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The renovations look pretty good! Especially cool -- the orchestra has a platform that rises now (it can go level with the stage).

After a short speech by Peter Martins, and a longer (reading from cards) speech by David H. Koch (not exactly scintillating), the evening got under way.

Ratmansky's Concerto DSCH was danced beautifully by Bouder, Garcia, De Luz, Whelan and Millepied. The demis were also in fine form.

Things were looking up!

Next up was "Rubies pas de deux" (from Jewels) with Paris Opera Ballet guest stars Aurelie Dupont and Mathias Heymann.

I'm still trying to figure out what ballet they were dancing, because it didn't look much like "Rubies." Sure, there was the Stravinsky

score (love that music!) but not much else was recognizable. Don't get me wrong -- they seem like perfectly fine dancers, but the phrasing was strange, as were many of the positions and extensions (or lack of them). Dupont does have very nice balance, and occasionally seemed like she was enjoying herself. However, the two had absolutely no chemistry -- not a plus for this pas de deux.

That said, Dupont wore a gorgeous Christian Lacroix tutu (tres chic!).

The audience did not seem overwhelmed, but gave them a warm(ish) round of applause.

The less said about "Naive and Sentimental Music" the better. Suffice to say it was a total waste of both our newly promoted principals, as well as Janie Taylor, Jared Angle, Abi Stafford, Andrew Veyette, Ashley Bouder, Daniel Ulbricht, Joaquin De Luz, Philip Neal, Sara Mearns, Jonathan Stafford, Stephen Hanna (welcome back!), Maria Kowroski, Charles Askegard, Sterling Hyltin, and Gonzalo Garcia (just about everyone!).

Plus it's over 40 minutes long, and seems even longer; I kept looking at my watch.

All and all a most disappointing opening night at NYCB (sigh..).

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Thanks for the review, Deborah. I agree with you -- mostly. You didn't pan Naive and Sentimental enough. What a mess! Balanchine made some ballets using all his principals -- Union Jack and Vienna Waltzes -- but he had fewer dancers to make roles for and, oh, by the way, he was a genius. Watching the women in the first section, all dressed in strapless, chiffon dresses in beautiful shades of blue and green -- I started amusing myself by wondering what color Darci would wear. Pink, I decided, wrongly, as it turned out. The six main dancers of the central section were all in white (Jared Angle making a brief appearance in his black get-up from section 1). The color scheme of the women's costumes was the best aspect of the production. The style was decidedly unflattering. On a strapless costume, a straight neckline works tends to accentuate large breasts as well as the absence thereof. And the scarf trailing from the back, at least from my vantage point in the Fourth Ring, obscures the line of the back.

Just a muddle.

Ratmansky's Concerto DSCH from Spring 2008, a real ballet, looks better with each viewing. Great craft, sweet wit, using and extending his dancers' talents, which were on full display.

One of Balanchine's frequent corrections to his dancers was "Too pretty." That was exactly the problem with Dupont and Heymann's Rubies, although I can understand that Mlle Dupont's ruffly-lacy tutu may have put her in that mood. That, and the fact that they seemed to be raised too well to show the requisite scrappiness. A crisp attack would have made a world of difference.

Opening the evening, Faycal Karoui led the orchestra in a sumptuous, if brisk, Garland Waltz, as we watched a video of the reconstruction. Maybe it's because I'm a builder's daughter, but I thought it was pretty thrilling. The actual results, however, turn out to be mixed. I'll continue to review the theater on the theater's thread, here.

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Oy. The Adams music to the Martins piece made me want to hold my ears and run screaming from the theatre- especially the very long repetitive first section. What an unpleasant ending to the evening- and a waste of wonderful dancers.

Very much enjoyed Concerto DSCH, and would have MUCH rather have watched our own dancers dancing rubies!

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I agree with what's been written. Concerto DSCH was wonderrful, and everyone danced very well. Our guests from Paris lacked the brash playfulness that Rubies is supposed to convey. Even the Russians (the Kirov) when they visited City Center had more verve in Rubies than these dancers from POB. The new Martins ballet was interminable. It felt like it went on forever. The choregraphy was sooooo boring and inept. The only section that was remotely interesting was the final section w. Tiler Peck, Sterling Hytlin and Tess. By then, it was too late though. I had completely lost interest. I'm dreading having to see this one again if I want to see Who Cares?, which is on the same block program for every performance. How could so much talent on stage be wasted so shamelessly? I also agree that the costumes for the women were unbecoming. Stephen Hanna's welcome back present was schleping Darci around the stage.

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With all the talk about Peter Martins less than stellar choreography I've often wondered: What do suppose the dancers feel when they're cast in his work? Do they feel as if they've drawn the short straw? It would be hard to show any dissatisfaction given that the choreographer is your boss. And yet they must need to totally commit to the piece and believe in it if they're to do work they're proud of. I know this is a rhetorical question. Just musing....

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Ditto on all that's been said above. I just want to add that it was a bit much to have the video of Martins and Adams preceding the new ballet. It seemed to me that the message the audience was meant to get was that we were seeing the 21st century version of the Balanchine/Stravinsky collaboration. I don't buy it.

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