abatt

Spring Season 2013

52 posts in this topic

but you bring up a good point - royal patronage. I will start new thread...

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Last night's performance at NYCB was a great way to kick off the spring ballet marathon, and to pay tribute to Balanchine, who died 30 years ago on Apr 30. I regard Who Cares as one of Tiler Peck's signature roles. She is electric, and her dancing w. Robbie Fairchild is especially thrilling. Peck gan an absolutely brilliant performance in terms of technical achievement, phrasing, dramatic presence and timing. I thought the new Santo Loquasto costumes for the principals were lovely, but the corps costumes were loud and ugly, without any sophistication or elegance.

The only section of Ivesiana that captured my attention was the Unanswered Question, in which Janie was held aloft, swooping in and out of Huxley's grasp. Nobody does ghostly like Janie! The rest of the ballet I found to be a total bore.

DeLuz and Fairchild have done Tarantella many times before, and they once again were spectacular.

Certainly Liberty Bell is now a Bouder signature role. She gets the humor, and boy does she get the technical challenges right too. Veyette is good, but he tends to look a bit effortful sometimes. Ulbricht led the men's regiment, and you couldn't take your eyes of his perfect jumps and spins. I can't understand why they have not given him a shot at the S&S lead with a short ballerina, but I'm happy to have such a brilliant performer as him in the secondary role.

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The only section of Ivesiana that captured my attention was the Unanswered Question, in which Janie was held aloft, swooping in and out of Huxley's grasp. Nobody does ghostly like Janie!

Thanks for the review. I don't think of the woman in the Unanswered Question as ghostly, however. That would drain most of the mystery and erotic tension out of it for me. For me she may be a specific (though idealized), unattainable woman, or she may be an unreal unattainable ideal, but there is nothing ghostly about her. She isn't a spirit, or rather she isn't just a spirit.

Suki Schorer is quoted in Repertory in Review as saying "I felt Balanchine wanted mystery, something sphinx-like, Egyptian, endlessly on a pyramid. Yet I think he wanted a sexual woman there."

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Interesting, because I viewed Taylor's character as completely otherworldly and spiritual (ghostly), created out of Huxley's dream or vision or imagination. I had never thought about it before, by the pyramid used to hold her up is similar to the way the Siren is brought on stage from behind the table in one scene in Prodigal, and then falls backward to be caught by the men holding her. Also similar to the way the Waltz Girl is held aloft in the final scene in Serenade.

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I was there tonight and I second abatt's review of the first night, except I enjoyed Ivesiana more. I admit I didn't get the first section, but I liked the woman held aloft section very much, and really liked the "In the Inn" section with Mearns and Ramasar. It had an folksly/modernist combination that I thought was quite fun. Allegra Kent wrote that she love the handshake that happened in that section - I could see that.

I just want to add that Daniel Ulbricht was, as always a treat in Stars & Stripes. I wish there was a woman in the company short enough for him to be able to expand his rep.

I still don't get Erica Pereira. She seems stronger than she used to be, but nothing she does seems to be organic.

One last thing. As "Who Cares" started I once again found myself thinking - what a great company.

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I attended NYCB last night. I enjoyed the ballroom ballet Thou Swell very much. I have not seen it for quite some time. Reichlin was ravishing. Her never-ending legs, and the manner in which she wields them in this ballet are pretty amazing. Ringer looked like she was having the time of her life out there. I thought the men mostly faded into the background, except for Robbie Fairchild who has charisma and charm to spare. Sterling Hyltin's energetic performance gave new vitality to the role that I don't recall seeing when Boree used to do that role. Of course, Mearns was uber-romantic in her duets w. Jared Angle.

Tiler Peck gave another breathtaking performance, this time as the lead in Carousel. It's not merely her technique. Even when she is standing still she can speak volumes. Veyette danced his heart out as Billy Bigelow, but I didn't detect any of the dark menace that used to be there when Woetzel originated the role.

Speaking of never ending limbs, Maria K. was sexy as she strutted and high kicked in Slaughter. I think Tyler Angle could use a refresher in tap.

