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Gia Kourlas on NYCB


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49 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

Kind of makes me feel sorry for Erica Pereira.

Ouch, yeah — I happen to agree with the assessment in general (I didn't see her this season), but that's gotta hurt.

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45 minutes ago, BalanchineFan said:

NY Times review of the season from Gia K. 
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/29/arts/dance/new-york-city-ballet-dancer-standouts.html?searchResultPosition=1
Standing (and Dancing) Strong at New York City Ballet

Kind of makes me feel sorry for Erica Pereira.

Excellent review overall. I love the inclusion of short videos. Pereira was the one dancer spoken of negatively (which I'm sure is hard for her), but it was the decision to cast her in Square Dance and La Source that were called into question.

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I absolutely love Square Dance and was very much looking forward to it. Erica Pereira was a real letdown, sucking the energy out of it. I kind of feel bad for her, but kind of not. The directors should not put her up for roles she cannot to justice to. 

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55 minutes ago, cobweb said:

I absolutely love Square Dance and was very much looking forward to it. Erica Pereira was a real letdown, sucking the energy out of it. I kind of feel bad for her, but kind of not. The directors should not put her up for roles she cannot to justice to. 

Agree with @cobweb. I also saw Pereira in Square Dance and thought the criticism in the review fair. Critics have to critical and Kourlas wasn't trying to be clever, witty or personal. IMO it was a fair assessment of the performance. Again the fault goes back to management for casting, or in this case miscasting.

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Well, I saw Pereira in Square Dance and it was after Megan Fairchild had been out a week. I thought they should have had Alexa Maxwell do the ballerina role and moved Ruby Lister, Quinn Starner or Mimi Staker into Maxwell’s corps role. 

Or Emma Von Enck in the lead. Pereira would have kept her previously scheduled performances. It’s not like they don’t have the talent available. 

I can’t imagine that’s what Pereira is thinking, now though. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/29/2023 at 10:29 PM, vipa said:

Agree with @cobweb. I also saw Pereira in Square Dance and thought the criticism in the review fair. Critics have to critical and Kourlas wasn't trying to be clever, witty or personal. IMO it was a fair assessment of the performance. Again the fault goes back to management for casting, or in this case miscasting.

Agreed 2x. This was a very tactful callout by Kourlas, as she does frame it as a casting mistake. I imagine the critics of yesteryear would be less kind. 

Edited by Papagena
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Posted (edited)

I don't disagree about Kourlas's restraint, nor about the explicit focus of her criticism. I'm curious what others think (and what Kourlas thinks), though: are there many roles in which Pereira wouldn't have been miscast? Many roles in which her "body...comes to life through them" (in Kourlas's words)? I can't think of many.

Edited by nanushka
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1 hour ago, nanushka said:

I don't disagree about Kourlas's restraint, nor about the explicit focus of her criticism. I'm curious what others think (and what Kourlas thinks), though: are there many roles in which Pereira wouldn't have been miscast? Many roles in which her "body...comes to life through them" (in Kourlas's words)? I can't think of many.

Pereira has had an odd career. She was an apprentice in 2007 when Martins cast her as Juliet in his Romeo and Juliet. He had the, I believe, wrong headed idea that casting very young dancers as Juliet was a good idea. That's a whole other discussion. Martins made her a soloist in 2009 but she never developed much of a rep or, IMO developed as a dancer. She's been doing Square Dance for years but still doesn't do more that accomplish the steps. I sometimes wonder if it would have been better for her to spend more time in the corps, getting more stage time.  I've seen her be pleasant and fine in some roles, but that's as far as it goes for me.

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2 hours ago, nanushka said:

I don't disagree about Kourlas's restraint, nor about the explicit focus of her criticism. I'm curious what others think (and what Kourlas thinks), though: are there many roles in which Pereira wouldn't have been miscast? Many roles in which her "body...comes to life through them" (in Kourlas's words)? I can't think of many.

If you "can't think of many," you're ahead of me because I can't think of ANY. I'm sorry to be so harsh. But while Pereira has never been exciting, she at least had some moderate sparkle, airy floatiness, and technical facility. Based on recent performances, I'd say whatever strengths she had are fading. As a ticket buyer eager to see certain ballets like Square Dance, I resent having to see her. I know this is harsh, and I don't say it lightly, but the Square Dance that I saw was the most lackluster principal performance I have seen in 12 years of very frequent NYCB attendance. 

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Cobweb, I agree--I skipped Square Dance this go round.  I remember her dancing it in the SAB workshop (I think I am right!) and for me she always seemed like the best dancer in class--never extending beyond the footlights.

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