program and awards. The performance of "2 and 3 Part Inventions" was again very beautiful and got a very warm response. "In Memory of....." to me has so much emotional weight and memories (of Suzanne Farrell, Joseph Duell and Adam Luders -- and Mr. Balanchine, as some people believe it is in tribute to him) that I really can't judge it, I end up nearly in tears each time.
THEN CAME THE AWARDS!!!
Chita Rivera was announced and came to the podium. She spoke briefly of her experience with "Jerry" while photos of her in "West Side Story" were projected on a large screen. She then introduced the awardees in reverse order of admission to the Company.
They formed a long line across the stage. There were photos and I hear some film clips shown on a big screen above them, but I was glued to my binoculars, as I wanted to watch each face as closely as possible. Each dancer walked to the center of the stage, took a lovely, wide-armed curtsey, (in a way that summed up - to me - her style and personality) and joined the line, alternating between stage left and stage right. There was a bit of irony when Suzanne Farrell and Gelsey Kirkland ended up next to each other, but they greeted each other warmly.
When Jenifer Ringer came out in the orchid dress of "Anita," -- dressed for the performance -- Chita said, "I recognize that dress!" and got a great, warm laugh. A friend later said to me that it might have been a bit intimidating for Jenifer to perform with Chita there -- but you'd never know it if that were so.
The applause and cheers for each dancer were heart-warming, and seemed to get louder and longer as we went back in time, all the way to Jillana and Yvonne Mounsey. Tanaquil LeClerq, Nora Kaye and Melissa Hayden were honored posthumously.....
The awardees and other dancers were on the Promenade of The-Theater-Formerly-Known-as-the-New-York-State-Theater during the intermissions, and greeted each other with love and warmth, chatting at a mile a minute to catch up on each others' lives if they hadn't seen each other. After the performance (which ended with a good, but not great performance of "West Side Story Suite" -- as I felt the orchestra was not where it should have been, and did cause some discomfort), many of the awardees hung out on the promenade and lobby, and under the portico, due to the rain. They were very accessible and friendly to those of us who remember and adored them for so many years. That was the best part!!!!