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Week of Jan 27-Feb 1

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I attended the Tues evening performance. Mearns and Askegard replaced Stafford and Veyette in S&S. Also, Krohn replaced Ringer in DAAG. Those changes were reflected in a program insert. Moreover, the casting printed in the program differed from the casting info on the website as follows: Hyltin danced girl in yellow in DAAG, replacing Fairchild. Also, in S&S, Erica Peirera danced the lead in the section with the twirling baton, replacing Morgan (I don't remember what the official title of that portion is). I guess I should not plan to rely on the website casting info any longer.

Kowrowski and Askegard were marvelous in Monumentum and Movements. I've seen them in this ballet in prior years. In Movements, Maria's stretch and line were spectacular. The entire cast was wonderful in both ballets.

DAAG also received a very good performance. This balllet suits Borree well. Krohn did a lovely job as girl in mauve. I prefer her performance to Rutherford's, who I saw as girl in Mauve a year or two ago. This was the first time I had seen Hyltin as girl in yellow (apricot). She did a very good job with the fast footwork, though I prefer Bouder's more fearless approach. Morgan did a lovely job as girl in blue- very lyrical. Mearns was adorable as the girl in green. Marcovici was stiff as the guy in green. The rest of the men were quite wonderful. The only minor glitch was when Adrian D-W lost control of Borree in an lift gone bad. He had to set her down on the stage several seconds earlier than he should have. I've always loved this ballet, perhaps my favorite Robbins ballet. The final moments when entire cast is on stage and looks up to the sky from left to right and then avert their eyes to the ground in unison is very moving for me. Now it always makes me think of Sept. 11.

Danny Ulbricht was the highlight of S&S for me. As usual, he soared. I generally love Sara Mearns, but I don't think she is particularly well suited to ballets that require a virtuoso turner. She and Chuck Askegard did a pretty good job, but there were no fireworks, in my opinion. I would like to see what Scheller or Tiler Peck could do in this role. I miss Bouder in this. I also miss Woetzel.

I didn't attend last night due to concerns about ice and my commute. I'd be interested in knowing how Tess did in BSQ.

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I hope to post some more about the 1/27/09 performance later today, but in the interim, a question: was this Mearns' debut in Stars & Stripes? Per the NYCB website's casting list, her debut was scheduled for 1/31/09, so I'm wondering if her debut got pushed up a few days. I don't generally think of Mearns as a bravura ballerina (I don't think she's likely to medal in gargouillades), but I really enjoyed her performance Tuesday evening: in some ways I prefer her performance to Bouder's.

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I was also at Tuesday's performance. I thought Maria was fantastic, I've never seen Monumentum and Movements danced so well (the last time I saw it Darci K was still doing the role). Very glad to have Maria in it this time around. McCauley in the Times review said (in effect) that Maria gave the ballet an amplitude not seen since Farrell days. High praise, indeed. I'm looking forward to seeing Tess Reichlen in Monumentum later this week.

Loved Jared Angle in DAAG.

Loved Danny Ulbricht in S&S -- that's the perfect role for him. I was blown away by his incredible double tours landing in a perfect, deep plie facing exactly front. wow. The men as a whole were great and a lot of fun to watch (I thought they did better than the women, who are looking a little straggly). Although Erica Pereira did a great job in the First Campaign -- I think I spotted a beautiful quadruple pirouette. She is a great turner.

Missed Bouder and Woetzel in the finale, too, although I appreciated Sara Mearns in the adagio part of the pdd. She had some very nice balances and supported turns in arabesque. I didn't think she had quite the right personality for the faster solo parts. I remember Sofiane Sylve doing this and she was tremendous fun to watch. Woetzel has been the best El Capitan I've seen, with his effortless virtuosity. I also missed Woetzel as the man in brown in DAAG, although Millepied danced very well.

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I attended the Saturday mat. In Flower Festival, G. Garcia did a wonderful job with quick and precise footwork. His arms were curved in the appropriate style. A. Stafford did well with the footwork, but not with the carriage of her upper body. I skipped La Stravaganza. After its premiere, it automatically ended up on my "Never See This Ballet Again" list. Fellow ballet-talker NYSusan and I had a nice coffee break on the promenade during La Stravaganza. As always, Whelan was sublime in the After the Rain pdd. This was my first viewing of Lifecasting. It was inoffensive, but it became boring. I wouldn't avoid it if it appeared on future programs, but I wouldn't seek it out either. The final ballet was T&V, with DeLuz & T. Peck as the leads. It was Peck's debut in the role. She and DeLuz were wonderful. Perhaps she is not as regal as some ballerinas who take on this role, but she certainly had the technical goods. She made some minor mistakes, but I think these will be ironed out in future performances. De Luz was fantastic.

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