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This season, I've seen some wonderful perfomances in this role. Bouder, Weese and Van Kipnis have done it many times and each of their performances is distinct. Bouder is the most athletic but never at the expense of detail - everything is clear and unforced. Weese's musicality finds time for some moments where she luxuriates in the movement and others where she pounces on the beat. Van Kipnis simply sparkles, she seems to particularly enjoy the challenges of the part.

I was also able to see Carrie Lee Riggins debut a few days ago. She did a splendid job with one long hled balance in arabesque that excited the audience. All that was missing from her performance was the sense of amplitude and relaxation that the other ladies bring to the role but I'm sure that will come.

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I saw only one NYCB Nutcracker this season, the first night with Sylvie as the Dewdrop. I wanted to like her more than I did. She seems to have the right tools for the job - a nice big jump, turns, large sweeping movement. But something just didn't click to me. As Eric Taub had in his review of that night, she didn't seem to be a good mover, not quick enough or something. She also wasn't smooth in the role (the people who complain that she just cranks things out wouldn't be so off). But she wasn't a total bust and I did enjoy her, I just think she was better off as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

I also saw three Dewdrops away from NYCB - Shannon Parsley with Suzanne Farrell Ballet in Washington D.C. in the Waltz of the Flowers excerpt, Heidi Cruz at Pennslyvania Ballet and Allegra Kent in the Playhouse 90 Nutcracker screening at the Museum of Television and Radio.

Parsley was strong and commanding, dancing on such a grand scale and musicality. Cruz does not have the typical NYCB body, her head is large but pretty and her legs shortish but turned out. However, her dancing was unforced and light. Dewdrop is sometimes danced in New York as if it was Agon. Cruz was never rushed, never brittle. It was a joy to watch her.

The film caught Kent at the beginning of her career. Here she is a baby ballerina - plump of face and thighs, plush in movement. Her dancing was like a giggle made physical. Balanchine was said to have loved her jump and there was much to love in it. Her turns are strong and her movement is like quick silver.

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liebs, we haven't made it - yet...still hoping to get in there if possible. My first choice in dancers to see perform Dewdrop would be Alexandra Annsaneli. She has the lightness of being, in my mind's eye, that makes this role for me. :wink:

Dale - I love your turn of the phrase and choice of words - you've given me a real understanding of how you felt watching these three dancers and I thank you! :P

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Dewdrop is the role I most enjoy watching in NYCB NUTCRACKER...my first DD was the spectacular Colleen Neary, my second a radiant Heather Watts. I did like Sylve this year for her amplitude and brilliance of everything she did. Weese was also on teriffic form. I was glad to read about Carrie Lee's success, I was sorry to miss her in the role. Bouder is a dancer I have yet to connect with...sometimes I feel she is trying too hard.

Of all my DDs over the years, and I've loved them all, Wendy Whelan and Monique Meunier stand out. Wendy brings that intangible element of "importance" to the role...that these steps and this music are something grand and special, and she is going to show us how wonderful it is and have a fine time for herself doing it.

I loved the way Monique built the role, a bit reserved at first and then gradually the turns get faster, the jumps bigger, the sheer scale of it becomes magnificent. By the end, you are in a state of awe.

It's great to think about all these dancers and to remember the special qualities that have made an impact in this ballet.

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