Last night gave me a headache because I loved it so much and got too overwhelmed with happiness and excitement.
This was the second time I've seen Apollo live (the first was last season with Adrian D-W, Tiler, Indiana Woodward, and Ashly Isaacs) and I enjoyed it much more this time -- maybe due to the cast, or maybe just my more seasoned eyes. Echoing others above, Maria K was the highlight for me too. She seemed to me to be dancing just a hair's breadth ahead of the music -- something I've read about Balanchine preferring but had never noticed in person before. I've watched the recording of Suzanne Farrell and Peter Martins doing the Apollo pdd more times than I care to admit, and Maria last night showed glimmers of a similar musicality to Suzanne's. There were moments where it took my breath away. Chase was admirable, but I was so close in the orchestra that his exertion was noticeable. However, overall I found him convincingly "godlike." Sara and Tess were like forces of nature.
I liked Le Tombeau de Couperin, but admittedly couldn't focus well on the choreography because one dancer kept drawing my attention -- an uncredited Eliza Blutt, I later learned. Despite a small bobble on the final lift, her crisp, high jumps, stretched arabesques, and overall perfumed, slightly mysterious aura throughout the entire performance kept drawing my eye, even when I momentarily lost her amongst the shifting corps. I look forward to seeing more of her!
Of course, THAT Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux was the highlight of the evening. As soon as Tiler and Joaquin made their first entrance, the energy in the audience heightened. Tiler and Joaquin dialed up the adrenaline to eleven -- even by their already impossible standards! -- casually tossing off multiple fouettes in her case and blasting through show-stopping jump after show-stopping jump in his. And then the fish dives! They were the most daring that I have ever seen, live or in recording, and the daredevil "Are we really getting away with this? Let's go for it!" thrill was evident on their faces. I will fondly remember this performance for awhile. 😍 I hope they perform it together this fall before he retires -- I'd trade my hypothetical first-born child for a seat to that performance if it came to that. 😅
Symphony in Three Movements, unfortunately, is just not my cup of tea. Maybe it's more cohesive seen from a higher perspective, but I have seen it from the orchestra twice now and it's too busy for me. Like others, I have not especially enjoyed Savannah Lowery recently but she did get through this ballet fine. Sterling continues to become clearer, sharper and more musical, and Erica Pereira has been more pleasing lately too.
All in all, it was a wonderful night at the ballet. Thank goodness our beloved NYCB is back.