Ok, four down, one to go!
Believe it or not, I actually really enjoyed tonight's show with Reyes & Matthews!
Reyes may be almost as old as Kent, but it doesn't really show in her dancing. At least not to me. Although she may no longer have some of the flexibility of the younger dancers (or even Vishneva), there were no omissions! She did the penche arabesques, she did the split leaps (and she got to a full 180 degrees), and she milked the "tricks" she can still do well for all they are worth. In her Act I variation, she whizzed through the pique turns around the stage thrillingly, and in the Act II p.d.d., she did the entrechats quatre at breakneck speed. Unlike with Semionova and Kent, I felt like she was really going for it, and there were moments when I was truly impressed and excited.
Being petite, she doesn't have the longer lines of Vishneva/Kent/Semionova, and she doesn't have Cojocaru's ridiculous stretch that makes her look longer than she is. However, I appreciated the quality/tone of her movement. Vishneva has a way of flowing through the movements like she's moving through milk that gives her dancing a very luscious, sensuous quality, and I feel like Reyes has some of that same fluidity. Kent may still be able to create some very beautiful shapes, but it felt less flowy to me.
Also, I have always found Reyes to be a very musical dancer (Vishneva as well)--or perhaps that means they phrase steps the way I would do them if I could--and like Vishneva, she really luxuriated in the adagio in Act II. The tempi were not as slow as Monday night, but Reyes took her time and really felt the music.
I liked both of Reyes' characterizations very much--she was easily believable as a young girl falling in love, and her petite size made it easy to believe that she was frail. Her mad scene was well done, and she even looked angry (not crazy) in the last frenzied part. In Act II, she was properly ghostly.
As for Matthews--overall I enjoyed seeing him as Albrecht and felt like he should've been given a chance to dance it sooner. I thought he and Reyes and believable chemistry in Act I, though I didn't quite buy his grief in Act II. Aside from one wonky jump, his dancing was beautiful and his partnering assured. He did the press lifts in Act II very well, and he even managed to bring Reyes down slowly.
My one big disappointment, though, was that he too chose to do the brises down the diagonal. In my opinion, if you cannot get your legs practically parallel to the ground in the brises like Corella could, it just looks like you're kind of galloping/hopping, and it is not impressive at all. To me, that point in the music is the lead-up to the climax, and if Albrecht's solo is not impressive-looking, it just kills the dramatic momentum altogether. It will be interesting to see what Cornejo chooses to do!
Amy Watson as Myrta was okay. She is an imposing figure, and her jumps were quite expansive, but that initial promenade in arabesque looked a little shaky. Based on this performance, I wouldn't run out and rehire her as a guest.
Misty Copeland and Blaine Hoven danced a very nice peasant p.d.d. I was especially impressed with Hoven. Gorak is a lovely dancer, but he didn't cover much of the stage last night. Hoven was more explosive and covered more ground, and his legwork was very crisp. He also partnered Copeland well.
Overall, thanks to Reyes excellent efforts, I enjoyed tonight's show much more than Tuesday or Wednesday night's!