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I also attended NYCB last night and thoroughly enjoyed Thou Swell. The principal women were beyond ravishing. Watching Jennifer Ringer, I couldn't help but think "one too many sugarplums," indeed! How rude of Alastair Macaulay to insult this beautiful dancer! Every one was a marvel. In Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Maria Kowroski was magnificent, with her gorgeous long limbs making breathtaking extensions.

Sorry this is so brief, but I just want to say that if you can get tickets for this program before the season moves on, I urge you to do so.

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I saw the all-Balanchine program yesterday afternoon. I hate the Santo Loquasto costumes for Who Cares? but thought that Fairchild and Peck were glorious in "The Man I Love." I liked the "dark" parts of Ivesiana very much, but was completely turned off by "In the Inn." Fairchild and Carmena were delightful in Tarantella. Bouder, Veyette and Ulbricht were fantastic in Stars and Stripes. What a great company indeed.

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I was there for Sun. Matinee (BTW the atrium was selling discount tkts on Saturday for Sat. Mat, Sat. Evening & Sun. Mat.)

It was my first time seeing "Thou Swell." The principal's looked glamorous and danced well. Apprentice Claire Von Enck continues to be a stand out in the corps. As for the ballet - I didn't hate it, probably because the dancers are so good, but I had a problem with the Martins' choreography. The steps have no breadth - guess I mean there is no space around the steps. It's almost as if Martins doesn't trust anything to have impact, so he just moves along filling the music with steps. He came up with some nice lifts, but over all for me, the whole is less than the sum of it's parts.

Carousel was danced by T. Peck and A. Veyette about as well as it can be danced. I enjoyed it, but I think this is one of those works that is best on first viewing.

Slaughter was the surprise for me. I hadn't seen it in many, many years and was surprised by how delightful it still is. The whole construction really works. Kowroski is both beautiful and hilarious - a hard thing to pull off.

I was with a friend who has seen very little ballet, but is an fine, fine musician. He loved Slaughter but in the other works found the music "too thin."

Canbelto - thank you for the link to your blogspot. I really agree about Erica Pereira.

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I saw the all-Balanchine program yesterday afternoon. I hate the Santo Loquasto costumes for Who Cares? but thought that Fairchild and Peck were glorious in "The Man I Love." I liked the "dark" parts of Ivesiana very much, but was completely turned off by "In the Inn." Fairchild and Carmena were delightful in Tarantella. Bouder, Veyette and Ulbricht were fantastic in Stars and Stripes. What a great company indeed.

ITA with virtually all you write, canbelto!

Just back from 4 days at NYC and am about to go on a biz trip, so I'll be brief.

Who Cares? - The right question is: "Who is the moron who decided to change the costumes?" The old Ben Benson designs were so glittery, flirty (those swishy skirts!), and glamourous. The corps now seem to be garbed for a working rehearsal. The soloists had tiny bits of glitter but nothing like the originals. The new colour pallette is garish. LUCKILY...what matters the most -- the dancing -- was terrific. Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild are very fluid and charismatic.

Ivesiana - My first time seeing this full work. I was impressed - haunted by the gorgeously eerie music of the three 'dark' segments. Ashley Laracey was (is) so gorgeous in the first segment, Central Park in the Dark. Janie Taylor (and her amazing long blonde mane) totally owns Unanswered Question. In the Inn? Well, I'm a fan of both Mearns and Ramasar but this seemed like a silly ragtime...just like Farrell's Ragtime (II) bon-bon. The sublimely eerie mood returned for the brief final segment, In the Night.

Tarantella - Megan Fairchild and Antonio Carmena aren't usually my faves but they totally rocked this ballet!

Stars & Stripes - WOWIE, that was FUN! The soloists were all fantastic -- pert Erika Pereira, saucy Savannah Lowery, 'the human comet' Danny Ulbricht, and the sassy perfection of Ashley Bouder and Andrew Veyette -- but the greatest kudos go to the corps de ballet. Their short season in DC and what I just saw in NY confirm my belief that, at this moment in time, they are America's grandest and most unified corps de ballet. BRAVI!

p.s. - Is it just me or has Veyette recently become even better - now dancing at the very highest levels (Woetzel and Hubbe quality)? I've admired him in recent years but his elevation, turns (Cuban style wind-downs), panache (characterization), partnering, etc. now make me think of him as one of the world's best male ballet dancers right now. Loved him in Carousel - A Dance, too, in the Robbins program. Is he always this great? I'm dumbfounded - pleasantly surprised.

