Some brief observations. The program last night was:
Serenade (Balanchine); Afternoon of a Faun (Robbins); Under the Sun Pas de Deux (Sappington); Petite Mort (Kylián). Complete casting can be found here.
Serenade: Competent, energetic performance, though I thought attention to detail was lacking (makes me question how well it was coached/rehearsed). The Valse was too slow; Élégie too fast; orchestra sounded ragged (which is often the case on opening nights here). The stage of the Merriam Theater, where PA ballet does many of its rep programs, felt cramped. Finally, the tulle skirts didn't seem to fit quite right--they seemed to ride awfully low on the dancers' hips. Amy Aldridge, scheduled to dance, did not appear; that change is reflected in the attached casting.
Jermel Johnson shined in Faun, in which he partnered Julie Diana. They both appeared to have been well-coached and well-rehearsed (by Bart Cook) in this narcissistic psychodrama of a pdd.
Under the Sun: Unspeakable, ghastly pdd, but mercifully short. Live music helped make it tolerable. (This pdd will be part of PA Ballet's PBS/WHYY broadcast sometime this spring, along with Diamonds, as detailed here.)
Petite Mort: the Kylián formula is not interesting to me, but the performers did a great job. And again, the live music made it more interesting.