Posted 01 July 2012 - 05:19 PM
The authentic drama of a full-length ballet is created by the chemistry between the partners, which brings spontaneity to their dancing, gives them courage to take risks, and allows them to develop the full range of their talents. When dancers like Part and Dvorovenko are ill-served by their vacant partners, they can either overcompensate and become overly-dramatic, as I felt Part did with Cory on Monday night, or they can dance their own personal interpretation without reference to a partner at all, as I felt Dvorovenko did at the Saturday matinee. If she was attempting to show her Siegfriend the ways of the world, she certainly didn't make any progress. He was the same Siegfriend at the end as he was at the beginning.
It's almost cruel to pair up these exquisite female dancers with partners who detract from their performances. There is a reason that Vishneva will dance only with Gomes (is that a fact or only hearsay?) Over the many decades that I've been attending ballet performances, I've seen some extraordinary partnerships, going back to Maximova-Vasiliev, Fonteyn-Nureyev, Fracci-Bruhn, Ferri-Bocca, and a handful of others. Perhaps great partnerships are formed in heaven, but we need more of them at ABT--for the dancers' sakes, for the audiences' sakes, and to preserve the heritage of these great ballets, not to mention the future of ABT.