I was there Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening. I was in the loge on Thursday and then in the orchestra section's third and fourth rows on the other nights.
I love this ballet. It is utterly delightful. I even enjoyed the children all three nights. I thought the Saturday night cast as a whole, meaning the ensemble, was the most relaxed on stage and having fun. My favorite Harlequin was Maloney. For me, he was expressive in his torso, impish, and the most musical of the three, but each Harlequin was excellent. There was a lapse, as ksk04 stated, on the traveling fourth lift going from stage left to right, but the save was okay and these things happen to every performer for a variety of reasons.
I understand what you mean, ksk04, about Shevchenko being wasted as Pierrette - we both saw her in The Nutcracker and I also saw her dance a glorious Gamzatti in L.A. last summer. She danced beautifully but I longed to see her in something with more weight. Having seen Forster in The Nutcracker and then as Pierrot, I can say the same thing about him - yeegods, let this man dance principal roles and the classics. Enough already.
I liked Trenary very much, though some of the choreography was altered: in the first act solo, she took the hops on pointe in attitude devant with the raised leg lower than Brandt and Lane executed, and Trenary also came down in a controlled fondu after those hops instead of staying on pointe, which changed the phrasing and musically of the combination. She also came down in a fondu in attitude derriere croise that I did not recall from the other two Columbines. But I find her stunningly natural on stage with a beautiful presence.
I found Copeland's dancing small and tidy and with no elevation where required; her acting was one-dimensional, which was not the case with Shevchencko and Abrera. Abera was gracious and effervescent in all ways, and danced with great beauty.
Brandt actually made portions of her solos look virtuoso in choreographic intent due to holding balances, particularly in the last act solo where she does a releve twice on each leg from a tendu devant to passe to tendu derriere. Lane danced with all her heart, and her phrasing in her solos was wonderful to behold. I enjoyed all three Columbines and their uniqueness in the role.
It was great fun seeing Aran Bell having a good time with his colleagues in the corps, where he will probably not be for much longer.
Yes, that was Zhong Jing Fang, and I had the same reaction.