After reading several of Macaulay’s reviews over the past several months and his wrap-up of the ABT season, it is apparent that he thinks of dance in extremely simplified binary terms: (1) Balanchine/MacMillan/Ashton-God’s gift to the world, (2) everything else-a waste of time.
In his reviews of ABT performances, he had extremely positive things to say about ABT’s performances of Romeo and Juliet (MacMillan), Symphonie Concertante (Balanchine), and The Dream (Ashton). He disliked everything else, largely because the dancers did not take him on “…vast psychological arcs throughout the course of the evening.” This begs two questions. First, how is it that ABT can be so brilliant in R&J, SC, and The Dream, and be so lacking in the other performances?
Second, if the likes of widely acclaimed ABT dancers such as Ananiashvili, Ferri, Vishneva, Corella, Herrera, etc. can’t do the job, who does satisfy Macaulay in the classics? Unfortunately, he does not specify the dancers that provide him with this emotional arc.
In the future, if Macaulay continues with the view that the only worthy performances are from the Balanchine/MacMillan/Ashton mold while everything else, no matter how well performed, falls short of the mark, he will not only be extremely predictable, but also irrelevant.