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NYCB 2008 Nutcracker

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I was there 12/30 to see Katie Morgan as the SPF and she radiated warmth and regality.

Tyler Angle became a great dancer last season, and he's even gotten better; he was Katie's Cavalier.

Those costumes are simply beautiful in the pas.

The house was sold out--on December 30. I'm happy, but why?

Okay bring on the rep; I'm nutted out.

January 8 will my first of the year.

Happy 2009, JIM

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I saw Ringer last Sat night and for me, she is the gold standard SPF. She was very well partnered by Jared Angle and the ppd got well deserved, tumultuous applause. Surprisingly, the children's work in Act I was sloppy, although I liked the spunkiness of the little Marie.

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At the premiere, when the Sugar Plum Fairy variation was done in the Pas de Deux, before which SPF didn't dance, Maria Tallchief recalled hearing the ovation for Leclerq's Dewdrop as shfrom backstage and being terrified that the audience would be let down after the Dewdrop tour de force.

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Now what happens when the Dewdrop is 30x better than the Sugarplum? A dissapointing ending! Poor Ben Millepied tried his darndest, but we still had a shaky, unsure sugarplum in Yvonne Borree. Arabesques hardly above 45 degrees.. Gripping her partners hand for dear life.. Finishing the pas with flailing chaines into a partner with a look of fear in his eyes.

Basically describes every Borree performance I've seen since the time I've been watching the NYCB, unfortunately.

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I saw Ringer last Sat night and for me, she is the gold standard SPF. She was very well partnered by Jared Angle and the ppd got well deserved, tumultuous applause. Surprisingly, the children's work in Act I was sloppy, although I liked the spunkiness of the little Marie.
I went to the Friday night performance and agree with you on both counts. The children's spacing in the battle scene was very sloppy. These little soldiers would have been put on KP for failure to stay in formation.

Ringer danced the variation and the pas with great purity. No embellishment, just the choreography exactly as it was set. She shimmered. She was regal but not aloof. Everything you would expect or want. When she hit her first backbend from the supported pirouette precisely on the musical climax, JAngle broke out in a great smile -- sweet! There was no question that he was her cavalier, not her equal, yet there was an appropriate suggestion of rapport between them.

I don't know what it is about Abi Stafford. She's a lovely dancer -- clean, rock solid technique, good line, excellent musicality -- just doesn't send sparks, as a good DewDrop should. She stops just short of putting it over. She makes me feel she's withholding something. Not withholding the dancing, which can be bold. She seems to be taking pleasure in performing. It's just a little bit more heart, perhaps. I can't think of anything else. She comes so close to satisfying, which makes her failure to do so all the more disappointing.

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I haven't added my thoughts until now, but I've enjoyed reading all of the "Nuts" comments.

I did go to two performances, including yesterday's matinee (Wendy-- my favorite ballerina of the last 20 years -- was the SP Fairy; Philip Neal was her excellent and attentive cavalier, with Sterling as DD).

I should say that I'm not a big fan of "The Nutcracker" (never was) for various reasons. My big beef this season was how badly behaved the children in the audience were, but worse still were their parents (who think it's fine to whisper/talk to their kids during the performance. At $125 a pop, I don't

appreciate these rude parents). When my boys were young I took them to "The Nutcracker" several years in a row (my oldest is now 25 and in med. school in NYC, and my youngest is 17 and about to go to college in the fall. Both have fond memories of seeing this ballet), and they

were quiet (I made sure of it).

Thankfully, the real rep. starts Tuesday (I usually go 3 times a week). Hooray! (Ashley Bouder will be out for a while btw, but probably not for the entire season.

I seem to recall that we're not supposed to report things like this on the board so forgive me if I've overstepped).

One other small thing, I felt the criticism of Yvonne Borree was too harsh (and rather mean). It is true that she has her problems, but she used to be a very good dancer (I watched her from the corps on). And she was always lovely to look at on the stage. In fact, there are many dancers (women and men) who probably should retire from NYCB now

(and surely they will eventually), but there's always something to admire about their performance (even if it means looking back to how they

once danced).

As for Abi -- she's still very young. She may or may not have "star quality" some day, but I love watching her technique (and she has a lovely smile as well). Sterling Hyltin, by the way, was fantastic as DD yesterday! And Sara Mearns was a stunning DD when I saw her recently (gorgeous woman too).

Happy New Year!!

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Closing night, 3 January 2009

This was only my second (first last week's Morgan/T'Angle, Pereira) Nutcracker of this heavily sold season. The performance was far more energetic than the first, as they all seemed to be celebrating the end of the annual "ordeal." I didn't note any specific surprises, as in the old days when one might see Mr. B. or R. sneak in an appearance.

Teresa Reichlen was a complete SPF, NYCB's most glittering ballerina (how can management continue to humiliate the Company by cheating her of Principal rank, and salary?) these Bouderless days, and lit up the stage from her first moment. Those legs!--sparkles fly from head to toe. Her partner was the ageless wonder Charles Askegard, who also pulled off the Cav's pyrotechnics. And when Big T flies backwards to mount Chuck's mountain-high shoulders...! (The week before was I think, the fourth time Kathryn Morgan's SPF was partnered by Tyler Angle. His solo work is maturing at a rapid pace--of course he's already the company's premiere at presenting a ballerina. She continues to bring together her flawless "Royal" upper body with better and better Balanchine technique below. Great harmony, of Principal quality, with new dazzle in her pointwork to go with the always present sublime beauty.)

Daniel Ulbricht was spectacular as Tea, sweetly supported by Erica Pereira and Rachel Piskin, and Allen Peiffer terrific as Candy Cane, engaging the audience as he didn't miss a single jump through the hoop (last week' dancer probably missed half of them). Kathryn Morgan was a Marzipan of pure beauty and high technical merit. Sara A. Mearns was a Dew Drop for the ages. This is Mearns the great allegro ballerina, who I think began to manifest under the baton of Gergiev in her first Walpurgisnacht, reaching her peak in last season's B-S Quartet. Every moment she combined Prima Ballerina Joy and Glitter with go-for-broke Abandon. Wow! This is how they -- the best of "they" -- danced for Mr. B. So quite a pair of leads tonight, the Company's two most sparkling ballerinas (till Ashley Bouder returns) both on glorious form. Bravi!

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