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p.s. - Is it just me or has Veyette recently become even better - now dancing at the very highest levels (Woetzel and Hubbe quality)? I've admired him in recent years but his elevation, turns (Cuban style wind-downs), panache (characterization), partnering, etc. now make me think of him as one of the world's best male ballet dancers right now. Loved him in Carousel - A Dance, too, in the Robbins program. Is he always this great? I m dumbfounded - pleasantly surprised.

Funny you should say that Natalia. My husband and I have just been discussing Veyette's development. We agree with you. The last Theme & Variations we saw him in was terrific, as has been so many other ballets. He a broad range, is a great partner and has great technical prowess. He's become a favorite of ours.

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I attended last night's gala. It seemed low on celebrity wattage this season, in comparison to recent galas. Valentino was in attendance.

I thought Soiree Musicale was pedestrian and bland. I know it premiered at SAB, but it looked like it should have stayed as a student enterprise. It was all very pretty, but instantly forgotten. There were ZERO curtain calls for Soiree Musicale. A Place for Us at least had sophisticated choreography, but I didn't feel that it all added up to much. Granted, the music was very knotty and not very amenable to dance. Not sure why Wheeldon chose this music. This was not Wheeldon's finest hour.

The first half of the evening concluded with Veyette leading the ensemble in Cool. Maybe they should have asked Latifah to step in to sing Veyette's vocals from the side of the stage.

The second half started with the final section from Glass Pieces, which was very well done. Next we had Latifah singing the Man I Love while Ramasar and Hyltin performed. There was no chemistry between the two dancers. It looked nothing like the dramatic miracle that Peck and Fairchild gave us last week in the same roles. Latifah sang well, although I can think of a lot of other singers who probably would have brought more depth of interpretation. By the way, NYCB has already dumped the Liberace sequined vest worn by the male lead in Who Cares and substituted with a simple black shirt with suspenders.

Last up was a fantastic performance of the pdd and final movement of S&S. Veyette took a spill on an exit, but other than that it was flawlessly performed by all.

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By the way, NYCB has already dumped the Liberace sequined vest worn by the male lead in Who Cares and substituted with a simple black shirt with suspenders.

Why stop there? (I am not suggesting the male lead dance the role in his underwear.)

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I went to the All Martins program last night. Never thought I would catch myself saying that, but I do love Fearful Symmetries. The entire cast of that ballet was outstanding, but I want to particularly mention the fearless dancing of Huxley and Isaacs as the secondary leads. Isaacs has been missing the past few months, presumably with an injury. She is back now, firing on all cylinders.

Mearns delivered another memorable performance in Barber Violin Concerto. For years I could not watch this work because of the casting. In Mearns, Martins has found the perfect embodiment of the role. I thought everyone else in the Barber cast (Bouder (replacing Megan Fairchild) and J. Angle) performed well, except LaCour. LaCour looked like he had taken sleeping pills a few minutes before the curtain went up. A very lethargic performance.

I 've never been a fan of Calcium Light Night. R. Fairchild and Sterling Hyltin performed their roles well, but it's not my cup of tea. Also, Hyltin was putting on her "I'm FIERCE" expression, but it was a bit too over the top.

River of Light was well done, especially by Reichlin. Her long limbs make a big impression.

This was a "See The Music" performance. I'm always in favor of education, but this already-too-long program became even longer by the addition of the See the Music Lecture delivered to a captive audience during the pause between Calcium and River. Why can't they do this lecture during the intermission or 15 minutes bofore the performance starts,so that the length of the program would not be extended by 10 or 15 minutes?

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It's a little late, but now that I finally got around to getting a new password I want to share my thoughts about the May 11th matinee performance.

At my second viewing of New York City Ballet’s American Music Festival, the audience was treated to an all Balanchine program. One well performed George Balanchine work brings a huge smile to my face but seeing four is pure heaven.

