As someone who managed to see pretty much every cast that went on in each of these pieces this week I would like to take a minute to speak on each of them.
Prodigal Son- I had not previously had a chance to see this piece but I was told that I would love it. As expected I did. However of the three principle casts Wiles/Cornejo were indeed the weakest. I didn't so much have a problem with Cornejo because, who can hate a boy who can fly? But, I severely disliked Wiles in the role of the siren. As previously mentioned in the thread she lacks the sex appeal that makes it necessary for the part to be wholly acted out and the sheer size of her hindered Herman's performance. As far as Corella/Boone, I fell in love with Kristi. Her body, face, line, attitude,...everything is suited for that role. She was the ultimate diva.(Not to mention, no one else can make that intimidating lift where she's tossed across the table work so well) Corella while better than Cornejo wasn't fresh enough. He acted the role brilliantly but I was in need of something new. Simkin ended up having the newness I needed. His boyish portrayal (and looks) served the role well. He uses his face and has acting skills better that some older members of the company. Dvorevenko was a good Siren, though all still pale in comparison to Boone. On a side note, the goons have to be my favorite part of that ballet.
Desir- I don't know why everyone's hating. I am very fond of Kudelka's work since I saw his production of Cinderella. Of the lead couples Blain Hoven & Gillian Murphy, Xiomara Reyes & Roman Zhurbin, and Roddy Doble & Simone Messmer, I found Doble/Messmer to be the most passionate. Simone dances with such a full understanding of the material and such artistry. I was less fond of the other red couple's bits though Misty Copeland and Carlos Lopez were my favorites (despite my admiration and love for everything Craig Salstein does. I found Sarah Lane and Alex Hammoudi to be very uninteresting. Now the beautiful purple couple. No other cast can compare to the amount of energy, longing, beauty and passion that Cory Stearns and Isabella put into what is clearly the most popular, and undoubtedly the most beautiful pas de deux within the whole piece. Don't even get me started on Isabella's line. Her legs and feet are to die for and while I was very fond of Hee Seo and Marcello I fell in love with Cory and Isabella the first time I saw it. I was unenthused by Jared Matthews and Maria Ricetto's rendition on that pas. On a whole I love the male corps work seen in the ballet it's strong and interesting although the sextet portion of the piece does get a little lengthy. I loved the piece but over all, and this carries across to each cast, I felt that the "desir" was lacking. Simone was the only girl who ever managed to convince me that she desired her partner or was even in a relationship with him.
On the Dnieper- I am in love. This was my first experience with Ratmansky's work and yeah, the story may be a little strange but hey, look at corsaire...it's better than that. The quality and style of Ratmansky's movement instantly enamored me. While being a contemporary choreographer Ratmansky managed to give this piece a bit of a twist on the classical resulting in a sophisticated and current style of choreography that is enrapturing to watch when done correctly. Most remarkable about the choreography of this piece is the way in which, much unlike a Balanchine piece based so much around stark and solid immobile poses, Dnieper keeps a continuous stream of movement. It only makes sense that dance consist of movement and this did so exquisitely. As for the design the costumes are flawless and David Hallberg is pretty much the most adorable thing ever in his baggy suit. The set I found to be brilliant. Given on opening night the fence moves may not have gone too well, when they work, they work beautifully. As for the principle cast the boys of the first cast (Gomes/Hallberg) were 100% brilliant at everything. I found both Carreno and Hammoudi to lack an energy. Carreno possibly because of his age and Hammoudi possibly because his lack of experience. I found Saveliev to be flat and boring and Eric Tamm to be entirely adorable and a close second to david in my book. For Natalia- Veronika was complete perfection, with those never ending legs. Hee Seo was great but Maria Ricetto didn't give enough anything. It is difficult to judge in the way of Olgas I've never seen Paloma dance so well, but by far Simone was my favorite Olga. While Simon might not come across as a prima ballerina at first glance the extent to which she understands the character and the choreography is much more developed within her than Herrera and Vishneva. When Simone dances it is easy to tell that she is giving everything she has in her to the audience and as Olga, especially in her variation which made me tear up. For now this is all I can say and I look forward to seeing many more Ratmansky pieces.