Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:34 PM
I saw the Veronika Part - Alexander Hammoudi performance last night, which played to a full house. And Veronika brought that house down. She was luminescent, utterly divine, expressive, rapturous. And best of all, she appeared Self-Confident! Her feet were wondrous in their expressiveness and beauty, and she floated over the stage in her grand jetes. She may not have the always-reliable steely technique of some other dancers, but she is born to dance. (I've heard that having a high instep and very flexible feet makes it more difficult to do multiple turns, for example, which is why we chew our nails for her in ballets with 32 fouettes. I believe Alessandra Ferri had the same sort of pliant feet.)
Alexander Hammoudi made a valiant effort to be a worthy partner. But although he has a nice ballet line, he's not a great technician. These days we expect multiples turns from our male dancers, as well as an easy intuitive technique (think Cornejo, Corella, Carreno), and Hammoudi is not a natural turner. However, with an extra half-second of preparation, the couple managed the Grigorovich lift with Veronika appearing completely at ease up in the air. Hammoudi danced with a graciousness and modesty that seemed to reflect an awareness that he was dancing with one of the greats. He showed a similar modesty during the curtain calls.
The applause was thunderous. This was Veronika at her very best.