Reviews of American Ballet Theatre's opening night.
All this is attractively present in Mr. Ratmansky’s new version, agreeably designed by Santo Loquasto with décor that shows changes of date, time, place and weather. Nothing here is radically novel, but there’s plenty of poetry, good taste and theatrical vigor.
Despite the delicacy of the plot summary, Ratmansky's choreography for Ariel (Daniil Simkin) and Caliban (Herman Cornejo) was magical. Simkin flew through his variations with applause-generating leaps, but was no mere virtuoso. There was feeling, purpose, and depth in his dancing, and his fluttering little movements as be begged Prospero for freedom in his opening solo were haunting. His second solo, after Prospero had released him, was equally virtuosic, as he did jumps and spins never seen before, but he danced as if his soul were pushing him forward.
“The Tempest” really didn’t come alive until Joseph Gorak and Sarah Lane started dancing. As the young lovers Ferdinand and Miranda, they had the best choreography. The small, delicate Lane is an attractive ingénue, and Gorak, with his long legs and arched feet, is a star in the making. His slow, beautifully formed turns ended in eloquent extensions.