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Kowroski on her return to action

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Buried in the NY Times listings this Friday was this little item about Maria Kowroski:

MARIA KOWROSKI Last week, as the New York City Ballet opened its spring season, the principal dancer Maria Kowroski, above kneeling, presided over George Balanchine's wondrous "Midsummer Night's Dream." It seemed a bit unreal to Ms. Kowroski, who became seriously ill with mononucleosis in the fall and had not performed at the New York State Theater since last spring. "Part of me felt like I had never been gone, and part of me was like, 'Where am I? What am I doing?' " she said of her return. As Titania, she was elegant and pliant, perhaps more fragile than ethereal; not surprising, considering there were weeks last winter when she couldn't even leave her bed. Battling both fatigue and depression and unable to work on the physical aspect of dancing, she forced herself to dig into ballet's psychological side, listening to scores and imagining stories behind her nonnarrative roles. Calling it a "forced reawakening," Ms. Kowroski also spent a lot of time trying to rediscover herself, to not be so critical and focus more on using her personal growth to become a stronger performer. "I think I had expected myself to come back, and it would all just come together last night," she said the morning after her return. "And I can't expect that to happen. It has to evolve." City Ballet audiences will have the good fortune to watch Ms. Kowroski's evolving reawakening. She is particularly looking forward to dancing Mauro Bigonzetti's Diamond Project offering, "In Vento," and revisiting Balanchine classics like "Symphony in C." She can next be seen on Sunday, in Eliot Feld's "Unanswered Question." CLAUDIA LA ROCCO
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