Farewell Performances and Criticism in Writings on Ballet Posted June 10, 2010 I didn't go to Yvonne Borree's Farewell, but I've seen her dance many many times. Sometimes she was wonderful, but sometimes she was tentative to say the least. But she's not the only NYCB dancer like that. Charles Askegard (imo anyway) is another case in point. Sometimes he's great, sometimes he's really off. You never know what you're going to get with him. It's hard for an audience member to know where such inconsistencies come off. There were times (as have been mentioned on Ballet Talk many times, when Borree was noticeably trembling during a performance. But I saw her dance Coppelia several times, and every time she was great. And Swanilda is such a killer role!!!!! I don't know if I'd use the term A and B listers for principal dancers, but there are definitely principal dancers who are better than others. And not just in NYCB, also at ABT. Maxim B. (I can never remember how to spell his name) is a good partner, but you just can't compare him to Hallberg or Gomes. I could go on and on about this subject, but I won't. And I agree with the Ballet Talkers who said the NY Times reviewer had the right to be negative about Yvonne Borree's dancing. It is a review, after all, not a testimonial. As long as what is criticized is the dancing (never the appearance) and it's done in a professional way I think it's fine. I have never liked when a reviewer whitewashed a favorite's performance. Again, I find myself defending the farewell performance. For those of you who didn't go to the performance, it's hard to weigh in on what happen. I was there. Yvonne was overcome with emotion in the Brahams-Schoenberg. I thought is was amazing that she even made it through. And again --there are kinder ways to phrase a less than stellar performance (although I thought she did a very nice job). This is even more true during at farewell performance. I do think it's amusing that so many BTers are defending the NYT's reviewer. In the past, there has been a ton of criticism about NYT reviewers. And not to pander -- but please see our own (BT) Leigh Witchel for a way to comment/even criticism a performance and dancer without crossing the line into (almost) being unnecessarily unkind/mean/nasty.