The afternoon begins with ‘Who Cares?’ which is set to sixteen George and Ira Gershwin tunes. The first section of this ballet features ten female corps dancers and ten soloists – five girls and five boys. The ballet comes into its own when the soloists perform their duets to classics like “Do Do Do” and “Oh, Lady Be Good”. All the dancers – Brittany Pollack and Andrew Scordato, Erica Pereira and David Prottas, Savannah Lowery and Cameron Dieck, Ashley Laracey and Justin Peck, and Faye Arthurs and Devin Alberda – are equally wonderful.

I had hoped to see Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild in the pas de deux to “The Man I Love” but Sterling Hyltin and Amar Ramasar’s duet to this ballad is especially lovely. Hyltin glows with an inner ecstasy as she falls more and more in love with Ramasar’s character. He is the perfect partner for this radiant ballerina. Ramasar’s dancing is also a good match for the demurely coy Ana Sophia Scheller in “Embraceable You” and the breezily witty Ashley Bouder in “Who Cares?”

The principals also perform their solos exceptionally well. Ashley Bouder “builds” her “stairway to paradise” with perfect timing, spot on phrasing and quicksilver footwork. In “My One and Only” Scheller’s fouettes and chain turns are electrifying. Sterling Hyltin slips slightly at the beginning of her “Fascinatin Rhythm” number, but goes on to execute brilliantly a dizzying series of turns. Her footwork, however, could be more precise. Ramasar looks like he’s having the time of his life while dancing to “Liza”. His rhythm, his timing, the snap of his fingers – all remind me of a young Gene Kelly.

My only complaint about ‘Who Cares?’ concerns the new costumes (for everyone in the cast but the leading man). Those worn by the corps and soloist women are quite ugly. They used to be a nice red and a soft blue, but now these women wear outfits in either a gaudy turquoise or a hurt your eyes hot pink color. The costumes for the principal women are not bad, but I much prefer the old attire. I understand that ballet outfits get worn out, but that doesn’t mean that a designer can’t create new costumes with the old colors and styles.

The next work is ‘Ivesiana’ which is performed to the music of Charles Ives. The ballet is divided into four parts. Three of these four sections are set in almost total darkness. The first segment, “Central Park in the Dark” concerns a young woman (Ashley Laracey) stumbling around in the black of night. A man (Zachary Catazaro) arrives for a brief moment, but then he leaves. As far as I can see, nothing happens in “Central Park in the Dark”.

The second section, “The Unanswered Question” is by far the most interesting. A beautiful girl with long flowing hair (Janie Taylor) is held aloft by four men. Her feet never touch the ground, but on occasion she fleetingly touches a fifth man (Anthony Huxley), who is clearly fascinated with her. “The Unanswered Question” is somewhat reminiscent of the last scene of ‘Serenade’ (where the main ballerina is lifted up and taken away from the stage). The girl in “The Unanswered Question”, however, is much more spectral figure than the “Waltz Girl” in ‘Serenade’. And no NYCB dancer does dreamlike as beautifully as Janie Taylor. As the young man yearning to hold the girl and keep her close (which never happens) Anthony Huxley is heartbreaking.

The third segment of ‘Ivesiana’, “In the Inn”, is the only part performed in daylight. It does not seem to fit with the rest of the ballet. A man and a woman (Ask la Cour and Teresa Reichlen) meet and very casually dance by themselves and with each other. At the end they shake hands and depart, leaving me to think that even the great George Balanchine had his off moments creatively.

The last section “In the Night” shows female corps members crawling on their knees in almost complete darkness. It is weird but also strangely moving and Balanchine’s choreography complements the music perfectly.

The next work, ‘Tarantella” is a pas de deux performed to Gottschalk’s music. As always, ‘Tarantella’ is pure joy and energy translated into spectacular choreography. Gonzalo Garcia delights the audience with his meticulous footwork and his lightning fast turns. Every step Tiler Peck takes is amazing, but I am especially impressed with the way she knows just how to play with the phrasing of the music. Peck truly gets better every time I see her dance.

The afternoon ends on a high note with the performance of one of my very favorite ballets, ‘Stars and Stripes’. The work is divided into five campaigns, each based on the music of John Philip Sousa (adapted and orchestrated by Hershy Kay). The first two sections, to “Corcoran Cadets” and “Rifle Regiment” are danced by female corps members led by a female soloist. The third segment, “Thunder and Gladiator” is carried out by the men in the corps de ballet with a male soloist as their leader. All the corps members (women and men alike) stand out for their wonderfully synchronized dancing to Sousa’s rousing marches.

Both female soloists (Lauren King and Megan LeCrone) do a good job heading their regiments, but Troy Schumacher is absolutely outstanding as the “Thunder and Gladiator” soloist. This role has been owned by Daniel Ulbricht for a long time, but in a debut on Saturday afternoon Schumacher really makes it his own. His leaps and multiple air turns are especially exciting.

As “Liberty Bell” and “El Capitan”, Sara Mearns and Tyler Angle show a delightfully playful chemistry. Mearns really enters into the spirit of the Sousa ballet as she throws off some great fouettes. My only complaints about her performance are that she doesn’t hold her balances long enough and that her scissor leaps are somewhat small. As her partner, Tyler Angle (also making a debut) is fantastic. As a soloist, he is even better. I especially like the bouncy steps which show off his incredible ballon and the turns a la seconde performed at the speed of sound.

The last campaign is danced by the entire company to “Stars and Stripes Forever”. At the end of the ballet, as the American flag rolls down the entire back stage of the David Koch Theatre, I find my eyes welling up (as usual). I am a little disappointed, however, that a round of applause didn’t greet the American flag (as it usually does). Again, it was an incredibly memorable day at the ballet.

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abatt, so good to hear your impressions and especially good to hear that Ashly Issacs is back - she is a force and an astonishing dancer. Thanks to you and also to Colleen for sharing your thoughts with those of us who can't be there in person.

Mira

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I went to the performance last night. Serenade was, surprisingly, the least well-danced. The conductor was a guest and started off a little too slow, I thought -- the performance seemed to lack momentum at first -- similar to the tempi at which ABT dances Balanchine. Ashley Bouder had an uncharacteristically off night, with a botched pirouette in one of her solos when she was at center stage -- I've never seen her do that before, and she was a fantastic Liberty Bell a couple of weeks ago with technical prowess to spare. Then Adrian Danchig-Waring dropped a corps or demisoloist (wasn't sure) girl on her butt -- she seemed rather stunned and took quite a while to get up. Rather rough Serenade overall, though Sara Mearns was better last night than in the same role last season -- her upper body was much more flexible. Krohn was ok, too -- though it's too bad that Maria K. doesn't seem to dance Dark Angel any more -- her arabesque was to die for in that role.

Red Angels, however, received a powerhouse performance from all involved. Great energy. Amar Ramasar and Tess Reichlen were amazing, and Jared Angle and Jennie Somogyi, while overshadowed a bit by the other couple, were also great. My one complaint was the amplification on the electric violin being a little too loud for my ears. Tschai pas, which followed, was also brilliantly danced -- the best and most musical I've see Megan Fairchild do it. Veyette had an incredible series of perfectly landed double tours (in fifth, in plie, facing dead front) and tossed off some firework virtuouso steps. Both looked like they were having a lot of fun.

A beautiful Firebird ended the evening. Stafford replaced La Cour and did a credible job (maybe he's a little too short for Maria's firebird, but he managed). Maria was wonderful, she gives the role such glamour. I feel if anything that Maria's technique has strengthened with time, especially her turns and jumps. Her Berceuse was incredible, I loved that she started that gorgeous rippling-arms/backbend exit into the wings closer to center stage, so we could really get caught up in the spell of the moment. A lot of Firebirds start that two steps from the wings and then they're done in almost no time at all. The orchestra sounded great throughout.

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Doesn't anyone go to NYCB once ABT arrives at the Met?

I went to the May 26th matinee which was called A Tribute To Broadway.

The afternoon begins with ‘Fancy Free’. ‘Fancy Free’ was the first collaboration between choreographer Jerome Robbins and composer Leonard Bernstein. It is the story of three sailors on leave in New York City during World War II. They are, of course, looking for fun and women. ‘Fancy Free’ is as fresh today as when it was first performed in 1944. The jazzy score by Bernstein fits Robbins’ choreography perfectly.

As the three sailors Joaquin De Luz, Robert Fairchild and Andrew Veyette have great chemistry. They are very believable as close friends. De Luz is all high-flying energy as the first sailor. As the dreamy second sailor Robert Fairchild is just perfect. Veyette’s rumba dancing third sailor does not have the Latin flair of American Ballet Theatre dancers like Jose Manuel Carreno and Marcelo Gomes but he nails all the moves producing a sexy comic dance. Gretchen Smith and Tiler Peck are very good as the two girls the sailors fight over.

The second work on the program is ‘Who Cares?’ It contains choreography by George Balanchine and is set to sixteen George and Ira Gershwin tunes. The first segment of this ballet is danced by ten female corps dancers and ten soloists – five girls and five boys. ‘Who Cares?’ really comes to life when the soloists perform duets to songs like “Somebody Loves Me” and “That Certain Feeling”. All the young dancers are equally good.

Then the lights dim and the second part of ‘Who Cares?’ starts. This section of the piece has often been compared to Balanchine’s ‘Apollo’. There is one man and three women. Each of the women dances once with the man and once by herself. Then the man gets to do his solo. ‘Who Cares?’ concludes with the entire company dancing to “I’ve Got Rhythm”.

Amar Ramasar’s pas de deux with a luminous Steling Hyltin to “The Man I Love” is just exquisite. He also dances with the briskly witty Ashley Bouder to “Who Cares?” and the sweetly demure Teresa Reichlen to “Embraceable You.” Reichlen seems a little tall for Ramasar, especially when she goes on pointe.

As already mentioned, the principals each dance a solo. Ashley Bouder stands out for her musicality and spot on phrasing as she skips to “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise”. Teresa Reichlen is really more an adagio dancer and her solo to “My One and Only” lacks the needed sharpness. Sterling Hyltin shows off her incredible speed in her “Fascinatin’ Rhythm” number. Her steps are definitely more precise than when I saw her dance this solo on May 11th. I don’t think Hyltin is quite up to the level of Patricia McBride or Tiler Peck but she’s getting there. Amar Ramasar reminds me of a young Gene Kelly as he dances to “Liza”.

I still can’t stand the new costumes for the female corps dancers and soloists. Fortunately they don’t detract from the glorious joy that is George Balanchine’s love letter to New York City.

The program ends with 'West Side Story Suite'.

‘West Side Story Suite’ is a vigorous ballet which highlights male bravura dancing. Chase Finlay is a very young, idealistic Tony. The way he bounds toward the sky in his “Something’s Coming” solo is both touching and exuberant. Andrew Veyette leads the Jets with his virtuoso dancing. His voice, however, is merely okay. He does not sing “Cool” nearly as well as Nikolaj Hubbe or Damian Woetzel did, but they are both retired from NYCB.

The ladies also help make ‘West Side Story Suite’ memorable. Georgina Pazcoguin is a triple threat – great dancing, great singing, great acting. All flashing limbs and glorious attack, Pazcoguin belts out a droll and cynical “America”. The ladies accompanying her are very good. Lauren Lovette’s Maria is artlessly pure.

As always, I find my eyes welling with tears during the “Something” finale. The blend of Leonard Bernstein’s music and Jerome Robbins’ choreography conveys me to that special “place for us.” I hope New York City Ballet continues to dance ‘Fancy Free’ ‘Who Cares?’ and ‘West Side Story Suite’ for many years to come.

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I went to this afternoon's performance. The absolute highlight was a totally kick-ass rendition of the Stravinsky Violin Concerto. Sterling Hyltin and Robert Fairchild were absolutely adorable in the second pas de deux, Maria Kowroski and Adrian Danchig-Waring sexy and provocative in the first pas de deux. The finale was a completely joyful folk dance. The corps de ballet was completely on, and that was a joy to watch. Another highlight was the lovely Andantino with Tiler Peck and Gonzalo Garcia.

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I went to this afternoon's performance. The absolute highlight was a totally kick-ass rendition of the Stravinsky Violin Concerto. Sterling Hyltin and Robert Fairchild were absolutely adorable in the second pas de deux, Maria Kowroski and Adrian Danchig-Waring sexy and provocative in the first pas de deux. The finale was a completely joyful folk dance. The corps de ballet was completely on, and that was a joy to watch. Another highlight was the lovely Andantino with Tiler Peck and Gonzalo Garcia.

Agreed that Stravinsky Violin Concerto received a great performance -- I love Danchig-Waring in just about anything, he has wonderful line and dances full out with abandon. So happy he was finally promoted, long overdue. But that said, I do think Maria and Amar Ramasar have a special connection in these Balanchine B&W pas de deux -- their Agon is electrifying and so is their Violin Concerto. I really enjoyed Danchig-Waring in the opening and closing sections, though, and he's a good match with Robert F. as both have great energy and technique.

Allegro Brillante was also fantastic -- except that the floor seemed especially slick -- maybe they polished it after the previous night? Megan LeCrone took a nasty spill near the beginning (hope she's ok, she certainly danced fine after), and shockingly Megan Fairchild slipped twice -- she is so consistent, I've never seen her slip before (let alone come close to falling). All three slips were at entirely different places on the stage. The corps/demisolo dancers have never been stronger in Allegro, both men and women. And Veyette is having an amazing season, such clean lines and virtuoso dancing. His Theme and Variations the night before was astounding, he was gorgeous in that ridiculously difficult solo with the double tour/single pirouette/double tour/ double pirouette combination/repeat. I think he's the only one who can alternate the pirouettes like that AND land all his double tours completely, facing front. Most guys do doubles all the way through to keep up momentum, and they start cheating on the double tours towards the end. It was really thrilling to see Veyette pull it off so perfectly -- and I love seeing tall men do this role, they always look beautiful in the costume! The last time I saw Gonzalo Garcia attempt it he ended up about 20 feet to the right of where he started and almost fell over at the end-- not pretty. I wish, though, that they would put Veyette and Ashely Bouder back together in these virtuoso pieces, they are perfectly matched in energy and stage presence. While Megan is good, she's no Ashley in these pieces, and she's a little short for Veyette. The best T&V and Allegro performances I can remember are Veyette/Bouder performances.

One last word on the Cage -- Tess Reichlen is unsurpassed as the most scary and sexy Queen ever! Wow. Tess is so versatile, she is probably my favorite dancer at city ballet right now -- so tall, killer extension, able to jump and turn even better than the "soubrette" types, amazing stage presence/characterization, and she does everything while looking absolutely gorgeous! Would love to see her do T&V (although partering would be an issue given her height). And Janie Taylor is a worthy inheritor of Wendy Whelan's role. Jared Angle was great in the lead male role, I much preferred him to Sebastian Marcovici.

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I just read Mary Cargill's review of Chase Finlay's debut in "Stars and Stripes". It confirmed my belief that tall, princelike dancers like Finlay - the ones who excel in roles like Apollo, are not the best dancers for the lead role in Stars and Stripes. Although he danced it many times, I never liked Charles Akegard in the ballet. Damian Woetzl, Ethan Stiefel, now Andrew Veyette and Tyler Angle - these are the best dancers for the El Capitan role (in my opinion anyway). I am going to New York City Ballet's final performance of the season on Sunday and can't wait to see Bouder and Veyette in Stars and Stripes. I'll definitely post about their performances as well as about the performances in Serenade and Stravinksy Violin Concerto early next week.

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Braved the rain and Tiler Peck's Allegro Brillante was every bit as fabulous as everyone says. She manages to be so majestic and commanding and her pirouettes were so fast it was dizzying. Veyette and the wonderful Demi-soloists were all completely on tonight. The new costumes continue to ruin Who Cares? for me but Sterling Hyltin was lovely in the Man I Love duet with Robert Fairchild. Scheller has learned to relax her shoulders and gave a wonderful performance. Great evening.

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